April Henry on Writing, Books, and Spock

“When I was a little girl, I met Leonard Nimoy”

Today we wrap-up our three-part interview series with mystery writer April Henry. She is the author of the Truman Award-nominated title, “Girl, Stolen.” Many thanks to April for sharing her tremendous gifts as a writer as well as her wonderful sense of humor as we celebrate Teen Read Week. In this final segment, April shares some fun personal interests and stories… like the time she met Spock from Star Trek.

Angela: Does your daughter or other family members help you with details in your books?

April: My daughter has listened patiently to me when I’ve read chapters aloud. I did this even when she was really little. She has also helped me think of names for teen characters. (I went to school with a bunch of Lisas and Debbies, but those names don’t sound right for someone who is a teen now.) She just graduated from high school – a year early – and is off at college now, so I doubt I’ll have as much chance to get her feedback.

Angela: What are your favorite five YA books of all time?

April:The Outsiders” by S.E. Hinton, “Tomorrow When the War Began” by John Marsden, “Life as We Knew It” by Susan Beth Pfeffer, “Fake ID” by Walter Sorrells, and “Ashes” by Ilsa Bick.

Angela: If you could go back in time and visit your teenage self, what advice would you give?

April: Don’t wait until your thirties to dare to start thinking you can be a writer. Start now! Someday you won’t mind looking younger than you are. And, someday all that junk food you eat while staying stick-thin is going to start sticking around.

Angela: Who are some famous people that you have met?

April: I was once walking down the street in New York when I saw a man who looked like a really old Woody Allen. And then I realized it was Woody Allen. I tried to act nonchalant, but I’m sure I was staring open-mouthed.

When I was a little girl, I met Leonard Nimoy (the actor who played Spock on Stark Trek) when he was the parade marshall for the Pear Blossom Parade in my small home town of Medford, Oregon.

My aunt once acted with Katherine Hepburn in a musical about Coco Chanel, and my parents and I went to see the musical in Los Angeles. Afterward, we got to go backstage to meet her. Let’s just say that Katherine Hepburn was not terribly excited to meet some small town folks. We were given a piece of paper she wrote on during the play.

Angela: What is your favorite color?

April: Teal.

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