Confusion Interview

About a year ago, Justine and I were guests of honor at High Voltage Confusion, a yearly convention in Detroit. As we blogged here and here, we had an incredible time and met lots of lovely people.

Our introduction to the local folks was via a long interview with blogmeister John Scalzi, best known for his crankiness at the Whatever. He asked us the usual stuff about ourselves and our work, but then we branched into a far-ranging discussion of YA. I listened to the interview recently, and it was one of those, “Huh, I was pretty smart that day” things.

It really sums up my thinking about our field, and Justine is also on song. So if you’ve got a spare, um, close to an hour(!) forty-five minutes, take a listen.

After you click here, you have to scroll down to “Teh Awesome Duo—Revealed!”

And if listening to me and Justine pontificate for that long is too much, there’s always . . . hoverboards!

164 thoughts on “Confusion Interview

  1. Okay, if anyone has an iPod Touch or iPhone, download the Tetris application (it’s on sale for the Holidays). It’s totally trippy and the graphics are awesome, and since you have to use a touch screen to navigate it, it’s totally something that people in Tally’s world would use.

    An extra for now. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. Andrea-la: Your story sounds gripping. haha.

    Audrey-sensei: I’m going to use the fawesome new slang out school, and everyone will think I’m insane. And I think littlies is from Australia because, not sure where but maybe scott-la said it? Meh.


    Something that would be okay about Tally’s world: No more school after 16! (and the aircraft hard teeth..)
    Oh, and that hoverboard looks insanely dangerous. Especially for uncoordinated people.

  3. want…..hoverboard…..

    OMIGOSH! we go back to school on monday! ๐Ÿ˜ฅ //starts sobbing, goes to corner, calms down a fractional amount, comes back, tears still pouring down face//
    sigh. winter break is never long enough.

  4. Jay-wa: I would use Ugly/Pretty/Special/NA slang at school, but most of my friends have read the Uglies series, so they would be like “Meh, you stole that from scott westerfeld,” so I can’t. And yeah, scott-la definitely used the term littlie.

    Actually, one term I have actually used in life is faither (from Skinned). I just use it as an insult about someone who is a jesus freak and goes around pushing their ideas on others, so the term pretty much fits. I have nothing against religion (well, actually I do, but not against people that practice it), it’s just that when a certain person at my school brings god into every conversation, it gets very annoying. And now I have the perfect word to describe him! Thank you Robin Wasserman!

    An extra for now. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. UMR-wa: I have an idea! Um, actually I don’t. Sorry! My friend and I want to make YouTube videos, but we have no idea what they should be about. Any suggestions?

    An extra for now. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  6. LOL it looks like a lawn mower. I think it’s kind of pointless unless it lifts off the ground like I know it hovers but it just looks stupid lol.

  7. Yayayayay!!! Why was I ‘yay’ing? you may ask. Because I FINALLY got my Bogus to Bubbly ytd night! That’s why I hadn’t been on, I’ve been reading it late into the night and finished it this morning. So, yes. Littlies is an Aussie slang.

    School already started for me, but it’s the start of a new school year so we are all at orientation and such and I got no homework. =D

    Yes, I prettyspeak has found it’s way into my world. And also stuff like fawesome and fexellent. But mostly people think I’m just speaking wierd. Well most of my friends and I speak and reference really strange things, you should hear us during lunch. We would be making jokes about Schrodinger’s Cat (an experiment in which a cat get’s shot… or maybe not) and the LHC and how to prove that pi is rational. It’s all really geeky.

    Need ideas for a fundraising thingy. Was thinking of a cookie bake sale. No one can resist the temptation of chocolate chip confectionary, can they? Or maybe I can borrow your brownie pop recipe, Bran-la…

  8. hmm…i don’t have any suggestions for a youtube video…sry!
    i wish u did have ideas cause now i have the most horrible idea…//jaws music starts playing, getting louder and louder then finally stops//….HOMEWORK! //a woman is heard screaming, and everybody has a look of pure shock on their faces//
    i know, horrible, huh?
    SUGGESTIONS people so i won’t have this doomed fate!!! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

  9. Trish-la: I learned about Schrodinger’s cat from The Big Bang Theory, but I thought it was in a quantum box?

    Audrey-sensei: Most people at my school are too stupid to read or to ignorant to read anything besides what they’re assigned, so it’s fun to use words they don’t understand (like pulchy) or fun words. Dumb people like simple words like bogus and bubbly.
    My friends find it vastly annoying when I use pretty slang, but it’s just SO AWESOME.

    (slanguage is awesome. Purely.)

    Everyone have a pleasant day/evening and try to stop time so I don’t have to go to school! Bye!

  10. Jay-wa: Slanguage? You’re my hero. Problem with me, is I end up forcing my friends to read the awesome books I do, hence the doos language would be recognized. I’ll have to make the integration slowly.

    Trish-la: I don’t really like nerds, but there’s a difference between them and people who are really smart (here’s an example of my obsession with word accuracy). Smart people are awesome. I think I’m one, but you never can be sure. You sound like a smartie too.

    And if you bake any brownies, save some for me!

    An extra for now. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  11. OMG! I saw my name in the dedications for Bogus to Bubbly yesterday and FREAKED! I’m soooooooo excited! Thank you Scott-la!

  12. grr, i need to read cycler and skinned. but i got soo many border’s gift cards for christmas!! i’m so happy!!
    i do not want to go to school tomorrow. i have a project due this week…and my brain has turned off. great timing, brain.

  13. Agreed! I have one due Wendsday that I havn’t even started yet. ๐Ÿ™ But my grade in socail studies doesn’t interest me much. It’s the only class I have an A in so one bad grade wont hurt me. ๐Ÿ˜€

  14. And along comes the magic of google and wikipedia(however easily editable).'s_cat

    Audrey-sensei: We’re not really nerds. More geeks than nerds ’cause we still go out shopping for fun, sneaking out from home and poking fun at the bimbotics. Heh.

    Now the big question is this: with all this intellegence afloat… Why hasn’t anybody made a ‘real’ hoverboard yet?

    I’m off to slack and watch underworld 2. =D

  15. SNOW DAY!! YAY!!
    Nerds are the cool ones, Geeks, on the other hand, are the ones that laugh-snort. Or thats how it is where I live anyway…

    Kate-la: I love the Big Bang Theory! I love Sheldon!

    Bran-la: Brownies? I love brownies. *recipecough*

    Audrey-Sensei: I learned what Schrodinger’s cat was from T.V. don’t seem ignorant because you don’t know. I don’t know if you followed that link, but basically there’s this cat, in a box, put there by Mr. Schrodinger and there is also a vile of poison in said box. So, theres a cat in a box, with poison and no one knows if it’s dead or alive. (though I suspect without any oxygen, it’s probably dead..)
    No one remembers the slang from the books I force them to read. Massively sad-making.

    Trish-la: Good point, why don’t we have hoverboards yet? Someone better get crackin’.

    Everyone have a nice day/evening.

    {no school!! Sooooo happy!}

  16. I hate school. Why cant they make it fun? We can start by taking homework away. I hate homework. After homework we can remove all objects that require thinking logically. Thinking logically can be boring. Unless you just need to. Then we can pretend that a dictator over ruled us and said we couldn’t use pencils, pens, or any devices that caused for your hand to make letters. Then we couldn’t write! But then they would resort to computers… We will make the dictator ban computers in schools and/or around teachers who command you to do things.


  17. agh ok go to my myspace by clicking on my name and look at the cover to the book i’m writing i don’t know if you can read it though

  18. hi people!! how is everybody?? i haven’t been on in like 3 or 4 days because i was sick. i was @this girl’s house &i started throwing up. now i think she thinks i m belimic or have an eating disorder or something cause i threw up 3time b4 going home. i also had a fever& couldn’t eat anything!!! i m sooo hungry now!! yeah, so i get sick on my last days of break then on the 1st day back 2 school i feel fine. i did this last year 2!!! stupid flu!! anyways it was very undoos!!!=(

  19. Emmett Cullen is dreamy….
    so is Edward
    and Jasper
    and Jacob
    and Carlisle

    ๐Ÿ™‚ lol TEAM EVERYONE!
    (and team David for the record)

    Heey Scott, is that really your facebook profile? haha I mean, I don’t doubt it really, but….
    it’s good to be safe on the internet right? haha

  20. bran-la : is that your myspace?????
    i’m not trying to be nosey but you know, and yes Emmett Cullen is sexy

    ok now the reason I came the name of my book is Cake which should give you an idea of what I’m trying to do but yea so ok i’m off to write

  21. No, its ‘Kate Brians’. She writes the private novels and her new series Privileged is coming out soon. Her real name is actually Kieran Scott. And Keriran Scott wrote Geek Magnet. I dont have a myspace.

  22. Haha. Cake. I get it.

    I’m writing a story about a girl who is a clone but she doesn’t know it. When she finds out though everyone is after her because making clones is illegal. So yeah. I haven’t made a cover for it all though i need to…

  23. In case anyone cares:
    Team Zane(Uglies series, duh)
    Team Fang(Max Ride series)
    Team Jace(Mortal Instruments series)
    Team Ron(Harry Potter series)
    Team Jasper(Twilight sereis)
    Team Jonathon(Midnighters series, even though he doesn’t really have competition…)
    Team…well yeah a lot of teams.

  24. Thank you Trish-la! I’ll watch the video right now!

    Bran-la: I like your plan. I will vote for you as dictator.

    Tally&Zane: I think you started a trend! Here are mine:

    Team Zane (David was way too whiny when Tally chose him. Wow, this is the first time I’ve actually chosen!)
    Team Get a LIFE (Twilight. I even made a t-shirt that said that and wore it to school).
    Team Henry Schoonmaker (The Luxe)
    Team Blair (Gossip Girl)
    Team Audrey Hepburn (Because she’s awesome)
    Team Marie Antoinette (for the French Revolution. Oh, if she had made it over that Austrian border! I felt so sorry for her in history this year)
    Team Jackie (Bloody Jack)
    Team Pippa (A Great and Terrible Beauty)

    I don’t know when everything became a contest, but there you go!

    An extra for now. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  25. If weer saying teams:
    Team Zane (uglies, dur)
    Team Alice (twilight)
    Team Sheldon (Big Bang theory, I actualy know some1 thats like sheldon but even more anti social…)
    Team I Dont Care ( harry potter, the books wernt that great in my opinion)
    Team Jonathon (midnighters)
    Rocketman (HSM3.. those movies are just wierd…)

    and thats pretty much it… so yay!

  26. LOL! Now I remember how much I missed this site! I remember Tally&Zane!

    Team Zane
    Team Edward and Jacob (depending on my mood)
    Team Jonathon (Midnighters)
    Team Chuck and Blair (And sometimes Jenny and Nate. They are so perfect together why did Vanessa have to ruin it!! Gossip Girl)
    Team Harry Potter has suckish writing (good movies though)
    Team Erik (Marked Series)
    Team Sweeney (Sweeney Todd. Most of NO ONE knows about my secert obbsession with Sweeney Todd)
    And at last
    Team Elmo! I love Elmo soooo much! More that I love brownies! GASP!

    My style is more Pac Sun and Hollister. I love the neon green tees and vans and skinney jeans! I love the colored skinney jeans the most like purple and blue!

    I don’t have a myspace either. ๐Ÿ™ But I am writing a book! Its about a human who is searching for her love because a crazy frotune teller told her her TRUE love (as in not her boy friend, Alex) is hiding in the shadows and is evil! That evil true love is a vampire and she has to choose between her current boy friend and the Vampire! OOOOOH SCARY! I don’t like scary things. That’s why I sleep with Elmo in my bed. ๐Ÿ˜€

    I’m not really a Elmo freak… I just act like it. My boyfriend thinks it’s cute. ๐Ÿ™‚

  27. Hi! *waves*
    Ewwww, Jacob EVIL. I won’t get into that rant right now though, it’s a really long one.
    Ah! Elmo is scary. At least my little brother’s elmo’s scary. It’s like demented and thrashed cuz he’s had it for like 11 years and it’s missing one of it’s eyes and half it’s stuffing and a lot of fur and has a million holes, the poor lil guy. I’m writing a book too. Can’t tell ya what it’s about though. Tis a secret! Rofl. I don’t have a particular style per se…I like tons of things and I almost never match. Purposely though…neon colors are fun.

  28. Tally&Zane/Amanda-wa: The book is called “Audrey, Wait!” and it’s about this girl who breaks up her bf and he writes a song about it that then becomes a chart-topping one hit wonder song of the year Hey There Delilah type delio and she’s instantly famous. It’s a really fun book, I recommend it. There’s this one scene where she goes to a concert and wears leg warmers on her arms, which your comment remind me of, that’s all. It brought a really funny visual image to my head. I have this thing with visual images.

    Amanda-wa/All Gossip Girl fans: I love Chuck and Blair together, and Jenny and Nate! Dan and Serena bug the crap out of me though. Seriously, the whole thing with their parents makes everything gross, and they should just give it up. Dorota is my favorite, though. Blair is so mean to her.

    An extra for now. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  29. Hello Mr. Westerfeld,

    I finished reading Blue Noon today and the ending was unexpected. You must have heard this a number of times. But Why did you make Jessica frozen in the normal time? After all she was trying to save people’s lives? Are there more books in the series? The ned was so lonely.

    I finished reading Uglies trilogy last month. I am surprised taht it hasn’t been optioned into a movie yet.

    I do hope you answer my question. I didn’t know what was the best place to ask this question about Midnighters รขโ‚ฌโ€ e-mail or the Blue Noon Spoliers page. So I am posting it here.


  30. Ashley-wa: Glad you’re feeling better! =D

    Amanda-wa: OMG, I loved Sweeney Todd too!! I thought that it was one of the MOST amazing movie that Johnny Depp starred in. Sort of creepy and very musical and bubbly. Absolutely adored it. (My favourite song was ‘The worst meatpies in London’. What about you?)

  31. K: I thought *SPOILER..kinda..* was sad-making! I think it would be hard to write another midnighters…there is a forum thingy (

    Team Tally
    Team Zavid (zane and david, because I really can’t choose)
    Team Edward (because Bella is stupid. And annoying)
    Team Max (maximum ride)
    Team Robots (face it, one day they’re going to rule the world. Might as well get on their good side now.)
    Team Aliens (They’re aliens. Enough said.)
    Team Dess (If only she were real…she could do my math homework…Midnighters)
    Team Jammers (So Yesterday)
    Team Peeps (Peeps, The Last Days)
    Team Smart-People (Because ignorant people bother me.)
    Team Sheldon (BBT)

    Hannah-la: I think it’s just awesome with an ‘f’ in front, but I would go with flipping awesome. Just shorter, you know?

    Everyone’s stories sound awesome..Cake as in ‘Lets watch them cut the cake’?…Tally&Zane: Ohhh mystery! Awesomeness!

    Bran-la: I would vote for your dictator ship too!!


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