I’m a big fan of Blake Nelson, and I’ve offered my reviews of Destroy All Cars, Paranoid Park, and Recovery Road. So when he contacted me about a potential Twitterview a few months ago, it was hard not to do it right then. But I waited. And today I bring you an exciting interview with him. Blake may have been the first author to actually email me after a review — way back in 2009 — and it was one of those awesome blog moments that stuck with me. So, I’m giving away GIRL, PARANOID PARK, DESTROY ALL CARS, and RECOVERY ROAD to celebrate our 2-year blogging anniversary here at STACKED. I’ll add that RECOVERY ROAD is also signed by Blake himself, who I had the pleasure of meeting during his stop in the area for Sister Spit (oh yes, photo evidence below). Here’s your chance to sample Nelson’s style which I have grown to appreciate more and more with each book of his I read.
But first — let’s hear from him.
What influenced RECOVERY ROAD?
The characters decide, not me. She was just sooo determined. That’s what made the book: her ferocity.
Each of your books is entirely different — you don’t fall into a single category. How do you make your style/voice decisions?
You successfully capture both male voices and female voices, giving your books wide appeal. Talk about the experience of writing each.
Girls think. Boys do. Girls analyze. Boys criticize. Girls think about people. Boys think about things.
What influences your writing?
Probably RECOVERY ROAD. It is my fullest, most complete book. Maddie changes so much. And it feels so real.
Given your career as a whole, if you could redo something in any of your books, would you?
Six hours, every day.
Love Frank Portman. Love Natalie Standiford. And Sara Zarr. I like more realistic stuff.
John Updike, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Henry Rollins
And the most important question — favorite ice cream flavor?
Kelly Jensen is a former librarian turned editor for Book Riot. She's the author of IT HAPPENS: A Guide to Contemporary Realistic Fiction for the YA Reader and the forthcoming Feminism For The Real World (Algonquin Young Readers, Spring 2017).