IMterview with Maureen Johnson

So I think it’s time for another IMterview, because we all love them.

You may remember my previous IMterviews, such as this discussion of Cycler with Lauren McLaughlin, and chat with Robin Wasserman about Skinned, and this deep and meaningful with Justine on the subject of How to Ditch Your Fairy.

Today we have Maureen Johnson, best know for her fabulous novel Thirteen Little Blue Envelopes. Her latest series is Suite Scarlett, and this IMterview marks its paperback release. I read it back in its manuscript days, and those of you who follow Maureen’s blog will not be surprised to hear that it is totally hilarious!

So without further ado, let the IM-ing begin . . .


You can find Suite Scarlett at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or any independent bookstore.

96 thoughts on “IMterview with Maureen Johnson

  1. First, I love IM-interviews so keep that up,
    they are hilarious, and always get me interested
    in the books, (WHICH) ironically I was just thinking
    about buying {SS} but didn’t know what to think!
    Crazy right, definantly on my books to read list!

    Second, a question I’ve been dying to know
    the answer to, “Was it a personal choosing
    between Zane and David. If so, then why Zane?
    I feel like Tally had to choose one, but she at the
    same time didn’t have much of a choice.. Basically,
    why did you choose Zane to die instead of David?”

    Thanks So Much! 🙂

  2. That was hilarious! I definitely want the book now, Maureen seems really funny.
    And how exactly was K***ing Zane an accident?!
    bri-la: nice catch, I just thought he was making smily faces 🙂 🙂

  3. I love your IM interviews. This one in particular has led to a curious question… Have you always had friends who were into writing? Did you find more before/after publication? Did you put ads in the wanted section? I’m just curious because I’ve yet to come across a fellow creative writer.

    Thanks again for the IMterview… 😀

  4. “i was just thinking about how you killed zane”
    “that was an accident!”
    so funny :L

  5. 🙁 I WAS REALLY SAD WHEN ZANE DIED!!!i was really mad. i meam why should david be able to live and not zane? and zane was one of my favorite characterz! i luved him.! 🙁 and scott-la: did u like ur character zane much?

  6. I really like your books but how could killing Zane be an accident you can’t kill someone on accident!!

  7. ok, i agree with Karlie, in fact, she is sitting three feet away from me. But what with the subject change when Zane comes up?! btw, when i read that, i nearly destroyed my copy of Specials, throwing it, stomping on it, ripping pages- not pretty-making.

  8. my guess… Zane was in the wrong place at the wrong time. I’m sure he didn’t create Zane to kill him… but sad things happen, and I think before Scott-la, didn’t you say something like sad things happen, and just because Tally is the main, doesn’t immune her or her friends…
    something like that you said… maybe?
    but it’s what happened
    he could’ve forced something else… but then it wouldn’t have been what happened, but what he forced to happen because he didn’t want Tally to lose Zane.

    I write… not as brilliant as Scott, haha… but I love writing… and some of my own favourite characters, I’ve found them dead. And I’ve tried to bring them back… but I don’t want to force anything, what happens happens… people die, people lose other people, dreams, hopes… and I write fantasy… and there’s magic! but sometimes someone dies, if you are me with my luck it’s always your favourite… but it’s not in vain, it made Tally’s story that much more icy… Zane’s death was not in vain… it first set Tally on the right path, then ultimately gave her freedom, the freedom she has always wanted, needed.

    Or maybe I’m totally off the mark… haha, no idea. But this is my guess, my interpretation, remarks, etc… Feel free Scott-la to correct me.

    but yeah, I cried like a baby over Zane, no lies… cried over Tally’s creed as well…

  9. I actually don’t mind much when authors kill characters off. It makes it all seem more real, which is cool. I mean, yeah, I get kind of mad when they kill someone I liked or something, but as soon as I finish the book I see that it was for the best. Look at the last Harry Potter book. That one wouldn’t have been the same if she hadn’t killed Fred/George (I can never remember which one it was), Tonks, Lupin, Dobby, ect., ect. When you have a huge battle of any kind, you can’t wimp out on killing characters that matter.
    So, even though Zane was an interesting character and it was kind of sad when he died, I’m not totally upset about it because in a way, it made the book better.

  10. first of all, I agree with you. I like it when Authors kill characters off, its realistic….if an author cant kill someone off to help the book they just arn’t very good(cough SMeyer cough)it gives the book more excitment. I

    secondly, I love Harry Potter, it is an amazing series…..but jK Rowling went just a bit too far….almost everyone was killed(and it was Fred…..he didn’t have much luck that book)

    so as much as I loved Zane, he had to die, the book couldn’t of gone anywhere if he didn’t…..besides David and Tally were ment to be together

  11. JK Rowling went too far? I disagree.

    I was hysterical over Fred… I will admit… I freaked, flipped, floundered… and then Tonks and Lupin… Colin?!?!? I was a mess…

    but it was a huge battle, the ending of a huge war… and there was magic involved, which is dangerous, deadly. just one spell can kill, other spells cause death easily as well… and that’s the reality of it. A lot of people died, but then, more lived…

    but yeah… some authors (coughmeyercough) let their characters get everything they want with no real consequences and that is bogus major

  12. I cried, like bawled for three days straight because of Zane, but I do agree that it made the story a whole lot better even if it was terribly sad, your a great writer and have a great mind. 🙂

  13. Julie-wa: i think what you said about our beloved Zane is true, it’s still sad though.

    Dahlia-wa: I agree with what you said. (Maybe that’s what made the T-word-book kind of tame, no one died. No one important anyway)

    Kristina-la: You really think Tally and David were meant to be?

    When I read Specials, I was in denial and had to re-read the book like ten times and it’s still not okay.
    Overall, I don’t think Scott-la is one for Hallmark-y endings, which isn’t bad but it’s curious-making.

    I was personally veryy verryy sad about Blue Noon…but…

    Alex-wa: I’m so soooooo vastly sorry! I hope she comes back!


  14. i agree with Dahlia-wa too, it would be kind of lame if characters never died.
    & Jay-wa : yeah, blue noon was soo sad, i was kinda hoping it was a dream or something :L
    Meh, im bored. (again). but a lot of you are american so your probably asleep or something.


  15. I have influenza. It sounds so fun, it sucks so bad. Not of the piggy sort though, don’t worry.

  16. Oh that midnighters ending actually made me cry, it was so sad…..even though she didn’t even die…its just upsetting.
    (I dont normally Cry at books)
    but it was everything about the situration…her sister…Jonathen…her parents…everything was just sad
    with Zane it was really only Tally that was sad
    its better when everyone cries……did anyone here see the episode of One tree hill when they had Q’s funeral….saddest thing I have ever seen. I cryed my eyes out

  17. i just finished reading… well i skipped over alot… but anyway, scott-la: HOW DO U ACCIDENTALLY KILL ZANE?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

  18. katy perry… creepiest thing i hav ever seen… girl put on a REAL costume aka SOME CLOTHES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  19. ah, and I have one other thing to add to the book-that-must-not-be-named ranting… you-know-what-book had absolutly no plot development. The plot is the same for the whole series!! See, in Uglies, HoN, and TVD (The Vampire Diaries) the plot changes, morphs, and evolvs (I know it’s spelled wrong). But in you-know-what-book, the plot NEVER changes, just stays the same. Volturi after Bella and Edward. Bella wants to be a vampire. Edward no drink human blood. Over and over. So, yeah…

  20. alex-wa
    about ur anti-twilight comment
    i for one, think that twilight, uglies, maximum ride, artemis fowl, eragon, inkheart, and harry potter are all very good books. and all authors put a lot of effort into their books! (some more than others) and i doubt that they would enjoy being criticized. so ahem. and the plot for twilight does change. even tho i wish bella would not have skipped thru the killing phase, becuz her attacking charlie would have been interesting..but only in the book! cuz if that actually happened *shudders*it would be bad.

    anyway, my school’s renaissance fair is on friday, and im gonna scorch to death in a velvet long sleeved dress

    oh, and i read part of the forest of hands and teeth in the bookstore. IT WAS SO FLIPPING GOOD. wow. yeah.

  21. Riva-la: YOUR SCHOOL HAS A RENAISSANCE FAIR??!?!?! Now that’s un-FAIR…I hope you have fun even if you fry! lol

    Pony-la: That was a scary demon face…

    Alex-wa: I agree with Riva-la but also with you, but you really shouldn’t be so harsh. Not everyone has the same tastes. Have you found your kitties yet? I shall pray… 😀

    Tally&Zane: Get better! (there’s a rhyme thing (it doesn’t really rhyme) from the out break of Influenza forever ago and it’s like “I had a bird, it’s name was Enza, I opened the window and In Flew Enza..heehee)


  22. My school had a renaissance fair when I was in 7th grade. It was fun!

    Thanks Jay-wa, haha, wows.

  23. I love BYOB by System of A Down!!! It’s one of my favorite songs to play on Guitar Hero. 🙂 I don’t think I’ve heard anything else by them (I hardly ever listen to the radio, and almost all the bands I’ve started listening to recently are from GH). 🙂

  24. lol I full heartedly agree with you Alex-wa
    and I dont think shes being harsh….shes telling the truth
    it would be harsh if she said mean things about the people that read them……she didn`t, so I see nothing wrong with what she said. See I once got called stupid, the girl said I didn`t understand the books…..just because I didn`t like them. So you see its really only harsh if shes directing it at you.

  25. Pony-la: from the mind rain post: I agree with you about Dr. Cable. She was just trying to keep the wild safe…*sigh* anyway…

    Ashley-wa: You haven’t posted in forever! And wooo!!! Shopping!! YOU ONLY HAVE EIGHT DAYS OF SCHOOL LEFT?!?! uhgh.

    Ant-la: From previous post: Lol. Maddie is a……..(random weird words) heehee

    lizzy-wa101102: I’ve only heard F— the System by them. Which is pretty good.. 😀

    Haley-Sensei~TOP NINJA: The Rabid Fans are what make Twilight bogus, but keep in mind there are NON-rabid ones.


    P.S. Alex-wa, I prayed for you to find your kitties last night! (I was like ‘I think that’s it…OH WAIT! Could you do something for me?) I hope you find them!

  26. its kinda scary knowing that there are rabid ones out there.
    So many people have been attacked for expressing their views on twilight……I dont know why the fans care so much…I can see them getting mad. we all do, but to resort to violence is insanity.

    lol I herd some teenager had a baby and named the kid Reneesme Bella Stephenie. She had it with a kid that she did it with just because his name was Edward…..kreepy beyond belief.


    K, I’m posting from school, so my name isn’t linked. Okay, so I have several things to mention:
    1: Kristina-la, THAT IS CREEPY. I can’t belive someone would “do it” with a guy just cuz his name is Edward… that is really freaky! See why we just don’t like you-know-what-book? It does things. Bad things. We’re not bad. Just sane. And I will point out that I myself used to be a 100% Twilight fan. Until the crazed hype started. And I was like “ooookaaaay, this is weird.”. THAT BOOK WAS EVERYWHERE!!! And it still is. So, when it kept appearing everywhere, it started getting annoying. Really annoying. It’s just the effect it has on people that makes my hate it. Like my slogan- I don’t hate the book nessisarily- just the hype. Twilight isn’t half bad. In fact, it’s fairly good, for being created from a simple dream! It’s the hype that drives me crazy. See, when there was a Harry Potter hype, people weren’t crazed and insane!! They just LOOOOOVED the series, and I love it myself. Twilight is WAY different!! It makes people do things…. bad things…. and thanks for stikin up for me, Kristina-la!
    2: No, we have not found our 2 missing cats. Speaking of them, I want to add some interesting details… well, I didn’t notice this until Gabe pointed it out to me on the bus. Three of us- Anthony, Gabe, and myself, went to 5DBR07 that day on my party, that time when all the CREEPY stuff happend, if you recall that. Well, come to think of it, Tibbit, the Russian Blue and first to dissapear, has a personality JUST LIKE GABE’S. And Rousseou, the 2nd to dissapear, has a personality JUST LIKE ANTHONY’S. And Cinnamon- you guessed it- has a personality JUST LIKE MINE. And I just realized it! It’s true! Tibbit is lazy, like Gabe, Rousseou is all bi and crazy, like Anthony, and Cinnamon is anti-social, like me. Hm…. coincidence, I think NOT!!! MY BACKYARD IS HAUNTED BY AN EVIL DEMON THAT PREYS ON INNOCENT CATS TO GET REVENGE ON US FOR TRESSPASSING ON HIS TERRITORY!!!!! AAAAHHHHHH!!!!! Seriously!! It’s weird! It’s like the Twilight Zone… dodododododododo….. it’s funny though, my mom makes fun of it, and when Cinnamon wants to go out in the evening, which we don’t let him anymore because both cats dissapeard when they were out at night… and on a Friday… and she’s all like “Achupegato’s going to get you!” Get it, you know Achupecabera, the Mexican creature that sucks the blood of goats? Yeah, so instead of that, it’s Achupe-gato! Hehe. Or as my mom says, har-dee-har-har… yeah…

  28. Oh, I forgot to say thanks for the prayers, everyone! The more, the better! The power of prayer! Hehe. My mom reaserched on Cyotes and they actually love to pray on cats! But it just doesn’t feel right… I think something else happend. Like Anthony said, which I agree with, it’s that evil force we felt that time we went to 5DBR07… oh and I’m starting a blog, it’s or something like that… I’ll link it to my name when I get home from school.

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