Ask John Green - January 23, 2013 discussion

Ask John!

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message 1: by Margo (new)

Margo (maothrockmorton) | 4 comments Mod
Welcome to the group! John will be answering questions on Wednesday, January 23, 2013. In the meantime if you have a question for John or just want to introduce yourself feel free to do so in this thread.

message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

Here's my question (& a small comment):
Mr. Green, I would like to know how An Imperial Affliction ends. Even though it wasn't the main point of TFIOS, it reeled me into it's heartbreaking plot and I really understood Hazel's agony in not knowing. She might have come to terms with her fate, but I have not.
Maybe I'm the only one who wants to know this, but I will ask anyways. Thank you for your consideration.

message 3: by Skatingella (new)

Skatingella | 1 comments Hello Everyone,
My question is what inspired you to cover such a deep topic in The Fault in Our Stars? Also how did you get the perspective of someone who is dying?

message 4: by Njvani (new)

Njvani | 2 comments Hello,

I never read any questions in these things about An Abundance of Katherines (which does not nearly get the love it deserves) so I figured I would ask one myself. At the very end of the book Lindsey says to Colin,

"And the other moral of the story is that you, Smartypants, just told an amazing story, proving that given enough time, and enough coaching, and enough hearing stories of current and former employees of Gutshot Textiles, anyone–anyone–can learn to tell a damned good story".

I get how Colin being able to tell a story fits into the narrative, and what the overall message is behind this accomplishment. My question is whether you were stroking your ego a bit here or not? Are you really talking about yourself? If so, I think it's awesome–a little cocky–but awesome nonetheless. It made me think of the final scene of Inglorious Bastards, when Brad Pitt claims to have made his masterpiece, but everyone knows its Tarantino just making a claim to how awesome he is.

Deep down I kind of hope you were stroking your ego a bit, because you should proud of the novel, and the work you have done as a whole. I think your literary work, and work with Hank in endeavors such as the P4A have left the kind of mark on the world that Colin sought to make himself.

Hope you enjoyed the Katherines question!

Nick (a Canadian Nerdfighter)

message 5: by Alison (new)

Alison | 1 comments Mr. John Green,

I have poured over your books for years, enjoying each one maybe more than the last. You would assume I would have a list of questions ready for this type of thing, yet I find myself unprepared. I absolutly adore your writing style, characters, ability to make me laugh in the most confuesing and dark periods of the teen years, and I feel like I am talking with a good friend as I watch you and Hank on YouTube, making me feel included in the most wonderful group of Nerdfighters. Thank you so much for never forgetting to be awesome.


message 6: by Riikka (new)

Riikka (rakuna) Even tough TFioS is the new book everyone is talking about, I wanted to ask, how it was to write Will Grayson, Will Grayson with David Levathan? I am aware that you two knew each other prior to the proses, but how did it affect your relationship and what were the best and the worst parts of the proses of writing a book together?

message 7: by Katie (new)

Katie | 1 comments Are you writing any new books?

message 8: by Crystal (new)

Crystal Navarro (kanarenee) I wanted to ask how long being an author has been a goal of yours-- was there any one specific book or event in your life that sparked an idea that made you say "I have to write this/share this with the world?"

Secondly, DFTBA ;)

message 9: by Adreeta (new)

Adreeta Chakraborty To being with,thanks for being so,so,so incredibly AWESOME!I have read each ONE of your books a million times. They're just AMAZING. You would think that after reading so much of your stuff,I would have a lot of questions. Which I don't. The only thing I have to say to you is THANK YOU!(Okay that sentence had a lot of 'you's.) And I love your videos so much too. You're a huge inspiration to me. Oh,and I can't wait for your next book to come out!
P.S. I would REALLY like to know what happens to Anna's mother.

message 10: by Amber (new)

Amber (amberisabelle) Dear John, (this is ironic)

First of all, I'd like to say that I'm a very big fan. Thank you for brightening my life with your novels.
My question is: In TFioS, you describe that An Imperial Infliction doesn't have a proper ending. You explained that the book just ends mid-sentence, because the main character either died or got too sick to write. Have you ever considered ending TFioS in the same manner? Like, have the story end mid-sentence and have readers guessing for what might have happened to Hazel?

- Amber

message 11: by Dara (new)

Dara | 1 comments Dear John,
First I want to thank you for writing these amazing books. They've given me so many different views of people, the world, and the themes you involve in your books. Thank you for being you throughout your years on youtube and thank you for being there when I wasn't ok. Your books was a source of comfort in those times, and even now when I'm upset. Question 1: Where did you get your inspiration for Looking For Alaska. Question 2: How did you and David Levathan work on the book Will Grayson, Will Grayson? Did you alternate writing?

Thank you,

message 12: by Matthew (last edited Jan 09, 2013 02:36PM) (new)

Matthew Aaronson | 2 comments Dear John

I really enjoyed reading your book TFioS, I felt it tackled a very serious topic with humour as well treating the reader in a way which did not shield the reader from the harsh reality of cancer and ultimately mortality. Firstly I would like to ask why you decided to write a book on the subject of terminally ill children , also how you were able to get into the mindset of the characters? I would also like to ask that as your books have been labelled as Young Adult fiction do you write with this particular genre in mind, and does the YA label affect the willingness of some to read your book as they perceive to perhaps be aimed at a younger audience , although the subjects that are dealt with in the book can apply to anyone especially the notion of our own mortality.


message 13: by Alexa (new)

Alexa Ray (alexaray) | 1 comments Dear John Green,
First of all, thank you so so so so so much for your writings. Your books are beyond amazing. All of the books you have written, I've read them in less than two days; meaning that they are too great to put down. They put me on a roller coaster ride. I go from laughing and giggling at one moment, and the next I'm crying my eyes out. Thank you for your books. I cannot thank you enough. Our characters have somewhat made me the person I am today. All of them have inspired and motivated me to be more of whom i want to be. Thank you John Green.
So my question for you is, how did you come up with the personalities of these characters? Are these characters supposed to represent someone in your life?

message 14: by Roo (new)

Roo | 1 comments Mr. Green,
I loooove your books especially The Fault in our Stars. I was wondering what happens to Hazel Grace? I loved her character and was wondering if she lived or died.
Thank you :)

message 15: by Natalia (new)

Natalia (nataliabrooksro) | 1 comments Roo wrote: "Mr. Green,
I loooove your books especially The Fault in our Stars. I was wondering what happens to Hazel Grace? I loved her character and was wondering if she lived or died.
Thank you :)"

I like what you did there,pulling a hazel grace asking the author about what happens to the character :DD

message 16: by l (last edited Jan 23, 2013 05:46AM) (new)

l Hi there!

I'm Lauren, and The Fault in Our Stars gave me some kind of emotion attack. Seriously, I would be walking down the street and I would suddenly think,
" (view spoiler) " Then I would start to cry and everyone around me would give me weird look.

Like I had mental issues or something. But fangirling isn't a mental issue, is it? IS IT?

Anywaaaay, here's my question:

Say you were walking through a book store, just as some random guy looking for a book. You see every single John Green book there is, lined up on a shelf. Which one would you buy? No, I'm not asking which is your favourite, because that would probably be like choosing a favourite child. Cruel. But which one of your books would you like to experience as a reader, and why?

Thank you very, very, very much for at least acknowledging my existence,

message 17: by Susannah (new)

Susannah | 2 comments There are so many great questions to ask about this book, sorry mine is just clarifying. What is Augustus's Mom's name? On page 55 she's called Cindy and on page 230 she's called Emily. Thank you so much for writing it, it's one of my favorite books.

message 18: by Mia (new)

Mia Minnis (mialyra) Hello John!
I was wondering if you had to do a lot of research to come up with Hazel and Augustus's banter, and also if you feel that way about breakfast foods yourself? I know that it's a metaphor but I am always fighting for the social rights of scrambled eggs and no one seems to understand my feelings besides Hazel. No one should have to stand for that kind of social injustice, egs should not be given labels.

message 19: by Victoria (new)

Victoria (vicnamese) Where do you draw inspiration for writing Augustus and Hazel's relationship, especially from the perspective of the female? DFTBA!

message 20: by Thea (new)

Thea (lady-ofthelake) Dear Mr. John Green,

Something I love about your books is their ability to stand on their own... they don't need sequels. Your books feel complete while allowing the reader to still wonder what will come of the characters after the novel's end.

That said, have you ever considered writing any kind of companion novel to your stories, i.e., about Isaac from TFioS? Or could you ever see yourself writing a multi-book series in the future?

message 21: by Nitzan (new)

Nitzan Schwarz (nitzanafterwords) Dear Mr. Green,
Yesterday (and by the time you get this question it'll probably be a few days ago), I finished reading The Fault it Our Stars. It was my first book from you, and one of the only books that made me cry.
So my question to you is this; did you hesitate to break our hearts (and by our I mean the many readers), or was it hard to do?
Did the ending, and everything that happens, was something you knew would happen and decided on from the very beginning, or did you find yourself in the middle of writing realizing where it's going?
And, was it hard to write down?

LOL, I realize those are more than one question... but they're all related!

message 22: by Jordan (last edited Jan 20, 2013 09:36PM) (new)

Jordan Hale (jordan3119) John,
First of all, thank you for taking time to answer our questions. Do you envision a legacy for your oeuvre when you have decided it's time to retire from writing? Can you imagine a world in 100 years in which people still read your books or do you think that with the ever shortening attention span of people that an author's popularity, or any artist's for that matter, will dwindle quickly after they have backed away from the spotlight?


message 23: by Samuel (new)

Samuel (sockmonk) Do the names 'Hazel Grace' and 'Augustus Waters' have any particular symbolic meaning, or are they just names you came up with? Thank you for doing this discussion, by the way. DFTBA

message 24: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie (hp4l15) | 2 comments Hey John,

You've mentioned before that writing TFIOS was a really emotionally taxing experience. How do you prevent yourself from getting too swept up in the intense emotions conveyed in your novels, including TFIOS?

So excited to be a part of this discussion. Yay Nerdfighteria! DFTBA!


message 25: by Yuko86 (new)

Yuko86 | 1 comments Is the ending of TFiOS a parallelism with the ending of AIA? Does the book finish because Hazel dies, like Anna in AIA?

message 26: by Magdalene (new)

Magdalene Lim | 1 comments Do you possess the interesting habits/interests that the characters have such as anagramming and remembering people's last words? If so, are there any other interests you have that might form the basis of new books?

message 27: by Nathalie (last edited Jan 17, 2013 07:01AM) (new)

Nathalie (nathaylee) | 1 comments I skimmed through the questions already asked here, I've read the Q&A blog, and I sat here looking at this blank box with nothing to ask. This book was just fantastic and made me feel a lot of feelings. I remember the night I got it: I only got to the store at 7pm and I read all night. My sister told me that I woke her up at 1 in the morning, sobbing my feels out. Thanks for making a beautiful thing. It really opened my eyes to how literature can touch people, and I'll be forever in your debt.

message 28: by Pirl (last edited Jan 16, 2013 11:11PM) (new)

Pirl (pirlismyname) HELLO JOHN GREEN
After a few more years experiencing writing, would you change anything from your first book, Looking for Alaska? If not, why? If you would, do you have any idea what you would change? If this is a ridiculous question, why?

And also, since I've always believed in being awesome, thank you for helping. I haven't always been a nerdfighter, but I've always believed that people should love themselves even if they hate themselves (if that makes any sense at all). Have you always lived by the DFTBA motto? Or is it something you began believing in solely because of vlogbrothers? Or is it a realization that took your whole life to make, but once you did it was made of awesome?

Thanks for doing this. You have no idea how much it means to all of us.
DFTBA from Israel.

message 29: by Brenna (new)

Brenna In all of your other books there has always been a connection or an intrest that you share with one of the characters but I don't see it in TIFOS. Is there one?

message 30: by Lisa (last edited Jan 16, 2013 11:25PM) (new)

Lisa | 1 comments Hi John,
As a high school librarian I have used "Looking for Alaska" many times to change boys attitude to reading, and it never fails. Sometimes the boys get so attached to the book that they find it hard to give it back. At 50 I also love Alaska's story, for all it hurts to care about her. The Fault in our Stars is so touching that it is hard to imagine how you could have imagined it all. Keep writing stories that mean something to teenagers, you are gifted.
My question- why can't you write faster?
Lisa Salter

message 31: by Luana (new)

Luana (luana11) | 1 comments Dear John Green,

I would firstly like to say that I have absolutely loved every single one of your book! It was my favourite thing to get one of them and simply devour every little page and they haven't disappointed me. Not once. Therefore, you've become one of my favourites writers of all time in an incredibly short amount of time and I have done my best in spreading my copies of your books to all my friends, in spreading little pieces of your awesomeness.
I would have two questions for you, that have been bugging me for some time. Firsly, how was it writing a book with someone else? (I'm talking about Will Grayson, Will Grayson here, because I'm just curious if you talke about it first, got to a common idea or simply wrote alternative chapters, surprising the other).
Also, I have loved AIA with all my heart and am quite curious... I know we've had some fragments of the book in TFIoS but have you ever considered actually writing An Imperial Affliction?

Thank you for all you awesomeness! :)
- Luana
DFTBA from Romania

message 32: by Vheel (new)

Vheel Laborera | 1 comments Mabuhay Mr. Green!

When are you going to visit the Philippines, so I can give you my big hug? :D I love The Fault In Our Stars. Thank you so much for giving me a love story though has imperfections yet so wonderful. I can't wait to share this book to my future great grandchildren.

from your fan,

message 33: by Catherine (new)

Catherine Streeter (ccstreeter) Who is your favorite character you've created? Least favorite? Was anyone in particular more fun (or difficult) to develop than the others?

message 34: by Nikki (new)

Nikki | 1 comments I don't know where to start. I am a newer addition to nerdfighteria, but I feel like you have made a personal impact on the whole of my life. I have spent almost as much time crying over and analyzing the characters in your books as I have over the characters in the books of my other favorite author, J.K. Rowling. I know this is supposed to be a question forum, but the only question you leave me with are about my personal say to say struggles. For that, good sir, I thank you.sometimes we need to question ourselves. You are amazing, your baby is cute, and one day I hope to get the opportunity to meet you in person.

message 35: by Josh (last edited Jan 16, 2013 11:39PM) (new)

Josh Sturdivant Good morning John, it's Thursday (or, at least, it is as I'm writing this).

Your books are so great. TFiOS especially was devastatingly beautiful, and I made the mistake of listening to the audiobook in public. I'm fairly certain my classmates think I'm crazy because I would alternate between bursting out in laughter and stifling sobs within a minute or two.

Anyway, to my question. Sometimes books find you at just the right moment in your life where you need it most. Maybe you really connect with a character or scene or relationship, or maybe a character learns a lesson you really need to learn. It has a special place in your heart, but you're convinced that if you had read the book at any other point in time, it would not have had the same profound effect on you. Are there books like this for you? And, if so, what are they?

Best wishes,

message 36: by Chelsea (new)

Chelsea (chelc) | 1 comments How did you decide on the name Augustus Waters? Does it have any significant meaning? I remember seeing your answer about Hazel being called Hazel because it is an "in between colour".

Is this the same for Augustus?

message 37: by Chantilly (new)

Chantilly White (Chantilly_White) | 1 comments Dear John, I so wish I had a clever question to ask like everyone else here, but I really just wanted to say how very much I love your books (and Nerdfighteria and all the rest!) Thank you for writing something so genuine, so utterly true across gender, race, age, everything, and for touching the lives of so many of us so deeply.

One of my favorite things is being able to discuss your work with my girls, and I am looking forward to my son reading them next. Best of all is discussing your books while in line to have them signed at LeakyCon, with a concert from Hank later that evening. Life is good.

So thank you, for everything. DFTBA!!


message 38: by Juwi (new)

Juwi (thebookguru) | 1 comments hi john green i honestly think you're one of the greatest human beings on this planet. anyways i was wondering if you have a favourite book character (from your books or just any book) and which book character do you relate to the most? (from your books or any other book). thanks and DFTBA (although you can never forget how awesome you are coz you are the KING OF AWESOME) =)

message 39: by Niamh (last edited Jan 16, 2013 11:55PM) (new)

Niamh (niamhalice) | 1 comments Dear John Green,

My name is Niamh (pronounced Neeve). Firstly, I would like to thank you ever so much for a.) taking time out of your busy life to answer our questions and b.) taking time to write such amazingly inspiring and truly phenomenal novels. Both your video blog on YouTube and your books help me so much as a teenager (a book-addicted-nerdy-fangirl-teenager to be specific) and helping me through the tough times that are inevitable for people of our age.

I would also like to mention your representation of the masses of fangirls/boys and fandoms that suffer from lack of a book ending (not quite to the extent of AIA, of course) on page 53 of TFIOS. I could not have put it better myself, Mr. Green.

The Title of TFIOS was inspired from a quote in Julius Caeser, "The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars / but in ourselves." I was wondering, what lead you to using this quote as the basis (and title) for the book? Did you just stumble across it and think to yourself, this is it? Or did it involve more deliberation, stretching and tweaking for days in order to come across a (frankly brilliant) title? Do you truly believe, that in Hazel and Augustus's situation, the fault is in our stars? And what is your personal opinion - is the fault in the stars, or in the human conditon?

I am tremendously grateful for your time, you simply reading this message is utterly incredible, and saying that I enjoy reading your books is the understatement of the century. I am sincerely sorry for sounding like I've swallowed a thesaurus, there are not enough casual words in the universe to express how much I appreciate your work. I look forward to the novels to come and, once again, thank you so much for what you do for the nerdfighters of the globe. And looking at it now, sorry about the length...

Niamh from NZ

p.s. I am also sorry that this kind of turned into me fangirling over you rather than a question :)

message 40: by Chelsea (new)

Chelsea (lilacbreath) How do you come up with the characters you write about? What or maybe who inspires them? How did you come up with Hazel and Augustus? When did the idea for them occur to you? It's just that all these charcters are so wonderful and so increidbly real and I find myself connecting with them and feeling for them and loving them and it's just like "OMG THIS IS FICTION BUT IT DOESN'T FEEL LIKE IT GAH!"

You are my favorite author by far. I truly adore you and your intellect. Honestly I feel lucky to be alive right now because I have the privilege of reading your work. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for simply existing and writing and just being.

Xx, Chelsea gaspard

message 41: by Halida (new)

Halida hello mr Green!

thanks for your time! hopefully these questions of mine get answered:
1. how hard was it to write from a female point of view, and do you think you succeeded?
2. what do you read? seriously, coming up with characters who makes anagrams, and remembers last words, plus creating an imaginary novel like AIA, you must have read awesome things!
3. do you write short stories too, like the one in Let It Snow? if so, where can i read your stories?

p.s. i'm not a fan of upper cases, sorry if this bothers you :p

message 42: by Hamizah (last edited Jan 22, 2013 03:04PM) (new)

Hamizah (humzcat) | 1 comments Hello there, Mr. Green!

This is such a pleasure for me to have an opportunity to ask you any questions about your books and whatnot, and I want to thank you for giving this chance to all of us.

First question is: What inspires you to write? Do you get your ideas often or do you the ideas have to come when you really really need it?

Second: I haven't been able to read TFiOS yet, but I'm in the middle of getting it. I have read Looking For Alaska and I just want to say the story is really amazing despite the sad ending. What drove you to write such a story with a twist at the end?

Finally: Any tips on how to stay motivated when writing a story? How do you cure/prevent yourself from getting writer's block?

I am very, very thankful for this chance to ask you questions and I really love your work. Hope to see more books from you, Mr. Green :)

Thank you for being awesome and DFTBA!
Hamizah, Nerdfighter from Malaysia

message 43: by Lucy-mae (new)

Lucy-mae | 1 comments John,
First of all, I love you writing and its made such an impact on me and just, wow.
But is it true they are looking for a director for a movie ? Personally I don't think a movie could possibly compare to the book! But have you considered directing it yourself? That way the same essence which you initially created would remain, and no one would change it to suit them.
Thank-you for being such a fantastic writer (:

message 44: by Rose (new)

Rose | 1 comments My question(s):
What's the first thing that you remember writing that you were truly proud of ? also were there different career/life paths you were tempted to go down instead?
Thank you for creating such beautiful books,

message 45: by Angel (new)

Angel Salinas | 1 comments My question:
Why did you become a writer and why did you pick YA as sort of your genre of writing?

message 46: by Rissa (new)

Rissa Flores (dopeydoo) | 5 comments Hello Mr. John Green!

First of all, I just wanted to say how amazing your books are. How they can be witty and funny and at the same time full of depth and thoughtful is superb. Every time I read one of your books, most of the time I finish it in less a day or two days tops because I simply could not pause and I end up reading until 3 am or so. :D Anywho, off to some of my questions that hopefully you get to answer. :)

1) If you could pick any Hollywood actress to play Hazel Grace, who would it be? Also for Alaska Young, Lindsey and Margo Roth Spiegelman?

2) "That's the thing about pain, it demands to be felt." is one of my favorite quotes from you ever, have you ever had a painful memory that you like sharing because you've realized how much you've learned from it?

3) The 5th of May sort of became a notable date in The Fault in our Stars and Paper Towns, is there any interesting tidbit why you chose that date or is it completely random? Just curious, also because it's my birthday and I found it cool that it's used for a notable event in both those books. Hahaha.

4) In your books, the male lead character usually has an interesting quirk, like Pudge's "last words" or Colin's "anagrams", do you have an interesting quirk as well?

5) What are some of your favorite modern books?

Thank you for your time! I caaaan't wait for your next book, I'm sure it'll be fantastic! :D

message 47: by Josefin (new)

Josefin | 1 comments Dear Mr John Green,

I reread parts of TFIOS yesterday (crying my eyes out, appropriately), and I adored it as much as the other two times I've read it. Congratulations on you great book!

I was wondering: is there any significance to Augustus Waters's "crooked smile"? Like, is it a symbol for the "crookedness" of his character as a whole (one-legged, being celebrated for his greatness in a sport he loathes, Grand Gesture Augustus/Goofy Gus...)? Or did you just ad it as an endearing quality?

Looking forward to reading your next work!

All the best,
Josefin from Sweden

message 48: by Holly (last edited Jan 17, 2013 01:08AM) (new)

Holly Clarkson | 1 comments Hello Mr John Green,

I have absolutely no idea what to say to you and I don't really have any questions that I specifically want to ask you except for : how do you do it? How do you keep on coming up with these wonderful, heartbreaking, funny, beautiful story's that make me weep and laugh. I have wanted to be some kind of author for just about all my life, and you are the ultimate inspiration for me. So thank you.

Also you are a huge great nerd so we have that in common.

Best wishes,

Holly Clarkson.

message 49: by Emma (new)

Emma Lau (fojemma) | 1 comments Dear (Mr?) John Green,

Your books are the books - though The Fault in Our Stars was the very first, that have introduced me to the wonderful world of Young Adult fiction, and ever since then, I have been poring over tons of YA books, enjoying every single one.

I want to thank you for delivering so much magic through your books, through your emotion-invoking style of writing, the characters and their stories. I hope that you continue to create more beautiful worlds for us readers to dwell in.

Also, I just wanted to ask what was the significance of Robert Joyner's death in Paper Towns? My friend has recently read the book and asked me this question, so I'd like to give an answer worthy of the book and its author!

Thank you very much once again, and I wish you a great year ahead for you and your family!

Emma xx

message 50: by Rea Anne (new)

Rea Anne (reaannerr) Well, I just wanted to ask this:

Mr. Green, why are you so effin' brilliant?

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