Please welcome Susin Nielsen to the blog, author of We Are All Made of Molecules and The Reluctant Journal of Henry K Larsen, to share her bookish firsts!
with author Susin Nielsen
What is the first book you ever read/remember reading?
The first books I ever remember being read to me were the Amelia Bedelia books – did you have those in the UK? The first book I remember reading to myself, which is still one of my all-time favourites, is “Where the Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak.
What is the first book you wrote (either published or unpublished)?
I wrote my first “published” book when I was eleven. I say “published” because the librarian actually put it in the school library, and four kids took it out. That was my first readership – four.
What is the first book character you loved?
I don’t know if she was the first, but my favourite book character to this day is Harriet from Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh. That book was such a revelation to me when I first read it (and it was when I read it again last year). Harriet was a female protagonist like none I had ever seen on the page before. She was feisty. She was naughty. She was sometimes judgmental and mean … just like me. She wore jeans and a ratty hoodie. I have photos of myself from that time period, wearing jeans and a ratty hoodie! What I can’t remember is if I dressed like that first, then found a soulmate in Harriet, or whether I dressed like that after I’d found a soulmate in Harriet.
Who is the first author you ever met?
I’m going to cheat a little bit on this one, because I truly don’t remember the first. I do remember that we never, ever had an author come to visit any of my schools, which is sad.
So I’m going to tell you about an author I met this month. I got asked to do an on-stage interview with David Walliams, in front of an audience of 500 of his adoring fans. I read a good five of his books before the interview, and fell in love with his story-telling. He was gracious, professional and funny. As I’m also a fan of “Little Britain” I was quite tickled to meet and talk to him!
About We Are All Made of Molecules
Thirteen-year-old Stewart is academically brilliant but socially clueless.
Fourteen-year-old Ashley is the undisputed “It” girl in her class, but her grades stink.
Their worlds are about to collide when Stewart and his dad move in with Ashley and her mom. Stewart is trying to be 89.9 percent happy about it, but Ashley is 110 percent horrified. She already has to hide the real reason her dad moved out; “Spewart” could further threaten her position at the top of the social ladder.
They are complete opposites. And yet, they have one thing in common: they—like everyone else—are made of molecules.
About The Reluctant Journal of Henry K Larsen
Thirteen-year-old wrestling fanatic Henry used to have a normal life. Now, his therapist wants him to keep a journal so he can express his feelings about what happened.
Henry has moved with his dad to a new city, where nobody knows their name. He lives off a diet of pizza, whilst hiding from the comically overbearing neighbours and avoiding being an obvious target for bullies at his new school. But then he meets Farley and Alberta, social misfits who refuse to let him be alone. And bit by bit, the past begins to come out.
Heartbreaking, surprising and laugh-out-loud funny, The Reluctant Journal of Henry K Larsen is about the things that remain after your life has fallen to pieces.
About Susin Nielsen
Susin got her start feeding cast and crew on the popular television series, Degrassi Junior High. They hated her food, but they saw a spark in her writing. Nielsen went on to pen sixteen episodes of the hit TV show. Since then, Nielsen has written for over 20 Canadian TV series. Her first young adult novel, Word Nerd, was published in 2008 to critical acclaim. It won multiple Young Readers’ Choice Awards, as did her second novel, Dear George Clooney: Please Marry My Mom. Her third novel, The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen, was published in August 2012. It went on to win the Governor General’s Literary Award, the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Award, the Canadian Library Association’s Children’s Book of the Year Award, and a number of Young Readers’ Choice Awards. Author Wally Lamb named it his top YA pick for 2012 in his “First Annual Wally Awards,” and recently Rolling Stone magazine put it at #27 in their list of “Top 40 Best YA Novels.”
Her books have been translated into multiple languages. Susin’s new novel, We Are All Made of Molecules, was published in Canada, the US and the UK in Spring of 2015. She lives in Vancouver with her family and two naughty cats.