Most people think that being an author is just about writing a book and publishing it, however, it is so much more than that. I’m sitting in front of John Green listening to him talk about his personal life and his experience being an author the last 15 years. He is an award-winning, best-selling American author of young adults and teenagers. A big influencer, no doubt, as he was listed by Times Magazine as one of the top 100 most influential people in the world. As he sits there thinking back with a wide authentic smile on his face, he remembers the first book he published, ‘Looking for Alaska’. He sold 18,429 copies!
After graduating, John Green worked as a student cleric in a children’s hospital. His dream was to become an Episcopal priest, however, his path led him in a different direction. He explains that the time he spent with the terminally ill kids in the hospital, motivated him to become a writer. He gained experience working as a publishing assistant for Booklist, and this is where he started writing his first book, Looking for Alaska in 2005.
John Green isn’t like most authors who write about fiction and vampires for young adults. He writes stories about difficult teenagers facing terrible situations. I think that’s why so many young adults are inspired by him because they can relate to his stories. His books contain very deep and powerful messages, it contains intellectual language and concepts, humor and compassion, and is interesting in a way that makes it entertaining and pleasant for young adults to read. I quote, ‘My responsibility is to try to tell true stories.’ He enjoys writing about teenagers as they have a lot of questions about love, relationships, justice and the meaning of life itself. Teenagers aren’t embarrassed to ask those questions about things that are new to them, according to John they approach it with a lot of excitement.
It’s not always easy being an author, there is a lot of frustration during the writing process. As he explains in his own words, ‘The hardest part is excepting when something isn’t working, and letting it go, and starting again.’ He has never given up, through hard times he has pushed through and never stopped believing. He gets a lot of inspiration from his own emotional experiences during his time in high school being bullied.
On a positive note, he gets very excited talking about the YouTube channel he is doing with his brother since they weren’t so close at first. Their first YouTube video was based on their relationship and was called brotherhood. On their YouTube channel, they mostly focus on relationships with each other and a lot of positivity in their videos. Before this YouTube channel that they created, they didn’t have a relationship at all and didn’t even talk to each other.
After my interview with John Green, I have learned a lot from him, and how small things in life can change your world completely. He has shown me a different perspective and how much effort is put into writing a novel. Mostly, I have learned it is okay to be upset, you’re allowed to have emotions. I think most young adults can relate to his books, because it shows us that through the hard times never to give up and to push through, to be happy with yourself and not to care what other people think of you. I think he is an amazing author, and what has happened in his past life is so interesting as well as, that he took his past life and made it such a positive thing and turn it into a book. That many young adults can take that advice from his past life and learn from it.