A Q&A in Which We (Other Authors) Ask Sarah a Bunch of Questions and She Answers Them (part one)
Q. From your first thoughts about writing Don’t Even Think About It to your last revision, what concept or character changed the most? —SUSANE COLASANTI (Susane is the author of seven teen novels. She is thinking that visits to the nurse’s office aren’t what they used to be.)
A. The most radical change in my book was the point of view. When I outlined the novel, it was all from Olivia’s perspective. But some early readers—hi, Jess Rothenberg!—suggested that the book might be better served by showing multiple points of view. So that’s what I did.
Q. Hi, Sarah! Speaking of point of view, I love how the narrator in Don’t Even Think About It isn’t just one person—it’s everyone! What were some of the biggest challenges you faced in writing from the perspectives of so many characters at once? —JESS ROTHENBERG (Jess is the author of The Catastrophic History of You and Me. She is thinking about how much more fun high school would have been if she could have read everybody’s mind.)
A. The biggest challenge I faced was deciding when and how to jump into various characters’ heads. I had to balance staying true to rules of first person plural with helping the reader care about the individual characters. I also had to choose whose thoughts I showed—and whose I left out.
Q. Should I write a book in first person plural? It seems hard. And I’m lazy. —ROBIN WASSERMAN (Robin is the author of The Waking Dark and The Book of Blood and Shadow. She is thinking about taking a nap.)
A. Since you’ve written over seventy books, I don’t think the word lazy can be applied to you. But yes, it was hard. And yes, you definitely should do it. A book in first person plural by you would be amazing. And likely scary. Oh! Oh! It should be from the perspective of a group of serial killers! Or murder victims! Or decades-old-secret- society members! C’mon, Robin. Everybody’s doing it.