Confessions of an Angry Girl
#1: I'm livid all the time. Why? My dad died. He took work as a contractor in Iraq...and never came home. My mom barely talks. My brother abandoned us. I think I'm allowed to be irate, don't you?
#2: I make people furious regularly. Want an example? I kissed Jamie Forta, a badass guy who "might" be dating a cheerleader. She is now enraged and out for blood. Mine. His super-intense, scary cheerleader girlfriend is now my nemesis.
#3: High school might as well be Mars. My best friend has been replaced by an alien that talks about losing her virginity. (What?!)
Here are some other vocab words that describe my life: Inadequate. Insufferable. Intolerable.
(Don't know what they mean? Look them up yourself.)
(Sorry. That was rude.)
Confessions of an Angry Girl is Louise Rozett's YA debut and the first of the Confessions series, Confessions of an Almost Girlfriend will be released in 2013. Rozett is a published author of nonfiction children's books and an award-winning playwright. Her awards include: the Connecticut Young Playwrights Award; the Stanley Drama Award; the Heiderman Award; the Next Generation Playwrights Contest; and, the 2008 Eugene O'Neill Playwrights Conference.
Confessions of an Angry Girl
Author: Louise Rozett
Interview with Louise Rozett
Question: What inspired the Confessions series?
Louise Rozett: The Confessions series was inspired by a character who popped up in a novel I was writing for adults, actually, called Canceled. It was about a woman in her 30s who has what may or may not be a psychotic break after she gets two devastating communiqués just a few minutes apart: a voicemail message that someone she once loved has died, and a wedding invitation from someone else she once loved. The chapters alternated between the woman in the present, and the woman in high school. When I realized that I was more drawn to the high school character, I pulled out her chapters and put them together to see what I had. And that's when 14-year-old Rose Zarelli came to life.
Question: What research went into writing young adult books?
Louise Rozett: I have a torrid love affair with pop culture, so I'm pretty well versed in shows and music and movies that young adults like-those references come pretty naturally to me, because I still like all that stuff myself. But I also like to spend time in high schools observing students because I like to listen to the way they talk to each other and to their teachers-there is, of course, a divide between real life and the way it's portrayed in pop culture. Also, my own mementos from high school are pretty useful, in terms of remembering the kinds of things that happen, and how they feel. I still have all my notebooks, as well as all the notes that my friends and I passed to each other in class! (You might think that students don't do this anymore thanks to technology, but cell phones are actually banned from most classrooms, so if you want to communicate with someone, you still have to write a note!)
Question: What was the best thing about creating the character of Rose Zarelli?
Louise Rozett: The best thing about creating Rose was trying to figure out what made her who she is. When Rose first started talking to me, so to speak, I knew right away that she was furious, but I didn't know why. She would only tell me a few things at a time, so it took a while to get it out of her. When she finally revealed what was going on, it completely changed the entire book. I think that's an amazing experience for a writer, when a character says one thing that changes the whole picture.
Question: Why did you want to write about an 'angry' character?
Louise Rozett: I'm fascinated by anger, and how girls express it-or don't, as the case may be. It has always seemed to me that guys are allowed, and even encouraged, to express their anger-it's part of being tough, or masculine. But girls aren't treated the same way in that regard-I think girls are often given the message that they are supposed to be well behaved and nice and polite. And those things don't always go hand in hand with speaking your mind. I wanted to investigate that struggle with keeping things in versus letting them out.
Question: What originally inspired you to begin writing?
Louise Rozett: It's sort of a sad story, actually! I wrote my first play when I was in elementary school, when a group of actors came to the school to run a workshop. The play won the class contest, and the prize was that the actors were going to perform it. But for some reason, the actors never came back to the school, and the play was never performed. I was so hurt and disappointed, but someone-maybe my teacher-told me that they had given me another prize: by choosing my play, they'd told me that I had talent as a writer. And I think I decided subconsciously that day that I would keep going.
Question: What can you tell us about Confessions of an Almost Girlfriend?
Louise Rozett: I think my favourite thing about Almost-Girlfriend, aside from the fact that everybody is older and the stakes are higher, is a new character named Conrad. Conrad is a gay freshman whose battle against homophobia becomes part of Rose's life in an unexpected way, and complicates her life pretty dramatically.
Question: Can you talk about your writing process, do you write daily?
Louise Rozett: I wish I could write daily-I hope that at some point, I'll be able to give up the day jobs and write full time! But at the moment, I write when I can, both in terms of time and brainpower. I find it hard to sit down and work on a book if I've spent the day editing someone else's book, or working on a freelance writing project. Some people are super organized about their time and are able to make it happen every day, but I'm not one of those people yet. When I do write, I'm all over the place-literally. I can't stay in one place for too long-I'm on the couch, then at the dining room table, then on the bed, then at my desk. And most of the time, I don't even realize I've moved! I guess that means I'm really into what I'm on working on, so that's a good sign.