Tuesday, February 9, 2010

An Interview With C.J. Omolou

I recently had the opportunity to interview C.J. Omololu, author of Dirty Little Secrets.

1. Who is your favorite character in the book?
Tough one. I think I have to say Lucy, mostly because i
t is in first person so I really got into her head. In a strange way, I began to understand how her mom’s mind worked, although I can’t say I liked her in the end.

2. Do you watch the show Hoarders? Do you think there is a difference between the hoarding Lucy’s mother does and the hoarding in the show?
I TIVO every episode, an
d I’ve gotten most of my extended family into it too. The show didn’t exist until well after we were done with the book, so the timing is really interesting. Some of the episodes show animal hoarding, which we consciously didn’t include in the book – most experts consider that a subset of true compulsive hoarding. The hoarders who have severe psychological disorders where they cannot part with anything, even garbage, are universally similar in what they keep and how they act. Almost every episode I see something that is in the book. In one episode, the hoarding mom actually says that the house is her “dirty little secret”. I almost fell off my chair.

3. Which age group do you prefer writing for?
I love love love writing for teens. I have a picture book that is published and I may do a few more, but for sheer enjoyment on all levels it’s YA.

4. Was it hard writing a book about hoarding?
It was very emotional. I had to really understand both Lucy and her mom, and to do that I did a lot of research. Three
women who had grown up in hoarded homes helped me with all of the details so that I could get every little thing right. I’ve had a few people involved with hoarding read it and had very positive responses from them.

5. Who is your favorite author and what is your favorite book?
I hate answering that because it changes so often depending on my mood. For adult writers, I love Muriel Spark, especially her short stories. There are so many YA writers who are amazing that I love – John Green, Justine Larbalastier, e. lockhart, Sarah Dessen, Ingrid Law, Jen Nadol (a fellow Tenner – I love The Mark!). I can’t begin to name them all.

Crossposted at: Zoe's Book Reviews


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