Posted in Book Review, interview, YA

Interview with Author Michael Grant.

Well, this is my first interview that I am posting on my blog. I am very honoured that it is by one of my favourite authors, Michael Grant.

(((Michael Grant)))


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I had the chance to ask him a few questions over social media that he was kind enough to answer. I interviewed him about Front Lines (#1 Soldier girl) the first book in his new series. Now if you have not read this book yet, please do make a plan. However, for now, you can find my review for Front Lines here:



Have no fear for no spoiler is near.

Interview with Michael Grant:


In this book there are many scenes of soldiers, men and female, singing army songs. Where did you get the army songs?

Most of the songs I made up. I use some real songs in book #2 (Silver Stars) but most of the poems, songs, etc… are my own inventions.

In one of the scenes you describe a group of people. A group of drunk men and one very sober man. What would you say is the difference between a sober man and a very sober man?

Sober men are far less likely to do something stupid.

One of the characters that stood out for me in this novel is the female Sergeant, Sergeant Mackie.  How did you go about to find the voice and heart of Sergeant Mackie? There was something about her that just made her stand out from almost all of the characters. Did you have somebody you based her character on?

No, I don’t really do character that way, I don’t model on a real-life person. It’s easier to give an adult/older character more depth because you have so much more backstory to draw on, even if all you’re doing is implying a backstory. Younger characters are tougher because there’s just less to work with. An adult character might have been through poverty, depression, child-rearing, work, etc…, whereas a younger character can have plenty of stuff happen, but it is necessarily compressed.

A 16 year-old doesn’t have 16 years of life experience because a lot of that 16 years is childhood. A 32 year-old is only twice as old but has spent a lot more of their life in an aware state beyond infancy.But generally Mackie is a character whom readers are free to define. I think she works because readers can assume or imagine things that are not necessarily shown. This, by the way, is the great upside of writing YA – YA readers have functioning imaginations, so I can count on them to do their part of imagining characters without me dotting every i and crossing every t.

I think that in the end between Rio, Frangie, and Rainy I liked Rainy the most. I loved her attitude and cheek. From the 3 soldiers who did you like the most and why? I understand that this might be impossible to answer so the alternative of this question is: Of these 3 characters who was the hardest for you to get to know to find their voice?

It’s easiest for me to write smart, witty characters, and of the three Rainy is clearly the best-informed, the most self-aware, the wittiest. But that’s just a question of what’s easy. Rio is tougher to write because her motivation is so nebulous. But that’s deliberate because in researching I found again and again soldiers who talked about just feeling ‘swept along’ or of enlisting ‘because everyone else was.’ I wanted to show that, and it was a good starting point for Rio’s evolution as a character. She doesn’t come in with a goal, she discovers her goal.

Frangie is easier to understand in terms of motive. She enlists because she needs the paycheck, which was another classic motivator you see in some first person accounts. But unlike Rio, Frangie has a long-term goal, an overarching goal of becoming a doctor.

If there is one message/lesson that you would like people to take away from this story what would it be?

I never think in terms of morals or lessons or takeaways. Not that in the back of my mind I don’t have conclusions of my own, but I don’t see it as being my place to teach. Again, not that I’m not obviously teaching some history, but I want the conclusions to come from readers, not from me. I am not the guru Michael Grant, I’m just your dancing monkey. I’m much more comfortable in that role. And I trust readers to do their own thinking.

I hoped you guys enjoyed that, I know I did!

~ Sincerely Snow



I am Snow.

2 thoughts on “Interview with Author Michael Grant.

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