Hello! Today I have a interview with the awesome Erin Jade Lange!
"A lonely obese boy everyone calls "Butter" is about to make history. He is going to eat himself to death-live on the Internet-and everyone is invited to watch. When he first makes the announcement online to his classmates, Butter expects pity, insults, and possibly sheer indifference. What he gets are morbid cheerleaders rallying around his deadly plan. Yet as their dark encouragement grows, it begins to feel a lot like popularity. And that feels good. But what happens when Butter reaches his suicide deadline? Can he live with the fallout if he doesn't go through with his plans? With a deft hand, E.J. Lange allows readers to identify with both the bullies and the bullied in this all-consuming look at one teen's battle with himself."
What inspired you to write Butter?
Butter is a character who came to me in a flash, but I think that flash of inspiration came from a build-up of topics I cover as a journalist. I see so many stories about internet bullying, teen suicide and childhood obesity. I think those stories can only live in your subconscious for so long before they push their way out somehow. For me, they came out in this character, and his story grew from there.
What research did you do to get your story as real as possible?
I had to research the details when it comes to how Butter’s size would impact his health, and I had to brush up on my jazz music to keep all my facts straight. But when it comes to how the story unfolds, I credit my work in news for “keeping it real.” I write facts all day, and reality is often so much stranger than fiction.
Why write about a teen?
Our teen years are brief, but they leave a lasting impact on our lives. It’s when we feel without checking our emotions… when we begin to pull away from our parents and become individuals. To me, it’s the most interesting age group to write for and about.
What message do you hope that readers will get when they read Butter?
I didn’t set out to send a message with Butter. I always just wanted to tell a good story. But if readers walk away with a little more empathy for people who are obese or different in any other way… or if they think twice about looking the other way when they see someone being cruel… then that’s okay with me.
What books do you look forward to reading this fall?
So. Many. Books! I am dying to read The Twelve, Justin Cronin’s sequel to The Passage. That’s my adult pick. In YA, the next book on my list is Blackwood by Gwenda Bond. It’s a modern take on the lost colony of
Roanoke, one of America’s most
fascinating and enduring true mysteries. Finally, I’m looking forward to
Shadows, by Ilsa J. Bick, who is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors.
Thanks so much for being here today Ms. Lange!
About the author:
Erin writes facts by day and fiction by night. As a journalist, she is inspired by current events and real-world issues and uses her writing to explore how those issues impact teenagers.
She is an only child, which means she spent a lot of time entertaining herself as a kid. This required her to rely heavily on her own imagination, which is probably why she became a writer.
Erin grew up in the cornfields of northern Illinois, along the Mississippi River in one of the few places it flows east to west. She now lives in the sunshine of Arizona and will forever be torn between her love of rivers and her love of the desert.
BUTTER is her first novel.