heute, zum Abschluss unseres Anti-Vorurteils-Special gibt es ein Interview mit Jennifer Brown. Wir sind sehr glücklich, dass die Autorin so positiv auf unsere Toleranz-Idee reagiert hat und sehr stolz, dass wir sie mit an Bord haben.
Jennifer Brown, wer sie nicht kennt, ist eine amerikanische Autorin, die sich mit ernsten Themen wie häuslicher Gewalt und Amoklauf-Vorfällen an Schulen auseinandersetzt. Ihre Werke gehen ans Herz und unter die Haut und sind sehr realitätsnah geschrieben, eine absolute Empfehlung von uns! Unsere Rezensionen zu ihren Werken findet ihr hier und hier.
1. What inspired you to write the Hate List?
Sometimes it’s hard to pinpoint from where exactly inspiration has come, because inspiration can come from anywhere and everywhere and nowhere all at once. This is definitely true for Hate List. It was partially inspired by the Nickelback song, “If Everyone Cared.” I love the song and love the message, and one night it was stuck in my head as I slept, particularly the lyric, “Amen, I’m alive.” When I woke up in the morning, I had the idea for Hate List.
But it was also somewhat inspired by the bullying I endured in junior high and high school. I was the target of a lot of rumors and gossip, a lot of humiliation, intimidation, and name-calling. It has stuck with me all these years, and I wanted to use my bad experience for something good – a chance to reach out to teens who are going through something similar and tell them that if they hang in there, it will get better.
2. Why did you choose to write about grave subjects like rampage or domestic violence?
These are big problems that are happening in our teens’ lives. We need to figure out solutions. I believe that the first step to making change is talking. Writing is my way of talking. And I believe that these books make the people who read them want to talk. It’s important to me to get that discussion started, to let teens know that they’re not alone in what they’re going through, and to maybe spread a little hope that, together, we can make changes.
3. What is for you the quintessence of the Hate List?
To see people for who they really are. To be tolerant and reach out to one another. To realize that, if you are not only your reputation or first impression, then maybe neither is the person sitting next to you only theirs.
4. What scenes were especially hard to write about this book?
The whole book was emotionally difficult to write. It is difficult to imagine innocent people dying. But I had an especially hard time writing the ending scenes, because I didn’t want the book to end, and I also wanted to make sure I gave it a proper ending. I wanted Valerie to have made some real progress toward healing, but to also leave us understanding that she’s still got a long way to go.
5. Do you have a philosophy of life?
Love and kindness are contagious, and you can be the person who starts a movement to end violence and hate. I often repeat to myself, when someone is being difficult, “Be the friend you want to have.” This doesn’t mean to allow yourself to be mistreated or hurt, but to extend kindness where you can, and hope that it will come back to you and that you will teach someone else to embrace kindness as well.