Saturday, January 30, 2021

Todd Strasser

Todd Strasser is the internationally best-selling author of more than one hundred books for children and teens, including Fallout and The Beast of Cretacea, as well as the classics The Wave and Give a Boy a Gun, which are taught in classrooms around the world.

Strasser's new book is The Good War.

My Q&A with the author:

How much work does your title do to take readers into the story?

I think the title does about half the work in conjunction with the cover. Readers see the kids egaming and read "good war" and hopefully assume that the story is about a military video game competition.

How surprised would your teenage reader self be by your new novel?

Quite surprised, given that when I was a teenager there was no internet, no video, no personal computers.

Do you find it harder to write beginnings or endings? Which do you change more?

Endings. Beginnings are wide-open territory. You simply seek to grab the reader. A good ending wraps up everything that's happened. I usually write the ending after I've written the first third of the book. Then I revise it many times as the story progresses toward it.

Do you see much of yourself in your characters? Do they have any connection to your personality, or are they a world apart?

I sometimes see myself in the hero, in that he or she reflects my values and outlook. However, in the case of The Good War, the characters are almost all based on people I knew in high school long ago. I don't really see myself among them.

What non-literary inspirations have influenced your writing?

For The Good War that would be the entire world of tech -- hardware, software, internet, video games.
Visit Todd Strasser's website.

My Book, The Movie: Summer of '69.

Writers Read: Todd Strasser (May 2019).

The Page 69 Test: Summer of '69.

--Marshal Zeringue