Jynx the One-eyed Rat, one of our ship's many unsavory characters, will be introducing you to Neptune, also known as Kelly Loy Gilbert. First, a little about Kelly:
Kelly has spent most of her life in the San Francisco Bay Area, with a brief stint in the perpetually rainless San Diego for undergrad, and has been writing since when everyone in her first-grade class was encouraged to write picture books that were then bound with the classroom comb binder, which seemed super professional at the time. She is represented by Adriann Ranta of Wolf Literary, and her first novel (tentatively titled CITY ON A HILL) will be published by Disney-Hyperion in Spring/Summer 2014. She writes character-driven literary fiction for teens and adults.
Take it away, Jynx!
Hey Neptune. 'Sup? So, like, I'm supposed to ask you about your name. Why'd you choose it and stuff?
I chose “Neptune” after the name of the famed vessel. I think pirate ships (actually all ships!) are awesome, because a whole world with its own structure and rhythms and code is contained within--impenetrable to the outside world and teeming with life and story inside.
Yeah. Ships are cool. I guess.
Next question. You, in one word. Go:
INFJ. Is that cheating? Good thing pirates aren’t known for moral niceties. ;)
*looks up INFJ*
This is going to take a while.
Whoa. Yeah. That works.
Uh, let's see if we have an easier question.
*ruffles through papers*
Books! You read those, right? So, um, what're your favorites?
I read a lot of contemporary literary fiction--I love quiet, generous, lyrical writing with a strong moral core and a heavy sense of place, and I love complexity and nuance in characters and worldview. As far as YA goes, I’m forever partial to the classics I grew up with: Caroline B. Cooney, Chris Crutcher, Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, L. M. Montgomery. I reread THE FACE ON THE MILK CARTON and its sequels probably every few years, and nothing cures a bad day like ANNE OF GREEN GABLES. And two of my all-time favorite YA books are BREATHING UNDERWATER by Alex Flinn and TANGERINE by Edward Bloor.
*looks over shoulder*
So, I totally love ANNE OF GREEN GABLES. Anne is the shiznit. Just don't, uh, tell the rest of the crew I said that. Scullywags would, like, never let me live it down.
Here's a hypothetical for you: If you were stranded on an island - which is, like, totally possible -- what three things would you have delivered?
Definitely a solar-powered cell phone, with service--I text with my good friends throughout the day and would get desperately lonely without that! And I’d request a solar-powered laptop, too, to record everything and to keep writing, and I think I’d handle deserted island life a lot better with a lifetime supply of Haribo peaches. (Not to be confused with peach gummi rings, although those are awesome too.)
Mmm. Haribo peaches. Good choice.
Do you have any on you now?
No? 'Kay. That's cool. I guess.
Um, so this whole web site thing for the YA Buccaneers. What's your favorite part?
Do I really have to pick just one? I guess if I must, I’m super excited about Truth and Dare--I love reading about others’ experiences and how they’re tied to their writing. Besides that, the teenage years are such a rich source of inspiration and emotion, and I feel like oftentimes they don’t get enough credit for that. But we all have those moments worth mining, moments that reveal themselves in new and different ways when we examine them closely and hold them up to the light.
Yeah. Emotional stuff.
But dares. Those are cool. And I bet you have some good ones.
I have some ideas if, you know, you need help or whatever.
*mouths "Call me."*
So, um, how about a fun fact? Whatever you want.
I’ve had insomnia for as long as I can remember--some of my earliest memories are of lying awake for hours as a three-year-old making up stories in my head because I was so bored. There are definite drawbacks, but I honestly believe if I slept like a normal person it might have forever taken me twice as long to get anything done in terms of writing.
Whoa. That's, like, hard core. But cool about the writing. At least on the boat, you'll be able to look at the stars and stuff.
What about T.V.? I mean, I like books and all, but what about shows and movies? Any favorites?
My all-time favorite show, with some of my all-time favorite writing, is Friday Night Lights. (I even went on an FNL-themed pilgrimage to Austin a few years ago!) The show does an incredible job depicting ordinary people in ordinary circumstances and somehow elevating those storylines to something profound and complex and heartbreaking and life-affirming all at once. And--and I love it for this--it does that same thing so beautifully with its teenaged characters, who are the most central parts of most stories. Just hearing the theme song hits a funny part of my heart and makes me want to move to Dillon, Texas and relive my high school years as a Dillon Panther. (Except I don’t actually like football very much and the social scene at the school seems insane, so I’ll just safely rewatch my boxed set a billion times instead.)
And, on the other side of things, I watched 21 Jump Street in theaters three times and then my friends got me the DVD for my birthday and I’ve watched it a million times since. I adore that movie, partly because every other line is straight-up hilarious and partly because I think it nails the dynamics of the contemporary high school experience better than just about any other movie I’ve seen.
Thanks for chatting, Jynx! I’m thrilled to be embarking with the rest of our hilarious, fascinating and dedicated crew and I can’t wait to see where the seas take us.
Yeah, that was fun. But, uh, maybe next time bring some of those Haribo peaches, 'kay?