YOUNG ADULT AUTHOR JULIAN F. THOMPSON:
I suppose the reason I write about kids instead of, say, marsupials, or Hindu wise men, is that I’ve known so many of them in so many different settings. I’ve hung out with teenagers at summer camps, a reform school and a boarding school. I met a group of them who weren’t enjoying the regular school they were going to, so I helped them start an alternative high school and was its first Director. At each of these very different places, I thoroughly enjoyed myself.
It was after I’d spent so much time with kids that I started writing novels for and about people their age. The first one published was The Grounding of Group 6, and it caused quite a stir when it came out. That was mostly because it’s about 5 kids whose parents make a deal with a boarding school to have them killed and buried. This "grounding" was meant to happen on an orientation camping trip that would take place the week before the school’s classes started.
My books aren’t super-realistic. In a good number of them things happen that "couldn’t" happen. I make fun of a lot of ideas and behaviors and attitudes, and exaggerate a good deal. While telling the truth about teenaged people, I create weird characters, but as a rule they’re not dopes. My books are pretty sophisticated; I don’t write "down", or intentionally "keep it simple". A lot of times, I think I’m funny.