Monday, August 6, 2007

SCBWI L.A. Conference: John Green

Me and John Green

John gave a honest and funny speech to the entire conference, and then held a breakout session on Writing the Contemporary YA Novel, which I attended. My questions for him:

ME: Your vblog is a lot of fun. (HIM: Thank you ma'am. ME: Ma'am? Ma'am? God, I hope he meant that as humor...) ME, continuing on: But how has it affected you as a writer?

HIM: (mad paraphrasing) It's given me less time to write! But it's confirmed for me that the written word is important, that you can do things with text that video will never be able to do. (He, of course, said this all much more eloquently.)

ME: (after other people asked questions about the sexual tension and male POV in Looking for Alaska and An Abundance of Katherines) Do you find it's harder to write about spiritual questioning than sex?

HIM: God, what a great question! (or something lovely like that) YES. It's much harder. It's hard not to be cheesy. So I used an academic setting (the religion professor) to talk about it in a structured way. I wrote the scene (famous toothpaste tube scene) in ten minutes. The spiritual stuff took much longer. (Again, heavily paraphrased. I do him no justice at all.)

So, I walked away with even more admiration. Not only is he honest on the page, he's honest in person and great fun to listen to.


  1. That was soo cool!

    Hi. I rode in the shuttle to the conference with you!

    Stephanie Blake
    Colorado Writer

  2. Hey, Stephanie, van momma! Wasn't everything wonderful? I so enjoyed meeting you, and I'll be looking for good news about your book(s)!

  3. YES! Look at you and John . . . so very awesome!

  4. Great meeting you Sara. Keep up the good work on all things creative!

  5. You too, Joey. And I believe that at some point, I will be in need of that gecko in an F-15 sketch...

  6. It was so good to see you again, Sara! Thanks for sharing all those great memories on your blog! Hope to see again soon. Keep writing and experimenting!

  7. Read the Q's you asked John Green--the sexual tension vs spiritual fishing/seeking.struggling--he was right. What a GREAT question!

    I missed his smaller session because of my schedule, so thanks!

  8. Hey Kathleen...sorry you missed it. He was amazingly forthcoming about everything. I'll be looking for your reports on what I missed elsewhere. One body just can't do it all.

  9. So glad to have met you for a quick chat that last morning -- and love this funny report. Best, Liz

  10. I think I posted semi-anonymously. Sorry!


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