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Original Essays | December 18, 2013 0 comments
I recently heard someone say that if a writer doesn't investigate uncomfortable places within himself, why would he bother writing? All great books... Continue »
Alan GratzDescribe your latest project.
Something Rotten is Shakespeare's Hamlet rewritten as a contemporary young adult murder mystery set in Denmark, Tennessee, with the minor character of Horatio recast as a seventeen-year-old detective in the mold of Raymond Chandler's Philip Marlowe. I like to call it "Pulp Shakespeare," or perhaps "Hardboiled Hamlet." Something Rotten is the first in a series of YA mysteries starring Horatio Wilkes that riff on Shakespearean plays. Next up are Something Wicked (Macbeth) in 2008 and Something Foolish (A Midsummer Night's Dream) in 2009.
As a clan, the Gratzes are almost uniformly mad for American football. My grandfather was a referee. My grandmother never missed a University of Tennessee football game in forty-plus years. My aunt was a cheerleader. My uncle was a letterman at UT and captain his senior year. My father played for the Air Force and Carson-Newman College, and coached high school football for fourteen years. My younger brother and I were expected by many to inherit this passion and talent for football, but neither of us ever did. To his enduring credit, my father never tried to mold us into football players. When I was in sixth grade we attended a Gratz family reunion where we were approached by a distant relative who assumed, like so many others, that my brother and I were going to be football prodigies. "So, what do we have here?" he asked. "The little quarterback and the little running back?" "Well, actually," my dad said, "this one plays soccer, and this one plays the violin." The man backed away slowly. My brother and I were aliens in the football country of my father's family, but it never mattered to my dad.
Describe your most memorable teacher.
Offer a favorite sentence or passage from another writer.
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Share an interesting experience you've had with one of your readers.
If you could be someone else, who would that be, and why?
I've thought about this a lot.
If you could pick anyone to illustrate one of your books, who would it be and why?
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Alan Gratz Alan is the author of one of the ALA's 2007 Top Ten Best Books for Young Adults, Samurai Shortstop, and Something Rotten, a contemporary young adult murder mystery based on Hamlet. He is currently at work on a sequel.
Alan lives with his wife Wendi and his daughter Jo in the high country of Western North Carolina.