Thursday, February 23, 2012

Where It Began Tour: Interview with Huey

I'm excited to possibly (but probably not) pull myself out of blogging hiatus with an interview with Huey from Ann Redisch Stampler's amazing Where It Began which I reviewed a while back.

Also I'm really happy to see that making references to Huey being from a novel apparently didn't induce in him any existential crises.

My last also: the rest of the post contains mild spoilers, that I don't think will take away from the reading experience any.

So without further ado:

To start us off, how would you describe yourself? Introduce yourself to


My name is Jeremy Hewlett III, and I’m a senior at Winston School. If you just met me now, if you didn’t read the book, if you didn’t know what happened to Gabby, and what I did last year, you’d probably just see me as a “took the road less traveled” kind of guy. I don’t party. I don’t play sports. I don’t have a lot of respect for the populars around here.

The only reason any of them even talks to me is that they admire wealth, and my house is bigger than their house. A lot bigger.
If you knew what I did last year – or more, what I didn’t do that a better person would have done, and don’t say it wasn’t my responsibility, because it was – you might not like me that much.

Back to the introduction: My favorite subjects are art and Latin, I’m good at photography, and I’ve had the same girlfriend since middle school. It’s obvious that some people think I’m geeky or some other category of weird, but that’s just a way to put down people who don’t actually care what other people think. Which I don’t at all.

While you were under the impression that Gabby knew what happened before the crash, how did you feel about how self-sacrificing she was being?

If she’d been sacrificing herself for something worthwhile, I probably would have admired her. The selflessness. I have but one life to give for my country, torture me all you want, but I will never reveal the location of the partisans, something like that.

But she was sacrificing herself for Billy Nash. Are you kidding me? The longer it went on, the harder it was to take. Until eventually, I couldn’t take it.

Did you plan to make the crash pictures public while you were taking them, or was it a spontaneous decision in reaction to Gabby’s passivity about the situation?

No, that isn’t what they were for at all. They were supposed to be candid portraits, and no one is as candid as someone who’s drunk off his ass. Sorry. You could delete the “his ass” part if you want to. And then everything went crazy.

Do you feel that having such a serious subject in the crash and doing something so important and affecting with it has changed the way you look at photography now?

It’s weird you should ask me that, because I’m thinking about applying to journalism school for photojournalism. I hope Northwestern, but it’s a reach. I was just working on a supplemental essay. My plan before it happened was to major in art. But high school is supposed to change you, right? What happens in high school. And this one picture, this one photograph that I took, changed things for a lot of people. It changed everything. Makes sense that it would change things for me too.

Finally, what are your plans after the events of the novel? How do you think those events affected where you’re heading?

You know how you were saying that Gabby was passive before? When you think about it, I’m the one who was passive. There’s such a thing as hiding behind a camera and it has nothing to do with being a good photographer. If I’d stepped up sooner, I couldn’t have taken that picture, because the thing I was photographing wouldn’t have happened. There wouldn’t have been a novel about all of us because I would have derailed the central event.

But I didn’t. What’s my excuse? It’s not as if my family didn’t raise me with moral values or a religion that’s pretty clear on how you’re supposed to act. So anyway, I’m not that passive guy any more.

Are you sold? I'm sold all over again. I want to go back and reread the ending!
So have some more info about Where It Began, coming to you in early March from Simon Pulse:


Where It Began by Ann Redisch Stampler

Gabby lived under the radar until her makeover. Way under. but when she started her senior year as a blonder, better-dressed version of herself, she struck gold: Billy Nash believed she was a the flawless girl she was pretending to be. The next eight months with Billy were bliss...Until the night Gabby woke up on the ground next to the remains of his BMW without a single memory of how she got there.

And Billy's nowhere to be found.

All Gabby wants is to make everything perfect again. But getting her life back isn't difficult, it's impossible. Because nothing is the same, and Gabby's beginning to realize she's missed more than a few danger signs along the way.

It's time for Gabby to face the truth, even if it means everything changes.