Time is a funny thing in the hospital. In the mental ward. You lose track of it easily.
After six months in the Maryland Mental Health Unit, Kyra Sellers, a.k.a. Goth Girl, is going home. Unfortunately, she's about to find out that while she was away, she lost track of more than time. Kyra is back in black, feeling good, and ready to make up with the only person who's ever appreciated her for who she really is. But then she sees him. Fanboy. Transcended from everything he was into someone she barely recognizes. And the anger and memories come rushing back.
There's so much to do to people when you're angry. Kyra's about to get very busy.
Amazon Exclusive: A Q&A with Barry Lyga, Author of Goth Girl Rising
Q: When you were writing The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl, did you have a plan for Goth Girl Rising?
A: When I finished the book, I sort of sat back and thought about it and I realized that I knew an awful lot about Kyra that doesn't come across in the first book. I had a sort of glimmer of what a Kyra novel might be like. I wrote out a couple of paragraphs (which, after editing, became the opening paragraphs of Goth Girl Rising) just to get a feel for her narrative voice and then I put it aside. I wasn't sure I wanted to do a sequel, even though I felt pretty confident that I could. So I just left it on the back burner while I worked on Boy Toy. Probably about halfway through Hero-Type, I thought to myself, "Yeah, I have to do it."
Q: Writing from the perspective of a teen girl must have been extremely challenging. What kind of research or work did you do to prepare?
A: Really, the best research and preparation for something like this is just paying attention to the people around you. I've always, for some reason, had more female friends than male friends, and they tend to confide in me, so I felt like I had a decent grip on some of the gender issues. A good friend of mine, a woman in her twenties, talked to me a lot about Kyra, and her questions and thoughts really helped me come to grips with the issues and difficulties that face young women at this particular point in history. From there, it was just a matter of filtering all of that through the specific wiring in Kyra's brain.
Q: What do you think are Kyra's best qualities? Her worst?
A: Oh, boy! Well, her best qualities are definitely her fierceness and her loyalty. She doesn't buy into anyone's lies and she doesn't give up on things easily. In the first book, for example, even when she's decided that she's angry at Fanboy, she still decides to help him with Schemata, simply because she believes in it. Her worst qualities are probably that she's so impulsive and unforgiving. In the first book, she gets angry at Bendis on behalf of her friend--that's good. Then she flashes Bendis in public--that's not good! And you'll see in the second book just how unforgiving she can be.
Q: What do you think your high school self would have though of Kyra? Would you have been friends?
A: Oh, I think my high school self would have been terrified of her, but I would have wanted to date her anyway. I don't know if we would have been friends or not. On the one hand, I was such a shy, geeky kid...but then again, so is Fanboy and she liked him!
Q: Are you done with Fanboy and Goth Girl or are there more stories to tell?
A: You know, that's a tough question to answer. When I started thinking about writing Goth Girl Rising, I was nervous because people loved that first book so much--I didn't want to write something that would be a disappointment to them. The sequel had to be a better story than the original, in my mind. That's the standard I hold myself to when writing a follow-up--it has to be better than the original. So, I guess if I came up with a story better than Goth Girl Rising, I would write it. But honestly, I think the end of the sequel is a great place to leave the characters.
Q: What are you working on now?
A: I've got a couple of things burning holes in my hard drive. I'm working on a fun series for middle grade readers, which is all about a kid with superpowers...and how he is NOT a superhero. I'm also working on my next young adult novel, which just seems to get longer and more complex every time I sit down to work on it. And I'm putting together a graphic novel, which is a lot of fun.
Q: How do you spend your time when you're not writing?
A: These days, I don't have a lot of time where I'm not writing! But I love to play videogames when I have the time (can't wait for BioShock 2!).