Here today is Han Nolan, author of the recent release Crazy, along with the author of past titles Born Blue, If I Should Die Before I Wake, and Dancing on the Edge, among others. Crazy is the story of a teenage boy in a very desolate situation, struggling to care for his mentally ill father after the death of his mother. It's gripping, but a true story of hope and definitely recommended, and Han has been kind of enough to answer a few questions.
If you were growing up in Jason's situation, how do you think you would have handled it? Anything you would have done differently?
I don't think I would have been so creative with the voices the way Jason was. I think I would have done a better job of hiding the fact that my father wasn't well by keeping quiet in class and not stirring things up, but eventually something would have had to give. I probably would have looked for some adult I could trust to try to help me.
At the start of the book, Jason's primary source of "company" comes from the characters that exist only in his head. Did you find it challenging to add in this angle, in addition to real life characters he interacted with? No. I just worried that it might be more challenging for the reader to read the story in a sort of play format but from what I can tell the young adult readers don't really have any trouble with it, just an occasional adult does.
This book covers a range of emotions, from desperation to fear to light hearted friendship. Did you find any one more appealing or more difficult than the others?
Well, I always enjoyed it when I could add a bit of humor to a situation. Jason's fears and writing about mental illness were a challenge because I had to really dig deep inside myself and put myself in Jason's shoes and really feel what he had to have felt.
If you could pair Jason with any character from any book, who would it be?
Huck Finn. The two of them could get into all kinds of trouble, but eventually I think Jason could benefit from a trip down the river on a raft.
If you were to give Jason one book to read, what would it be?
A book about photography. He loved taking pictures and maybe it would take his mind off his troubles for a while.
What is the most private thing you're willing to share here?
What kind of cookie would you describe yourself as?
I LOVE cookies but I can't eat sugar and I can't have flour so I miss them. If I were a cookie I'd be a Pepridge Farm Bordeaux Cookie--sweet, buttery, thin, a little different, and not too many of them around.
Thank you, Han, for answering those great questions! Now make sure you guys check out Crazy, and Han's other titles!