In celebration of my "End of the Year Madness" event, I asked two authors to share what their favorite characters from books written in 2011 are.
FAVORITE CHARACTERS OF THE YEAR: AUTHOR PICKS
Geoff Herbach, author of Stupid Fast:
Hi my name is Geoff. I wrote the book Stupid Fast. It’s about a jumpy boy named Felton (people call him Squirrel Nut, poor guy, at least until he grows a lot and gets kind of scary big). My pal Gae Polisner wrote another piece of contemporary realism in the past year called The Pull of Gravity. It stars a kid named Nick who’s dad has left and who suffers from bad fevers (he hallucinates early in the book and climbs a water tower in his underpants). Since there aren’t that many books for young dudes, and I really want young dudes to read, I’m a huge fan of Nick and The Pull of Gravity. One of the things I really love about this book is that Nick is dealing with an enormous amount of guilt, not only for his relationship with his dad, but for a friend who suffered a debilitating disease and died (Nick sort of backed away from the kid, Scooter, in the year or so before his death). But Nick doesn’t talk about his guilt, he shows it through his actions, through his desire to make things right. He’s not entirely self-aware – he’s not sure what he believes – but he knows he has to do something. I think The Pull of Gravity is heartbreaking, funny, sweet, and very real. You’ll love Nick (and his pal Jaycee, the girl who gives him the courage to go on his quest).
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Beth Kephart, author of You Are My Only:
I will confess to feeling awfully close to Emmy, the young mother who loses her baby in You Are My Only. I’ll never know how my own imagination found Emmy, or why I started to hear her story in the unusual way she wanted to tell it. But once I heard those first few words—The baby is missing. The baby is not where I left her—I couldn’t walk away. I know a whole lot about motherly love. I know something of despair. But Emmy was taking me places I’d never gone, and I felt haunted as I worked and wrote. I felt as if I had no choice but to follow. It never felt like I was writing Emmy. It only felt like I was listening and trying, as I listened, to protect this young woman, with her unorthodox intelligence and her enormous broken heart. And so there she is, in You Are My Only—speaking in her own rhythms, finding her own way, reminding me of what can happen when we sit back and surrender to our dreams and empathetic imaginations.
Both of these authors (Geoff Herbach and Beth Kephart) are participating in my huge End of the Year Madness Giveaway, so be sure to enter for your chance to win their books!