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Pretty 'Fly' Idea by Author E. Lockhart - page 2

By Jessamyn Cuneo on March 31, 2006

E. Lockhart"The books I read when I was younger than a teen stuck with me my whole life," says Lockhart, whose favorite childhood author was Astrid Lindgren, "[and they] made me want to be a writer."

Lockhart admits to dreaming of acting as a career as well when she was a teenager. She attended summer drama camp, and participated in school plays. This part of her background fueled her next book to be published, Dramarama, due out Spring 2007. However, when she got to college, she says she came to the decision that she had "no talent" for acting.

"I didn't really care that much [about acting]," Lockhart says. "I was mainly writing/literature criticism in college."

"When you talk to people who write books for teens," Lockhart says, "They have very little ego. They care about reaching out to people who don't have books otherwise. They care about honesty."

"The audience is vulnerable, misunderstood," the author continues. "Writers for teens, instead of being competitive, band together, do projects together, fight censorship. The community is really invested in their audience in a way adult writers aren't. In adult publishing, everyone was so snarky."

Lockhart is also a part of AS IF! (Authors Supporting Intellectual Freedom). She describes one scenario, a bill that may be passed in Oklahoma, which would move any books with sexual scenes/content from the young adult sections of libraries to the adult section, and not allow teenagers to take out these books. AS IF!'s quest is to raise public awareness that these actions are indeed still happening, as backwards and outdated as they seem.

In her limited spare time, Lockhart enjoys cooking, yoga, and playing with her child. After she pauses to think for a minute, she admits that her motivation comes from "the wolf at the door;" the concept that a predator's going to come in at any moment to snatch everything away. It's a scary thought, but undeniably keeps her in action.

"I'd like to stay employed as a writer," Lockhart says. "It's a long, shaky road to choose. I'm very grateful to be working at it."

Lockhart offers some refreshing optimism towards the emerging young adult fiction genre. She thinks the biggest difference between when she was a teenager, and teenagers these days, is that there are tons of these great books geared completely towards them now.

"There was no section in the bookstore [back then]," Lockhart says. "All this literature is now being created specifically for teenagers; it's a great time to be a teenager."

"It's really incredible," she continues. "People are doing really, really good work. It's an exciting time."

Lockhart also has a positive outlook when it comes to contemporary heroes.

"What makes a hero is doing something," the author says confidently. "We can't save the world, and yet we shouldn't be paralyzed to inaction because of that. Gretchen Yee [main character from Fly on the Wall] takes action in the world to make things better. At least she's moving through the world fully, someone who's living the 'big life.'"

To preview E. Lockhart's books or check out other interesting young adult fiction, be sure to visit