Saturday, April 9, 2016

0 Jesse Andrews, author of THE HATERS, on the difficulties of writing sex scenes

THE HATERS is the latest novel from Jesse Andrews, and we're honored to have him here to tell us about it.

Jesse, what was your inspiration for writing THE HATERS?

I've been in some bands. Most of them were good, and all of them were loud, but none of them were great. And so in each band, our ambitions of being a truly great world-straddling band were never fulfilled. And yet the friendships I had in those bands were unlike any other friendships I've ever had, because they were bound up in making stuff and connecting to each other and trying to transcend ourselves. And so being in those bands was really bittersweet and beautiful. Also it was frequently hilarious because a lot of the time we were doing stuff like just sauntering around a parking lot with exaggerated nonchalance like we thought we were Led Zeppelin or something. Anyway, I wanted to write about that.

What scene was really hard for you to write and why, and is that the one of which you are most proud? Or is there another scene you particularly love?

The scene that was hardest to write was probably the sex scene. Because a lot of the time when you're reading a sex scene in a book, you can't help but feel like the main purpose of this sex scene is for the author to convey to you that he (it's usually a he) has had some great, great sex in his day. Just some spectacular and deeply poetic sex, with a bunch of different people, with a whole variety of equally haunting kinds of nipple and collarbone and stuff, and now you get to learn about it. So I'm kind of allergic to writing a sex scene with any vanity at all. But at the same time, you don't want it to be pure farce either, because then your poor characters are too sad and ridiculous. So I tried to find some different tonal place. I don't know if I succeeded. It does feel true to teenage sex though.

How long did you work on THE HATERS?

About two years.


The Haters
by Jesse Andrews
Amulet Books
Released 4/5/2016

From Jesse Andrews, author of the New York Times bestselling Me and Earl and the Dying Girl and screenwriter of the Sundance award–winning motion picture of the same name, comes a groundbreaking young adult novel about music, love, friendship, and freedom as three young musicians follow a quest to escape the law long enough to play the amazing show they hope (but also doubt) they have in them.

Inspired by the years he spent playing bass in a band himself, The Haters is Jesse Andrews’s road trip adventure about a trio of jazz-camp escapees who, against every realistic expectation, become a band.

For Wes and his best friend, Corey, jazz camp turns out to be lame. It’s pretty much all dudes talking in Jazz Voice. But then they jam with Ash, a charismatic girl with an unusual sound, and the three just click. It’s three and a half hours of pure musical magic, and Ash makes a decision: They need to hit the road. Because the road, not summer camp, is where bands get good. Before Wes and Corey know it, they’re in Ash’s SUV heading south, and The Haters Summer of Hate Tour has begun.

In his second novel, Andrews again brings his brilliant and distinctive voice to YA, in the perfect book for music lovers, fans of The Commitments and High Fidelity, or anyone who has ever loved—and hated—a song or a band. This witty, funny coming-of-age novel is contemporary fiction at its best.

Purchase The Haters at Amazon
Purchase The Haters at IndieBound
View The Haters on Goodreads


Jesse Andrews is an author, screenwriter, and former German youth hostel receptionist. He was born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA, and is a graduate of Schenley High School and Harvard University. He currently makes his home in Boston, MA.


Have you had a chance to read THE HATERS yet? Have you written a novel to capture an experience from your life? Do you have trouble writing sex scenes? Share your thoughts about the interview in the comments!

Happy reading,

Jocelyn, Shelly, Martina, Anisaa, Sam, Erin, Susan, Lindsey, Sarah, and Kristin

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