TWISTED live, in Penguin Land

Thank you, Book Page, for the excellent review! (Be sure to check out all the featured YA titles, including Cynthia Leitich Smith’s excellent Tantalize.)

My totally excellent publisher, Penguin Books, has posted a bunch of TWISTED stuff on their site.

You can read the first chapter online!

Check out the discussion guide questions.

Examine the playlist.

The good penguins also asked decent interview questions. I thought they might amuse you.

Grew up in?
Several tiny villages in Northern & Central NY and Syracuse, NY: the big city.

Childhood ambition?
To read all the books in the library and climb to the top of the rope in gym class.

Desert island book?
Ulysses, by James Joyce.

Favorite city?
Tough question! San Francisco, with Paris running a close second.

Favorite movie?
It’s A Wonderful Life, Van Helsing, Rocky, Last of the Mohicans.

Where do you write?
My office is the third floor loft of our house, with windows that look over our woods and meadows. If it’s really cold, I take my computer down to the living room and work in front of the fire. Sometimes I work in coffee shops and libraries and book stores, just to see other human beings. But mostly, I like my loft.

What made you decide to write Twisted?
Many of the teenage guys I met in the last ten years had fascinating things to tell me. While the book is not based on anyone’s story, the themes of a guy’s alienation from his dad, a broken family pretending to be happy, and the despair that leads kids to kill themselves came from what they told me. And I like a challenge. I’d written a bunch of books from a girl’s point-of-view, and I wanted to see if I could get in the head of a boy.

What would you like readers to learn from Tyler?
That they are not alone with their darkest thoughts, that most people go through hell, and that it is possible to survive having parents who are clueless jerks. Oh, and that friends are gold.

What adjectives would you use to describe Twisted?
Aaahhh…twisted? No, that’s too obvious. Dark, funny, dangerous, and honest.

Favorite food?
Popcorn with butter, bran muffins (not too sweet) and strong coffee, bacon and eggs cooked over an open fire while camping, pickled herring.

Favorite song?
Hotel California (live version) by The Eagles and Clocks, by Coldplay.

Favorite item of clothing?
Hoodie sweatshirt just out of the dryer.

Greatest achievement?
Raising my kids to be good people (though they did most of the work).

Most embarrassing moment?
There are countless!! The worst was when my little sister and I got into a knock-down, drag-out fight at a family reunion and all of the older second cousins I had been hoping to impress dismissed me as being one of the stupid little kids because of it. (I was 11 years old.)

Smartest thing you ever did?
Went overseas, took some time off after high school, then went to community college before transferring to a four-year school. Marched to the beat of my drummer.

Life motto?
It’s not a mistake if you learn from it.