One Thing Leads to Another: An Interview with Melina Marchetta

Authors are often asked where they get their ideas from, and most have a ready answer to that ubiquitous question. I’ve always wondered, though, not where their ideas come from, but how they became the people who had them. It seems like the teen years are almost universally formative, whether they’re dismal, euphoric, or something in between, which is what brings me to this interview, the first in a series where we get to find out a little bit about the teenage experiences of YA writers. Each interview will follow the same basic pattern: a set list of teen-centric questions, a handful of questions specific to the author, and finally an author-to-author question where the current author asks a question of the next author in the series. Because I am a true child of the 80’s, because my teen years were definitely formative, and because I don’t think you ever really get over the music of your youth, I’ve given each section of these interviews an awesome 80’s song title to differentiate between the types of questions.

To paraphrase Love & Rockets, I think you have to believe in where you’re going, but not lose your yesterdays, and I’m supremely grateful that so many extraordinary authors have agreed to share their experiences with us.

MelinaMarchetta_photoby_JamesBrickwoodThe first Melina Marchetta book I read was Saving Francesca, just after it was published in the U.S. I remember liking it very, very much and mentally adding her to the list of authors to watch. Years later I picked up Jellicoe Road, a book I might have missed due solely to my own fickle reading habits, but which I grabbed after it received the 2009 Printz Award. (As a member of the 2008 Printz committee I was super curious about their choices, and boy did they make some brilliant ones!) I tore through Jellicoe Road, mad to learn its secrets and put all the pieces together, then immediately started over so I could really appreciate how masterfully it was crafted. And then came Finnikin of the Rock and I was basically head over heels in love, not to mention in awe of her ability to move so seamlessly from contemporary fiction to epic fantasy. A lifelong, dedicated fantasy reader, I inhaled the Lumatere Chronicles, including the companion story, “Ferragost,” and have been talking about them incessantly ever since. So you can imagine my excitement and gratitude when Melina graciously agreed to open this interview series for the Hub. Thank you so much, Melina!

Always Something There to Remind Me

Please describe your teenage self.

A good observer of the world, but definitely a wallflower.

What did you want to be when you grew up? Why?

Continue reading One Thing Leads to Another: An Interview with Melina Marchetta

Welcome to The Hub

Welcome to The Hub, YALSA’s new blog specifically dedicated to young adult literature!  For over 50 years YALSA (the Young Adult Library Services Association, a division of the American Library Association) has been supporting and connecting librarians who work with teens.  Over the years being a librarian and being a library user has changed in ways people could never have imagined.  Reading itself has changed!

We embrace the fact that reading can mean reading a traditional book in a new format (iPad, Kindle, etc.) or reading a story written in an untraditional way (for example, entirely in text messages).  And we especially embrace that the internet connects millions of readers every day and provides thousands of ways for people to share their thoughts about what they’re reading, log what they read, connect with authors, become an author, and more.

We hope you’ll visit The Hub daily for a peek into what the online world is saying about YA books.  You’ll find fresh original writing about what teens are reading, book reviews, introductions to other YA lit blogs, podcasts, videos, and more.

Thanks for stopping by and connecting with us!

Sarah Debraski
Blog Manager