Blog Tour: Steve Brezenoff Mini-Interview

Today's my stop for the BURNING BROOKLYN by Steve Brezenoff tour over at The {Teen} Book Scene. That means I have the amazing author Steve himself here to answer a couple questions about the writing process and y'know, the one or two fun ones you can't resist. ;) For more exclusive content, reviews, and giveaways, be sure to check out the other tour stops! 

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1. "Kid" is such an ambiguous name -- though, because of that, it's intriguing. What's the back story to naming your character?
I did need Kid’s name to be ambiguous, of course, but in truth the name came to me before the character did. I’m afraid the back story isn’t exactly inspiring, but it comes down to this: In the first scene I wrote, now someplace toward the end of the story, Jonny called the narrator “kid” a few times. I didn’t capitalize it then. In the very next scene I wrote, maybe five minutes later, Fish woke up the narrator with a simple “Kid” and a light kick in the side. Since it was all on its own, as a whole sentence—a whole paragraph, actually—it was capped now, and I liked the look of it. So I decided to use it as a proper name. When I made another important choice about the narrator, it worked beautifully because of its ambiguity, so I stuck with it.

2. How do you relate to Kid? When you were 16 (or in your teens in general), was there any place you really wanted to run away to?
I did take off to Manhattan quite a lot when I was 16, since that’s how old you had to be to get into CBGB, the now defunct iconic punk club on the Bowery. For me it meant a train ride on the Long Island Rail Road, or, when a few friends got their licenses, a very scary drive. But the truth is, I come from a very loving home and two supportive and understanding parents, whereas Kid, well, doesn’t.

3. How did/does it feel writing and publishing your second novel? Did you bring in anything you learned from the first go-around?
I have to say, I really didn’t. The Absolute Value of -1 was written over a span of nearly 15 years, and I didn’t start it with an eye on publishing it, nor any knowledge of young adult publishing at all. By the time I finished it, I had already been a production editor at Simon Pulse, a teen imprint at Simon & Schuster, for nearly five years. Writing Brooklyn, Burning was a very low-pressure affair, at least at first. My self-inflicted—and very necessary—revisions were a tad stressful, but since I finished it before The Absolute Value of -1 even came out, I wasn’t much bothered. Now, as for the novel I’m working on now—or should I say, as for the novels I’m working on now—that’s a different story, and having now published two books, without having finished a third, I’m feeling the pressure.

4. Among your many other jobs, this one sticks out: singer of a heavy metal band. Anywhere we can get those records or see some pictures? ;)
Ha! We used to have a Myspace page. You can definitely hear some of the music (I was the bassist, too). It plays over the trailer I made for The Absolute Value of -1, without the vocals. I’m afraid the Myspace isn’t around anymore. I just checked.

5. Finally, if you had to pick one verb (to __________) that describes you, what would it be? Take "describe me" as you will.
This was a tough one, but I’m going with “wallow.”

Thanks, Steve! :) I'd be all over that Myspace though... <3


When you're sixteen and no one understands who you are, sometimes the only choice left is to run. If you're lucky, you'll find a place that accepts you, no questions asked. And if you're really lucky, that place has a drum set, a place to practice, and a place to sleep. For Kid, the streets of Greenpoint, Brooklyn, are that place. Over the course of two scorching summers, Kid falls hopelessly in love and then loses nearly everything and everyone worth caring about. But as summer draws to a close, Kid finally finds someone who can last beyond the sunset.