Sunday, April 3, 2011

You Should Read This Interview ...

Hello Readers,

Last week I reviewed Charles Benoit’s novel “You.” This week, I have an interview for you (Haha!) with Charles.

Carly Reads: “You” is your first young adult novel – you’ve previously written mysteries for adults.  What has your journey into the young adult lit world been like?
Charles Benoit: I have found the YA world to be very welcoming. The talent level scares me though – every YA book I pick up is freakishly well-written. It forces me to work harder on my on books, which is a good thing, yes, but man, it can be intimidating! I've been reading the books by the authors on my TBF panel (Torrey Maldonado, Jon Skovron and Josh Berk) and each one wow-ed the hell out of me. I hope I don't get all fan-boy during the panel... The other cool thing I've noticed: When you're doing book talks for adult books, 90% of the time no one will have read the book. When I've done talks for “You,” lots of folks in my teen audiences have actually read the book. The level of questions they ask are better then the questions I get for my adult mysteries. And they don't let you get away with vague, off-the-question answers. YA audiences are much more fun.

CR: “You” is written in second person, which I’ve heard you say was something you did to add an extra challenge for yourself.  Would you write another book in second person?
CB: Noooooooooooooooooooooooo. I spent months after finishing “You” trying to get that second-person voice out of my head. It was starting to freak me out. So, no, no more second person for me!  

CR: I don’t want to give too much away, but I love how “You” begins and ends in the same place. Is this something that you intended from the beginning? Or did it the full circle ending evolve as you wrote “You?”
CB: I knew before I started that that was how the book would start and finish – it was just everything in between I wasn't so sure of. For my adult mysteries I've always been a plotter, planning the whole book out from the start. But for my YA books I've let go of much of that, trusting the process a lot more. Now I find I just plot out a scene or so in advance. I know where I want to go – sortta – but the exact route is up in the air. 

CR: What was the last book that you read for pleasure?
CB: I'm reading a biography of the jazz legend Cab Calloway (“Hi De Ho” by Alyn Shipton) and I’ve got a couple chapters to go in “Buy Back” by Brian Wiprud. It's part comedy, part art heist book, which is coincidently the type of book I just finished writing. 

CR: What authors are you most looking forward to meeting and/or seeing at the Sixth Annual Greater Rochester Teen Book Festival?
CB: I've met a few already and I want to meet all the rest of course. I want to meet Svetlana since I love graphic novels; Ally Carter's “Heist Society” is sitting on my desk to read so I hope to meet her; Patrick Jones writes the kind of stuff I like to write, so I want to meet him and try to steal some of his ideas or maybe a finished manuscript I could pass off as my own. I wish I could play poker (I have a hard time with Go Fish), but the idea behind “Big Slick” is so intriguing that I hope to chat with Eric Luper; And I must meet Melissa Kantor since every one of her 5 Fun Facts are true for me, too. Erie, huh?

Thanks, Charles, for answering these questions for us! We can’t wait to meet you at TBF 2011!


  1. Great interview! I can't wait to see all of the authors at TBF this year.

  2. This book was based on a true story about the author's daughter. It is very sad that this actually happened to her, but it's a great read. I couldn't put this book down! I read it in a day and a half. I would recommend this book and any of Ellen Hopkin's books to everyone, she's a great author!