Scoop had the opportunity to interview New York Times best-selling author, Jason Reynolds. He writes novels and poetry for young adult and middle-grade audiences, including Ghost, a National Book Award Finalist for Young People’s Literature.
When did you first realise you wanted to be a writer? Hard to say. I think I started considering it around 15, but it didn’t really become a thing until I was 21. That’s when I decided to take it seriously.
What was your favourite book as a child? Ha! Nothing. I hated to read.
How old were you when you started writing? Ten.
What is one surprising thing you learned from writing books? Hmmm. Good one. I think I learned that I’m capable of things I’m not always so sure I’m capable of. Writing is hard. And every book is difficult and I’m always uncertain. But then, I press through and get it done and it surprises me every time. Discomfort and difficulty don’t HAVE to lead to defeat.
Of all of the books you’ve written, do you have a favourite? Not really. But the two I think about most often are, “The Boy in The Black Suit,” and “As Brave As You.”
What was your inspiration for the RUN series? Just to write a sports series that focused more on the young people than the sport. Plus, running is the greatest metaphor to use, to address the discomfort of childhood (being out of breath, running from or toward something, competing against self, etc.)
What do you enjoy doing when you aren’t writing? Hanging out with friends and family, traveling, eating, and going to the movies.
What advice would you give young writers? Be gentle with yourself. It’s hard for us all. The key is to just keep going (like running!)
Are you working on any new books right now? I have a new book, LOOK BOTH WAYS, coming out in October. And also something secret I can’t talk about yet.
Are you currently reading any books? Of course! HAHAHAHA.
Ghost and Patina by Jason Reynolds are out now, published by Knights Of in paperback original at £6.99. His next book Look Both Ways will be published in November 2019.