Jay Asher: The Future of Us: ’90s Week w/Jay Asher & Carolyn Mackler

This week, we are gearing up for the Nov. 21st release of The Future of Us by Jay Asher & Carolyn Mackler — and because the book is set in the 1990s, we’re going retro with ’90s week here at Novel Novice!

Today, we’ll introduce you to the book & share our exclusive Q&As with Jay and Carolyn. The rest of this week, tune in for our spotlight on all the best of the ’90s, including Jay and Carolyn’s favorites!

It’s 1996, and less than half of all American high school students have ever used the Internet.

Emma just got her first computer and an America Online CD-ROM.

Josh is her best friend. They power up and log on–and discover themselves on Facebook, fifteen years in the future.

Everybody wonders what their Destiny will be. Josh and Emma are about to find out.

Exclusive Q&A with Jay Asher & Carolyn Mackler

Jay’s interview was done in-person … check out the video below, then keep reading for Carolyn’s responses!

Today’s teens don’t really know what life was like before the Internet, smart phones, etc. So what were the challenges of writing a book for today’s teens, that takes place before this technology really existed (or existed in its current format)?

Carolyn: It was actually a relief! Technology is changing so rapidly that once I start writing a book, the latest phone or social networking site may have changed by the time I’m done. Since Josh and Emma live in 1996, we knew exactly what technology was available at the time, and we had fun showing our characters’ glimpsing future technology and having no clue what they were seeing.

Today’s technology certainly has its pros and cons, and I think those are addressed a bit in The Future of Us. What do you think are the perks and the “dangers” of all this technology (social networking, smart phones, etc.)?

Carolyn: The perks are definitely the ease at which we communicate and spread information. The biggest con, for me, is the time drain. And also not living in the present as much, spending too much time checking my phone.

Tell us a bit about the writing process for Future of Us. What was it like working with Jay? Aside from that, how was it different/similar to writing your other books?

Carolyn: Jay and I had a wonderful time writing together, and we discovered right away that we had a very similar style. The best part – and the part that was most different from writing my solo books – is that I had Jay to brainstorm with every step of the way.

If you had the change to see your Facebook page 15 years in the future, would you take a peek?

Carolyn: No! I want to be surprised.

Flash Questions:

If they made a Carolyn Mackler candle, what would it smell like?

Carolyn: Chocolate…coffee…sleep.

Favorite childhood book?

Carolyn: Starring Sally J. Freedman As Herself by Judy Blume

Chocolate or vanilla?

Carolyn: Dark chocolate

Favorite cartoon?

Carolyn: Uhhhh….

Private concert: who’s playing?

Carolyn: Dar Williams. Dave Matthews. Paul Simon. Amy Rigby.

Thanks to Jay & Carolyn for answering all our questions, and to Elyse at Penguin for helping arrange both interviews!

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