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 INTERVIEW 

Susan E. Hinton

El Templo #18 (noviembre 2010) por Uyulala y El hombre que leía demasiado


Before Outsiders, you wrote two non-published novels. Can you tell us something about them?

One was about the American Civil War, which I wrote in the sixth grade. What made me think I knew anything about the American Civil War is still a mystery to me. The second was about a group of teen-agers working on a dude ranch. It wasn't bad, but it isn't anything I want to re-visit. Most of my stories were about cowboys and horses.

In Outsiders you showed the fights between Greasers and Socs, from different social classes. Do you think that this has changed in USA?

I think kids will always divide into groups, there will always be an "IN" group, and always be an "Out" group. That is human nature and I don't believe it happens only in the USA.

Your first novel had a great success and now is a bestseller (and a longseller). In our country (Spain) is recommended in many highschools very year. How was rising this success at 17 years old? Were you prepared or do you think it would have been better to achieve it when you were older?

The Outsiders started off very slowly, it received some good reviews, but sales slowly developed over the years, mostly by word-of-mouth, and teachers starting to use it in the class room. There really wasn't anything to be "over whelmed" by, except for the first time I became aware of an audience. I think I handled it better than most adults would.

Do you think that this big success has influenced the rest of your literary work?

Well, I am pretty sure I can get novel published, so I am extra careful to make sure it is good.

Your characters have very singular names (Sodapop, Ponnyboy, M&M, Two-bits or Smokey). How do you get those curious names?

I have no idea where I got those weird names, although I did have a cat once named Rusty-James and thought it was too good to waste on a cat. When I was through with the books, though, the names seemed to fit, and I'm glad I didn't change them. However, in the book I am working on now the two main characters are named Jim and Bill.

In your website you explain that you had a writer's block after the publishing of Outsiders. Your boyfriend (now your husband) suggested you to “write two pages a day if you wanted to go anywhere”. Have you had another writer's block again?

No, I have had times when I didn't feel like writing, or couldn't think of anything to write, but that is the only time I truly suffered from writer's block.

After this “writer´s block” you wrote your second novel (That was then, this is now) in which you talk about drugs. A spinny subject. Has this novel been forbidden in any library or school because of this matter?

Yes, almost all of my YA novels have been banned at one time or another.

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