This is a superweek! I have ANOTHER awesome author interview for you today! Today’s interview is with Barry Lyga, the author of “The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl,” “Boy Toy,” “Hero-Type,” and more!
C: Your novel "Boy Toy" deals with an issue that I have never seen covered in any other teen book. How did you decide to write about the topic (the sexual abuse of a student at the hands of his teacher)?
BL: The school district where I grew up (and, at the time, lived) went through a student/teacher sex scandal, and I became sort of obsessed with the case. Then, as I started looking into other, similar cases, I noticed common elements. It also occurred to me that while we always heard from the adults and learned what they thought of the situation, we never, ever heard from the kids because they were minors. They were protected by the system. So I wanted to give them a voice in some way, and my thinking on that turned into Boy Toy.
C: What is the hardest part of the writing process for you?
BL: Probably deciding if it's worth pursuing a particular project. There are so many different ideas I have and so many books I could write, but there's no way to know which ones are actually going to turn out to be any good, and I can only write so many books. So I spend a lot of time thinking about each book and sort of investigating all of its various permutations to figure out if it's something I really think will turn out well for me and for the readers.
C: Are you currently working on any projects that you can tell us about?
BL: Oh, boy! I'm working on a bunch of things! Colleen Doran -- a terrific comic book artist -- is currently drawing my first-ever graphic novel. I have a new middle-grade series called ARCHVILLAIN coming out in the fall, about a kid who gets superpowers and decides to be a villain instead of a hero. And I just started working on I HUNT KILLERS, about a teenager whose father is the world's most notorious serial killer. It's really gruesome and dark and bloody.
C: What was your favorite book when you were a teenager?
BL: When I was a teenager, I was sort of obsessed with short stories, especially science fiction short stories. One of my favorite books was DEALING IN FUTURES by Joe Haldeman, which just had an amazing collection of some of the most imaginative fiction I'd ever read. Terrific stuff.
C: What author are you most looking forward to meeting and/or seeing at the Fifth Annual TBF?
BL: Well, I'm looking forward to seeing just about everyone (especially Laurie Halse Anderson, who I never seem to get to talk to when we bump into each other!), but the person I'm most looking forward to seeing is Robin Brande. Robin and I are old friends, but our schedules have kept us both very busy and we haven't actually seen each other in something like three years! So it'll be good to see her.
Thanks for the awesome interview Barry! I know I speak for all my readers when I say, we can’t wait to see you in May at TBF Live!