Finals week is upon me, and so this post will be brief, but wonderful. Brief, because I should be studying, and wonderful because I have an interview with Julie Halpern to share with you! So without further ado …
Carly Reads: I read that “Get Well Soon” is based on your own teenage experiences. Would you say that you’re Anna? Did you base the other characters off people that you knew as a teenager?
Julie Halpern: I think Anna is a combination of high school me, current me, and someone that is not me at all. Pretty much all of the characters in “Get Well Soon” were based on real people that I met while I was hospitalized.
CR: Have you kept in touch with people that you met while at the hospital? Do they know that you have written this book based on your experience?
JH: I kept in touch with some of them for a little bit of time after I was out, but as you will see in the sequel (which I am writing right now), life is very different being out of a mental hospital than in. None of the people I was hospitalized with know I wrote a book about them. I don't think. I'm afraid they'd be upset, although I fictionalized every one of them.
CR: Are you currently working on any projects (aka new books) that you can tell us about?
JH: So there's the sequel to “Get Well Soon,” which should be out in a couple years, but this May I have a book out called “Don’t Stop Now.” It's about a pair of frustratingly platonic best friends, Lillian and Josh, who go on a road trip together to find their friend who faked her own kidnapping.
CR: What was your favorite book as a teenager?
JH: I wasn't a huge independent reader of books. I read mostly comics, like Calvin and Hobbes, or horror ones like Tales from the Crypt. But I did love Roald Dahl and really got into his short story collections in high school.
CR: What author are you most looking forward to meeting and/or seeing at the Sixth Annual Greater Rochester Teen Book Festival?
JH: I'm pretty excited to meet all of them! I'm even trying to read one book by each author before I go. Since “Runner” is hugely popular at the school library where I work, I'm going to have to say I'm most looking forward to meeting Carl Deuker.
Thanks so much for taking the time to answer my questions, Julie! We can’t wait to meet you at TBF in May!