Robert Wilder is the author of a novel, Nickel, and two critically acclaimed essay collections, Tales From The Teachers’ Lounge and Daddy Needs A Drink, both optioned for television and film.
A teacher for twenty-five years, Wilder has earned numerous awards and fellowships, including the inaugural Innovations in Reading Prize by the National Book Foundation. He has published essays in Newsweek, Details, Salon, Parenting, Creative Nonfiction, plus numerous anthologies and has been a commentator for NPR’s Morning Edition.
From the author's Q&A with Claire Zulkey:
Your prior books are nonfiction/humor. Nickel is your first foray into YA. What was easier and harder about this new genre?Visit Robert Wilder's website and Facebook page.
I don't know if writing is ever easy. With nonfiction, you already have a world that you can furnish and lean on. With a novel, you need to create a world and everything in it from the ground up. Having a novel floating around your head is a huge undertaking and quite the commitment. Living in the world of NICKEL for years was all-consuming and wonderful and difficult. I always thought it sounded precious when I heard novelists say, "It was hard to leave the characters," but now I get it.
How did you decide what slang to include and how to employ it?
I've been teaching teenagers for half my life and all the interesting ones speak in some sort code or slang. I study my students' language and take notes daily. When it came to Coy (the narrator in NICKEL), I tried to create a vernacular that was specific to him and his close friendship with Monroe, and where he was at that time in his life. My early drafts were written almost completely in code, slang, and sound effects. They were pretty much...[read on]
The Page 99 Test: Daddy Needs A Drink.
My Book, The Movie: Nickel.
Writers Read: Robert Wilder.
The Page 69 Test: Nickel.