patty-blount-some-boys

Today, Olivia from YA-Mag is bringing you the latest from Patty Blount, author of SOME BOYS!

some-boys-patty-blount-top-teen-booksWhen Grace meets Ian she’s afraid. Afraid he’ll reject her like the rest of the school, like her own family. After she accuses the town golden boy of rape, everyone turns against Grace. They call her a slut and a liar. But…Ian doesn’t. He’s funny and kind with secrets of his own.

But how do you trust the best friend of the boy who raped you? How do you believe in love?

A gut-wrenching, powerful love story told from alternating points of view by the acclaimed author of Send.

 

 

 

Olivia with YA-Mag: Patty, welcome to the Young Adult Magazine! We’re here today discussing your latest novel, SOME BOYS.

patty-blount-some-boysYA: Let’s talk about Grace.  How did you two first meet?  What makes Grace the perfect character to tell this story vs. any other character?

Patty Blount: I’d considered telling the entire story from the male POV—Ian’s, as I’d done in my first novel (SEND). But it was quickly apparent that I needed Grace’s POV, perhaps even more than Ian’s. I needed readers to meet her, understand her, and finally, believe her. But I also needed them to doubt her because that’s critical to the story. Grace isn’t perfect. She’s not even necessarily “a good girl” depending on your definition of the term. She’s rude to her parents, especially her stepmother. She dresses in what some might consider inappropriate clothing. She behaves in ways that put her in danger (underage drinking). Because rape is a crime that so often puts its victims on trial, I wanted to show you a girl who despite how she acts, how she dresses, or what she says—DID NOT DESERVE what happened to her. That was no easy feat. 

 

YA: What sets Grace’s story apart from other contemporary YA novels, like LIVING DEAD GIRL by Elizabeth Scott or Laurie Halse Anderson’s SPEAK? What will readers find that is unique to this tale? 

PB: I think the dual POV makes this story unique. Because so many acquaintance rape cases get distilled down to a ‘he-said/she-said’ story, it follows that this story is best told by a girl and a boy. However, I refused to cast Grace’s rapist as the story’s ‘hero’ and that’s how Ian was born. I put him squarely in the middle—who should he believe? 

 

YA:  What non-book influences (films, television shows, music, plays, etc) helped spark this story?

PB: The news tends to influence much of what I write. An old movie called The Accused also factored into my character development. Songs like Blurred Lines. But there are two things you didn’t include in this list. Social media and real life. On Twitter, I’ve seen so many tweets under the #Yesallwomen hashtag that spotlight the years of ‘protection rhetoric’ (stay in groups, protect your drink, walk with your keys in your hand, wear flats so you can run, etc.) with which we’re raised—only to have men corrupt it with “Not all men.” Instead of defending themselves, they should be looking for ways to (re)educate the morons they hang out with that make the #Yesallwomen hashtag a reality.

This brings me to my real life…many years ago, I had a slimey boss that exploited every opportunity he could to get close to me. When I objected to his behavior, he turned it all on me. “Don’t wear perfume if you don’t want me to get close enough to smell you.” “Don’t wear dresses/sweaters/pants, if you don’t want me to stare at your legs/breasts/butt.” “Don’t wear your hair long if you don’t want me to touch it.”

I’m ashamed to admit I cut my hair, stopped wearing perfume, and did change the way I dressed because I’m not Grace. 

 

YA: When you were a teen, what was your favorite book (YA or otherwise)?  Now that you’re an author for teens, what is your favorite contemporary YA?

PB: I was a huge Judy Blume fan—Forever was my favorite book. Nowadays, my favorite stories are Gayle Forman’s. I adored Where She Went, the sequel to If I Stay

 

some-boys-quote-patty-blountYA:  What is the story behind the title SOME BOYS?

PB: This story had a number of titles. When I pitched it to my editor, I called it TAGGED because Grace is tagged in a Facebook video, but there were many novels by that title already published. I liked INDIGNITY AND GRACE, but that felt a bit one-sided, so it was scrapped. I lobbied for SIX MINUTES, which describes a pivotal scene when Ian takes exactly that long to reach a conclusion, but we dropped it because it was too similar to Jodi Picoult’s NINETEEN MINUTES. In the end, it was my editor, Aubrey Poole, who came up with SOME BOYS and at first, I didn’t like it. It was when the #Yesallwomen hashtag was trending when that title suddenly felt like the only right one for this story. 

 

YA: If you could cast the Dream Film of SOME BOYS, who would be in the lead roles?

PB: Oh, I love to play this game. Brendan Robinson or Luke Kleintank could play Ian. Both have the right look. Kristen Stewart would be a wonderful Grace—she’s got Grace’s attitude. Zac Efron would make the perfect Zac—coincidence he has the same name? 

 

YA: What’s up next for you in YA land?  Any pet projects you can tease us about?

PB: I’m working on another dual POV story called NOTHING LEFT TO BURN. It’s a story about a teen who joins the junior volunteer firefighter squad to reconnect with his dad, who blames him for his brother’s death. 

 

YA: All right, last one!  If you could spend one day with Grace, Ian and Zac, what would you do together? What would advice would you give to Grace about her past or future?

PB: Grace, Ian and Zac in the same room? Oh, boy. I can tell you what we would NOT be doing and that’s drinking. I like the idea of the three of them hanging out, just talking—about their parents, their hopes. I may have to write this scene just to see what happens. If I could give Grace advice, it would be to stop punishing her dad for her parents’ divorce and to just talk, open up and be honest about the things that bother her instead of letting them fester and spread. 

 

YA: Thank you very much, Patty!  And again, from YA Mag, congratulations on SOME BOYS!

PB: Thank you so much! This was fun and I look forward to doing this again.


Readers, be sure to check out Patty Blount at her website www.PattyBlount.com. Or follow her on Twitter @PattyBlount.

SOME BOYS, published by Sourcebooks Fire, is now available at your favorite retailers and local independent bookstores!

 

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Olivia Hennis is a transplanted New England girl dropped by a tornado into the magical Land of Jersey.  For more info, follow her on Twitter.

 

 


 

 

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