Today we're excited to chat with Steven Camden (Nobody Real)
as part of YABC's Teen Read Week!
Read on for more about Steven, his novel, plus a giveaway!
Meet Steven Camden!
Steven Camden is one of the most acclaimed spoken-word artists in the country. As Polarbear, he has performed extensively around the UK and internationally. He also writes plays, teaches storytelling in schools, and was a lead artist for Ministry of Stories and The Roundhouse poetry collective.
Meet Nobody Real!
Marcie is at a crossroads.
Finished with school, but unsure what she wants to do next. Abandoned by her mother when she was tiny – but drifting further and further from her dad.
Marcie is real. With real problems.
Thor is at a crossroads too.
Soon, if he doesn't make a decision, he's gong to face the fade. Years ago, he was Marcie's imaginary friend – then she cast him out, back to his own world.
Thor is not real. And that's a real problem…
But Marcie and Thor need each other. And to fix their lives, they're going to have to destroy everything… and then build a new world.
~ Interview for Teen Read Week ~
YABC: What book or books were your go-to choice when you were a teen?
To be honest, pretty much all the books I read as a teen came via my girlfriend. She read all the time and trying to be like her was what got me back into reading in my mid teens. From the ages of 11-15 I read very little. I have ideas about why that was in hindsight, but it’s definitely something I wish hadn’t happened and also definitely part of why I fell so hard for the magical reading girl. She fed me all sorts. Jurassic Park, The Catcher in the Rye, Misery, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest. And I just gobbled them all up. Over time I started finding more by myself and since then I’ve tried to consciously read as wide a range of styles and voices as possible.
YABC: If you could spend an entire day with the character of your choice from any YA novel, who would it be and why?
I hope this isn’t a faux pas, but it honestly would be a character called Leia from my second novel It’s About Love. She is an incredible girl who is obsessed with film and the idea of seventeen year old me going over to hers for a movie marathon, curled up on a sofa with her and a bucket of pop corn sounds like bliss.
YABC: What 3 YA books would you love to recommend to our readers?
I could recommend a lot more, but three of my favourites are;
1. Marcelo in the Real World by Fransisco. X. Stork
2. Broken Soup by Jenny Valentine
3. Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds
YABC: What advice would you give teens who might want to be a writer?
Try to tap into how you speak. The way in which you tell stories that is just you. We can all learn structure and devices and all that technical stuff over time, but that unique thing that only your voice can say is something that you have to channel by listening to your voice as it already exists. Practise practise practise. If you have the confidence and endurance to finish a story you are already ahead of the thousands of people who like the idea of writing, but never finished anything. Finish. Leave it alone. Come back and read it. Make it better. Start again.
What works for me is creating characters and staying with them long enough to know them like I know my friends and myself. That way, I can make things happen to them and their reactions build the story. I know when I’m onto something with potential when it feels like the characters are leading me more than I am telling them what to do
By: Steven Camden
Release Date: January 22nd, 2018