Learn More about YA Author Jan Blazanin

A film that brings tears to your eyes . . .
ET—Being a sucker for the underdog, I can’t resist his big, sad eyes. Poor guy. I want to cuddle his slimy-looking little extra terrestrial body and make him feel better.

Describe your first kiss.
I was sixteen. His name was Ron, he had dark brown hair and glasses, and he was a grade behind me in school. Shocking! A group of us were driving around town after a football game. Ron and I were in the backseat. I didn’t hear bells or music, but the kiss was thrilling enough to convince me that I liked kissing. I still do.

Your favorite children’s book, and why . . .
THE GIVER—Long before the current wave of dystopian fiction Lois Lowry created a practical, realistic world where horrifying occurrences are commonplace. Her ability to reveal each inhuman event in a matter-of-fact way increased the shock value. And who could not root for Jonas?

A cause that’s closest to your heart, and why . . .
Protecting animals from cruelty and preserving the environment because we must.


If you could be a character in any novel, who would you be?
Scarlett O’Hara in GONE WITH THE WIND, with all her spunk and determination but without that ridiculous infatuation over Ashley Wilkes. I’d take Rhett any day.

Explain the worst job that you’ve held.
My worst job was also my first job—detasseling corn at age fourteen. The day began with climbing into an open truck at 5:00 a.m. and riding into the Iowa countryside where twenty other girls and I were dumped at the edge of a monstrous cornfield.
Our mission: To pull the tassels from the tops of six-foot cornstalks. We wore long-sleeved shirts and long pants to avoid being cut by the corn leaves, and our clothes were soaked with dew within the first 5 minutes. By afternoon, we were drenched with sweat and peeling off whatever we could. All of us were sunburned, stinky, and covered with cuts.
At the time—several decades ago—we were not supposed to talk, sing, or listen to music. We broke all of those rules. The water jug was to be used sparingly. Our bathroom was any finished row. We brought our own lunches and ate sitting on the ground. Some girls quit after the first day. I lasted the whole two weeks, but I never did it again.

A quote that motivates you . . .
Never, never, never quit—Winston Churchill

The title of the one song you could take with you to that deserted island . . .
Rockstar by Nickelback—cleverest lyrics ever!

Three Wishes
  1. That malignancy will die and not kill
  2. That kindness and compassion will wipe out cruelty
  3. That people will respect their connection with all living things

Favorite game you played as a child . . .
This is going to make me sound completely crazy, but I narrated my own life. I turned whichever chore I was doing—cleaning my room, raking leaves, helping to paint the house—into a story. Sometimes I’d been kidnapped and forced into labor, or I was in disguise hiding from evildoers. Whenever I wasn’t reading a book I passed the time by narrating my life in third person to an imaginary audience.

Jean Stafford’s The Mountain Lion Book Review

 

This novel is about the coming of age of a brother, Ralph, and his sister Molly. Even though Molly is a bright, young female who aspires to be a writer, she considers herself a mind housed within a long wooden box.  While Molly and Ralph visit their Uncle Claude and grandfather, their mother takes their two older sisters around the world in preparation for marriage. Molly, not faced with many alternatives, spends the summer imitating Ralph. When Ralph asks her what dirty words she knows, his name, too, is added to her list of “unforgivables.” Molly’s presence, in essence, inhibits Ralph’s male maturation. Therefore, the hunt for the mountain lion translates into a form of salvation for future Mollys as well as for Ralph. This novel, rich with symbolism, is an appropriate novel for the secondary classroom highlighting such subjects as feminism, anorexia, and dysfunction in the family.