An Interview With Natalie Richards by Sydney Salter
Natalie Richards, author of Six Months Later and Gone Too Far, answers questions about her teenage self!
If someone were to write a YA novel about teenage you, what would it be called?
Doc Martens, Red Lipstick, and Whitman’s Leaves of Grass ;-)
What Song Brings You Right Back To Your Teenage Years?
Any song off of Nine Inch Nails Pretty Hate Machine, but especially The Only Time, Head Like a Hole, or Sin
What Was Your Favorite Class in High School?
By far, my favorite was a literature class where I was first introduced to Hemingway and Walt Whitman and others for the first time.
Would Your Friends and Family Have Predicted You’d Become a Writer?
Definitely. I heard “You know you should really be a writer” a lot during that time.
What fashion trend did you embrace that you regret now?
Eh, screw regrets. ;) I basically looked like a thrift store version of a Hot Topic ad for a few years, but I’m cool with that. The mall hair of my tween years, however, may have passed the boundaries of good taste. I had my hair dryer and my Aquanet and oh, the waterfall of bangs was something to behold.
Which social media app would your teenage self have loved—or hated?
I would have LOATHED Instagram and Facebook tagging. I felt so self-conscious about pictures then. The idea of random snapshots floating all over the universe when I was seventeen makes me shudder. I feel awful for teens that have to deal with that constant barrage of bad hair day pictures and the like. It’s fun for some, but I suspect there are a few out there cringing behind every smile.
What are you most proud about your teenage self?
I like that I didn’t play games. My friends were my friends. I liked who I liked. I didn’t really care for the frenemy business.
Is there anything you wish you’d done differently in high school?
No. There are things I did that were stupid. Wrong. Even dangerous. There are lots of things I would very strongly advise against, but I like where my life is today, so I wouldn’t want to go messing with the past. Paradox, yo! Read some sci fi!! ;-)
Have you ever secretly snuck real people from your past into your fiction?
Weirdly, no. Bits and pieces find their way in, but I’ve never really created a character inspired by people from my teen years.
Would your teenage self have been friends with any of your fictional characters?
Absolutely. Especially Maggie from Six Months Later and Piper from Gone Too Far. And Tate. Holy crap, my teenage self would have been all about fixing Tate. In fact, maybe *that* would be the name of the book about teenage me—Fixing Tate. Well except Tate is fictional. LOL!
If you could give your teenage self advice, what would it be?
Read More. Write More. Submit work sooner. ;-)
What do you wish you could tell all of your teenage readers?
I don’t care what the media or the doom-and-gloom types say about America’s youth. I’ve met lots of teens from lots of different walks of life and I think you’re vibrant and smart and warm. I’m so excited about the future you’re all going to create. You’re kind of awesome, you know that? No, really. <3