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Author Laurie Halse Anderson This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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Probably best known for her novel Speak, Laurie Halse Anderson has won multiple awards for her writing. With novels like Fever, 1793 and Twisted, she spans genres and tackles unique plots. Her latest novel, Wintergirls, is available now.

Rachel: How were you inspired to write Speak? Was it based on a real-life incident?

Laurie Halse Anderson: Speak is about 10 percent based on the depression I suffered after I was raped, and 90 percent fiction.

Were you involved with the making of the movie “Speak”?

I was given the opportunity to work on the script, but I turned it down because I was busy writing a novel. I was on the set for three days, and had a cameo appearance as the lunch lady who serves Melinda mashed potatoes in the cafeteria.

Are you happy with the final product of the book and the movie?

I think Jessica Sharzer, the director, did a remarkable job with very few resources. Showtime dictated the change to the ending – there was nothing anyone could do about that. But I thought Kristen Stewart and the other actors gave great performances. And I was thrilled to hear so many of the lines from the book make their way onto the big screen!

Where do you find inspiration for your novels?

From my readers.

What is your favorite of your books?

I don't play favorites. This way my characters don't gang up on me.

Who are your favorite authors?

Neil Gaiman, Elizabeth George, Deb Heiligman, and Charles Dickens.

Which authors have influenced you?

I really have no idea. Probably someone who studies literature could figure that one out.

What advice do you have for aspiring teen writers?

1. Don't let anyone tell you that you cannot do this.

2. Be nice to your parents, because if you want to be a published author, you'll probably wind up living with them after college. For a decade.

3. Real writers revise their work over and over and over. Just sayin'.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.





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This article has 22 comments. Post your own!

thatoneguythathateschool said...
today at 2:50 pm:
never hear of her because she sucks  
 
TheJust This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
today at 6:59 pm :
How could you know she sucks if you've never heard of her?
 
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jessse said...
Dec. 15, 2013 at 2:05 pm:
using part of this interview in my college paper! trying to give you proper credit, what was the date that you interviewed Laurie?!
 
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dropsofink said...
Oct. 9, 2013 at 2:53 am:
I love Laurie Halse Anderson! Good interview.
 
TheJust This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Oct. 9, 2013 at 11:17 am :
Thanks so much!
 
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rhea752 said...
Jun. 6, 2013 at 1:25 pm:
I love Laurie Halse Anderson!! Great interview!! Wish I were as lucky as you :(
 
TheJust This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jun. 6, 2013 at 6:46 pm :
Thanks! But it really has nothing to do with luck; just persistance and willingsness to search. :)
 
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Carpe--thehelloutofthat--DiemThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Dec. 29, 2012 at 7:08 pm:
This interview isn't even all that original. I've read one just like it in various other places. Couldn't you have gotten less clichéd questions?
 
TheJust This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jun. 6, 2013 at 6:46 pm :
I asked what I was curious about. If you would like different questions, feel free to interview her yourself.
 
LittleMissLostInParadiseThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Aug. 11, 2013 at 3:38 pm :
How would I be able to interview her? I am really interested.
 
TheJust This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Aug. 11, 2013 at 6:45 pm :
Honestly? Just google "[insert name here] contact" and hope for the best! That's how I do it the majority of the time. :)
 
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XblackbeautyX said...
Feb. 7, 2012 at 7:22 pm:
I absolutely everything about her book I've read every thing from Twisted to Wintergirls. She has to be one of the best authors I've ever read
 
TaurusGal This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jun. 1, 2012 at 2:44 pm :
I'm inspired.  So true that other people's negative thoughts about you doesn't matter as long you are confident about yourself.  And I really like the part where it is said that real writers revise their work over and over to make their work more complete.  Proof-reading is very important indeed.  I guess I have to read her books. ^_^
 
TheJust This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jun. 1, 2012 at 2:47 pm :
You really should. She's amazing!
 
TaurusGal This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jun. 1, 2012 at 2:53 pm :
Thanks, I will definitely... =]''
 
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M.Trainor said...
Jul. 31, 2011 at 1:28 pm:
Great questions. I loved Twisted, and it was great to hear about the genius behind it.
 
TheJust This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jul. 31, 2011 at 3:31 pm :
Thank you! I haven't read that one yet. I'll have to see if I can find a copy. :)
 
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hancampbell said...
Jan. 4, 2011 at 2:15 pm:
She's such an amazing author and inspiration. Her books are so down to earth and awing. You're so lucky you had the chance to interview her(:
 
TheJust This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jan. 4, 2011 at 3:50 pm :
Yes, I was. Thanks for the comment and check out some of my other interviews if you have the chance! :)
 
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FeedTheBirds said...
Aug. 2, 2010 at 6:33 pm:
What? How have more people not read this, or at least commented. I love Laurie Halse Anderson and specifically "Speak". I'd forgotten that she was raped in real life. Speak is a tremendously important book, I think, for preteens and middle schoolers to read.
 
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