MC: You've said Some of Tim's Stories is among your best writing. How so?
HINTON: I'm a good judge of my own work. These stories are mature, intense, and emotionally involving.
MC: Is Tim based on someone you know?
HINTON: I never base a character on someone I know. You can get ideas from real life, but every character you write is some aspect of yourself. I had Tim hanging around for a long time before I decided he'd write stories. I think readers will know the man from the stories he writes.
MC: Have you ever written anything that's just crap?
HINTON: Many, many things. Some of them I keep around in hopes of getting back to them and revising. For instance, I wrote the first chapter of the book I am working on now many years ago--I'm just now getting back to it. It's a paranormal comedy thriller.
MC: The Outsiders is like the Bible to generations of angsty teenagers. Did its success surprise you?
HINTON: In a way. After all, I was just a high-school kid in Tulsa, Oklahoma. But I was desperate for something to read that dealt realistically with teenage life, and I thought others might be, too.
MC: The pressure after it sold so well must have been enormous. How did you handle it?
HINTON: All of a sudden it felt like people were peering over my shoulder, wondering what I would write next. I was blocked for four years. My boyfriend--now my husband--suggested I write two pages a day. He wouldn't take me out if I hadn't done my two pages. That's how I wrote my second novel, That Was Then, This Is Now. I've haven't worried about an audience or had writer's block since.
MC: What did your son say when he read The Outsiders?
HINTON: He didn't say much, but I got the feeling he thought, It's OK, Mom, but you're no Tolkien.
MC: Four of your books have been turned into movies. If your life story became a movie who would play you?
HINTON: Abigail Breslin from Little Miss Sunshine. We do the exact same striptease. It's uncanny.
Click here to purchase Some of Tim's Stories by S.E.Hinton.