When it comes to relationships, there are always two sides to the story. In Girl Meets Boy, 12 top young adult authors came together to create an anthology of diverse, original, he-said/she-said stories of love and heartbreak. One of these dual narratives is a collaboration between bestselling author Chris Crutcher and the mastermind and editor behind the book, Kelly Milner Halls. The two of them recently got together again in this exclusive author one-on-one.--Seira
Kelly Milner Halls on Girl Meets Boy: Creating Girl Meets Boy, a he-said, she-said anthology for Chronicle books was a new challenge for me because I am best known for creating high interest nonfiction. But picking the writers I wanted for my YA project was a no brainer. I wanted the writers about whom I’d written and I wanted the best. My friend Chris Crutcher is the best of the best, and he was my partner in our interactive story pairing. So I caught up with him to ask a few questions about writing for Girl Meets Boy, as well as a few questions about his upcoming Fall 2012 release, Period 8.
Kelly Milner Halls: How did you feel about contributing to Girl Meets Boy --the concept of two authors exploring the same plot points from two different points of view?
Chris Crutcher: It's a very interesting idea, and novel. Perspective is always an author's friend, and the idea that perspective alone can create two different stories from one point of view is intriguing.
Milner Halls: You created the lead story for the pair of stories we wrote together. Were John Smith and Wanda Wickham characters you created just for Girl Meets Boy or were they rooted in other creative projects?
Crutcher: They were created for Girl Meets Boy. I'm sure I've used pieces of their personalties elsewhere, but they were specific to this anthology.
Milner Halls: Have you ever considered writing a book from alternating points of view as Joyce Carol Oates did in Big Mouth & Ugly Girl?
Crutcher: I haven't read that particular book. Angry Management contains a novella that tells the story from three different perspectives. It's not all that hard to do.
Milner Halls: Girl Meets Boy is often controversial in the topics it examines including sexual abuse, homosexuality, transgenderism and inter-racial relationships. Is there emotional value in fictionalizing realistic life issues?
Crutcher: I'm sure there is, but the emotional value of any story comes from the reader.
Milner Halls: Which is more difficult, writing a full-length novel or writing a short story for an anthology like Girl Meets Boy?
Crutcher: It's probably a toss-up. Short story is easier from a plot point of view because usually it's about a single thing and there's not room for great complexity like there is in a novel. But short story requires word economy and straightforwardness to a degree that a novel might not. Writing Short Story is a great way to train for writing longer material.
Read the rest of the conversation between Chris Crutcher and Kelly Milner Halls here