Time to highlight my favorite homonym. Tipping just the slightest toe in the waters of teen literature I know relatively few YA authors when all is said and done. Nick Burd, however, is the exception to the rule. Active in PEN (an organization to which I belong) Mr. Burd has written the teen novel Vast Fields of Ordinary, winner of some fine and fancy awards. In this quickie interview, he took some time to answer my lightning quick questions.
Fuse #8: Hi, Mr. Burd! It feels odd saying that. Anywho, Vast Fields of Ordinary, your debut YA novel, won the first Stonewall Book Award for Youth. What’s your general impression of the amount of GLBT books for kids out there?
Nick Burd: There are definitely some great titles out there, but there could always be more. But what’s out now is really great. I love David Levithan, Dale Peck, and Peter Cameron. I wish they would’ve been writing when I was a kid.
Fuse #8: Indeed. Along those same lines, what did you have a tendency to read when you were a kid growing up?
NB: I read a lot of Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys. I was really into mysteries. And I read Agatha Christie. Then in high school I kind of stumbled into the classics like Catcher in the Rye, The Great Gatsby, a lot of stuff by Hemingway.
Fuse #8: What books do you wish you’d had growing up? Anything come to mind?
NB: I really love Peter Cameron’s book Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You. I bet I would’ve been really excited to read that when I was 17.
Fuse #8: Would you classify your own writing as falling into a specific style or genre? Would you, for that matter, ever be tempted to expand into words for younger readers?
NB: I don’t think I follow a really particular genre. I like it when mysterious things happen in books, so I think that kind of thing will always appear. But I like humor and satire. I don’t really think about genre when I write.
Fuse #8: Word on the street has it that you have a new book coming out around Sumer 2011. Care to tell us something about that?
NB: It’s another young adult book. It takes place in Cedarville, which is where The Vast Fields of Ordinary took place. It’s about a boy named Andrew Frank and a tricky situation he gets into. I think that’s all I can say right now without jinxing it.
Fuse #8: And, the final question no one really wants to answer. What are you working on at the moment?
NB: I’m working on the YA book I just mentioned. And then I’m in the early stages of what I believe they call an "adult novel."
Fuse #8: BAM! And we are done. Thanks to Mr. Burd for stopping by. We’ll be looking for that new novel summer 2011, if I’m not too mistaken. Learn more about the fellow on his website if you get a chance. Well worth visiting.