Frequently asked questions
Q. Are you planning to write Book 8?
A. Done that. Published May, 2015. Book 9? Don't even go there.
Q. Did you like the Youth in Revolt movie?
A. I was grateful that after 17 years of delays and setbacks it finally got made. The movie kept me amused. I thought the actors did a fine job. Since the plot of the book is so complicated, the movie's story elements might have flowed more coherently had the filmmakers been permitted a few more minutes of screen time. I liked that I managed to sneak in a Jo Stafford song.
Q. Why not write a version of Youth in Revolt from Sheeni Saunder's point of view?
A. Sorry, this idea just doesn't appeal. Since the story is already known, I think it would be tedious to write and boring to read. Besides, only Sheeni knows what's going on in her mind.
Q. Why are your novels so popular in Eastern Europe?
A. Those cultured and literate folks are my kind of readers.
C.D. Payne in college. He lived that year in a dorm bathroom.
Q. Just finished the latest installment of the Nick Twisp novels. I'm already beginning to show signs of withdrawals and depression. I need more Mr. Payne. A confirmation of another Twisp novel in the works will set my mind at ease. I fear the abuse of women's trust and alcohol will be the result of teenage lives around the globe without another nick novel. Please, tell me things I want to hear. --Tristan Villanueva
A. Things you want to hear? OK, you can read more about some Twispian characters in my novel Cheeky Swimsuits of 1957. No one has any right to complain until they've read that.
Q. [Spoiler alert] Hi my name is Emerson from Simi Valley, California. I've been putting off contacting you for so long but I really just wanted to say that you have created the funniest, most interesting, smartest, and just best books I've ever read and I could probably argue the best of all time. I just can't fathom the genius that went into to writing those masterpieces. I was so engrossed and enthralled in the stories. I loved how so realistic the journaling was. I loved how crazy interesting the character were, how crazy intricate and in depth the plot lines were, and how hilarious the comedic moments were. And how exciting some of the sexier moments were! Thank you. But also I have some questions I hope you could answer. 1. What was your reason for not allowing Nick and Sheeni to have a happy ending together? Isn't it deeply unsatisfying (to you and other readers) to see the two main lovers not have each other in the end? They had such a good story! I'm not mad, really, because I enjoyed the story anyway. Never mind, no more questions actually. Thanks again for such a funny and fun series to read! I got so so much of enjoyment out of it. It's so awesome reading all that journaling and then remembering stuff like you actually lived it! Like little funny things and jokes that feel so real. Like all the places Nick went and how I felt reading about all the things he felt. I don't know of this can be understood. What a great series! Truly legendary! Thanks for your time.
A. The Nick novels are tales of obsessive love. This involves falling in love with an inappropriate person and ignoring all signs that things aren't going well. That is pretty much Nick's story. An ending in which Nick and Sheeni wind up together would seem too contrived considering what's come before. There's another case of obsessive love in Helen of Pepper Pike that does end happily. But that couple is more compatible in all respects.
Q. I am reading Youth in Revolt right now, and I must say I should have read it 10 years ago. You are an underappreciated genius. Could you write a genderswapped version of Youth in Revolt (with Nick as Nicki, Sheeni as Shane, etc.)? (Mark, Longwarry, Victoria, Australia)
A. Sounds like fun, but too much over the same territory. I'd rather write about bathing suits in 1957.
Q. I would just like to keep this brief. Thank you so much for the YIR series! I have read each book so far many many times and fall in love with them over and over again. Being from Australia, no one that I know knows about them, so I have been sharing the books with my family and friends. I hope one day, you possibly do an Australian tour as I am wanting to meet more Nick Twisp fans from Australia. Thanks once again, they are the best books I have read. From your biggest Australian fan. (Jayden.R, Australia)
Q. One more "thank you" from Czech Republic:). I read your series at the age of 28! for the first time and fell in love with it. There was that question bellow - why are you so popular in CR - probably it is because of the very good and catchy translation from Tamara Ván(ová (she did really great job) and of course - the story is amazing - no doubts. My question is - did you like that movie? Why? ... I am trying to like it (because I like you and don´t wanna hurt you) but I simply can´t... from my point of view it ruined your work and it should be lost and forgotten...Your book is witty, amusing, nice, funny and fulfilling but the movie is just giving us a flat common story about a teenager, nothing special and definitelly nothing funny - rather awkward. have a nice day Marie
A. Thanks, Marie. The movie doesn’t work for some folks who read the book first.
Q. Hello I am Dominic, 19, from Chino, California and I can no longer handle the suspense. I fell in love with the Youth in Revolt franchise when I was 15 and to say it's my favorite book series would be an understatement. I was in shock when I learned about book 7 and ordered it the day it was released and I must know if a book 8 is on it's way. Thank you.
A. See above. Thanks.
Q. Dear Mr. Payne, thank you for your new book about Brenda. I like it - as all your books, of course. I read it during 7 hours - my record. Story is very nice and original. I like your "nick twisp humour" style. But why is the book too short? Will second part with Brenda first "romance" story with Dylan? I hope. Thank you! Patrik, Czech republic.
A. I’m not sure the world really wants big, thick comic novels. Sorry, no plans at this time to revisit Brenda’s love life.
Q. The film adaptation of ‘Youth in Revolt’ was terrible. Is there any chance of a TV miniseries or something to do justice to the books? Neil, New Zealand.
A. No mini-series in the works. Sorry.
Q. Why is youth in exile unavailable in book form? I've only found it in audio book form. Love your books! Nickfan kc,mo
A. Youth in Exile is one of the books in Youth in Revolt. It’s in print in that book.
Q. Dear Mr. Payne, Most likely there are others besides myself who feel that books 1 - 4 are a great, great love story, possibly the greatest in all of literature. On reading reviews of book 5 I felt warned to leave it alone, and did so for years, instead re-reading 1 - 4 many times, never tiring of them and always finding the writing fresh. Often I found tears in the eyes, especially at those key moments when Sheeni, in her own way, loves Nick. At last I picked up 5 and 6 and began reading them both a few pages at a time, soon putting 5 away -- this was not a continuation of the greatest love ever. By the time I finished 6 and 7 I felt immune to the heresy of 5 and dove in. It too turned out to be a great read. On the whole I feel wiser and better about myself after reading the series. So what if all loves don't work out as we might choose. What a fabulous ability to love grows out of the experiences. And isn't life all the richer. And who benefits? Everyone on whom we focus our gaze -- even ourselves. Isn't it nice to be able to feel loved even/especially when the lover is oneself.
A. Good point.
Q. Dear Mr. Payne, today I have read your new book - Helena. Is very nice and interesting. It is a new age of your style? :) I like it. Your humor is classic. In some parts of book is it as detective story, comedy, drama or unbelievable story :) Good work! I enjoy for next books. Patrik from Holesov, Czech republic.
A. That book is titled Helen of Pepper Pike in the U.S.
Q. Dear Mr Payne, I have finished the 7th book. One which I read over the period of four days. I wanted to email to see if you remembered back about 7 years when you got an email form a kid who needed a piece of quilt signed by their favorite author? Well that was me if you can remember that. Even if you don't I still do and am very appreciative of your kindness and willingness to respond back. I'm not sure if this email will actually get sent to you of not but maybe on the off chance it does and you have time in your schedule to respond just wanted to write a few things.
Thoughts on the last book...
the intro didn't start off like your writing, felt different. Wasn't the Typical "Payne" way. It did pick up though where i felt your writing came alive.
The ending seemed a bit rushed just as in Revoltingly Young. I guess when you get to the point where you want the book to stop you just write as fast as you can just to get it done, I know the feeling.
I really enjoyed the book. There is something about reading another persons struggles that intrigues me, almost as if to help my endeavours in the future.
Have to say Thank you for the series you have provided. I lost my first youth in revolt copy with the original cover from loaning it to somebody to read, which disheartens me to no end. Now I have to try can come up with one from somewhere. But i do own the rest of the books, and re-read them every now and then. Your vocabulary is....far beyond mine to say the least. I just wish I could write more than 10 pages of a story. Well once again enjoyed every book in the series. If you write more you can count on one person purchasing your book.
A. Thanks for your thoughts on the books.
Q.Hey my name's Jamie and I just finished YIR. I thought it was great and I just have one question about it. Where did the Albert look-a-likes come from? I might have missed it but I don't recall it being explained.
A. It wasn’t.
Q. Just finished reading book 7, so totally wanted to thank Mr. Payne for that. Are questions still being answered? First one that comes to mind; is it really true that many of the original first editions were destroyed? I'm sure I could ask hundreds of more questions, but it's been a couple of years since I read the 1st six books...but of course I have to again now. I really should have done so before 7 but just couldn't wait.
Seriously, thank you so much. Andrew, Baltimore, MD
A. Well, I haven’t destroyed any. Probably some were ripped violently apart by enraged parents.
Q. I am a long time fan of all of C. D.'s works. ( I even tracked down a original signed hardback of Youth in Revolt). I was wondering what info you have on Helen of Pepper Pike; release date, plot summary whatever you have. The only info I have found was in the back of Son of Youth in Revolt, and on the Amazon author page that it is awaiting publication. It wont matter to me if you don't have or aren't able to provide a plot summary as I will be buying it regardless, but a release date would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time. Eagerly awaiting, Frank.
A. Your wait is over. It’s out now in the book Helen and Brenda.
Q. Nick Twisp's stories are like a drug for me. I think that I read every of your book more than twice. The characters are amazing, I can imagine them in detail and that's the reason why I was so disappointed by the movie Youth in Revolt. Anyway I did not expect Nick stories to continue with his brother and then even son, but the last book for me was more like a reunion of good old characters. Personally I adore Connie and Veeva, those women are completely crazy, but they always get what they want. I mean you gave me a lot of good times laughing and thinking about the characters! Thank you for 7 wonderful times! And I am really happy that lot of Czech people like you and support you! With all best wishes to you and family Twisp, your fan from Prague, Czech Republic, Ivana Ilicova.
A. Thanks for the kind words.
Q. Mr.Payne, I would like to formally thank you for hosting the orgy of ideas that took place in your head years ago that would come to birth the Youth in Revolt series. I am currently reading Youth in Revolt for the first time, and I must say that though I am appalled at Nick Twisp's adolescent scum, (of which many boys, including myself, are bound to be a slave to.) I love him. I sit in school and read and I laugh,snicker, and disrupt my class. I watched the film a long while ago now prior to reading Youth in Revolt, and it provides an enjoyable context to the characters' physical appearance. I am disappointed that this book has been around before I was born, and for long I've waited for a novel like this and I have found it much later, being 17. Youth in Revolt makes me feel not so alone, now that I know that the ponderings and actions of the modern male adolescent have been pieced together as a beautiful whole. Nick Twisp is in hundreds of thousands of adolescent boys, and I deem you worthy of praise and eternal gratitude for the perfectly-concocted masterpiece that is Youth in Revolt. With much prayer and best regards, Aaron Sanchez, from Charlotte, North Carolina.
A. Good to know Nick appeals to the latest generation.
Q. Greetings from Bend and your longtime fan and one-time newspaper article writer (when the movie came out). I'm sitting here at work, where a huge layoff took place two weeks ago, yet I'm procrastinating anyway, so I get to thinking, "Wonder what C.D. Payne's up to?" I head over to nicktwisp.com and am happily surprised to see the first chapter of Invisibly Yours AND a new Twisp book coming out in March. So there is reason to survive another long winter in the high desert, where we just had our first snowfall this early morning. Looking forward to ordering Invisibly Yours on the Kindle when I get home tonight! David, Bend, OR.
A. David, sorry that your email and so many others got stuck in my spam folder. Glad I found it at last.
Q. First off, I would like to say I am a huge fan of the youth in revolt series and have read all of them multiple times. I'm 17 years old and an aspiring fiction writer, so I have two questions for you. 1: how do you come up with the more unique names in your stories, like sheeni and fuzzy? 2: when can we expect the next installment in the series? Once again, i'm a huge fan of your work. - jacob
A. The names just show up with the characters. I don’t think much about them. Once in a while I have to change a name because I’ve used it before in another book.
Q. Dear Mr. Payne, I have read your book about Scott Twisp. Thank you for it! Nice work, again (of course). But very very quickly end. I was enjoy for some story with Casey in her school (rebellion with her friends...) and meet with Scott and nothing. And WHY Azura go to sex with Scott? I dont understand. And live with Twisp family in same house or not? So, now I beginning read your second new novel - Invisible. Very good work too. I see your style ala Nick Twisp here. Patrik
A. Novels end where they end. Characters sometimes have to be left behind with their full stories untold. The world does not much want 500-page comic novels!
Q. Nick Twisp said his last word of his life will be Sheeni's name, maybe...I want to know if he said “Sheeni'' as his last word. Or is he still alive :) ...thank you..thank you for your ideas and jokes :)... Michal Lemr, Prague CZ
A. Nick is still alive and living in Santa Monica, CA. I passed him on the beach the last time I was down there. Naturally, he’s still stuck on Sheeni.
Q. Dear Mr. Payne, As an avid reader of everything and anything, I was blessed when I came upon the first book of Youth in Revolt on the shelf at Borders. After that fateful encounter I have purchased all of your books and can say with pride that I love them. After reading all of them (currently reading The Son of Youth in Revolt, not finished) I found two things interesting:
1. In almost all of your books there was a sort of queer moment at one point or another. Sometimes it was by a gay character such as in Civic Beauties and sometimes by a seemingly straight character such as in Youth in Revolt. All of these queer sexual encounters seem to be promoting the idea that sexuality is fluid. My question is if you just put these in your stories to keep up with contemporary and liberal culture or is this an idea that you purposely are trying to promote? As a gay teen now going to DePaul University, I was amazed (in a good way of course) how you put these characters in these situations and how it was just passed off as no big deal.
2. While I love all of your stories and all of your characters, I realize that because you use the same language for every book I find it hard to see differences between all of your characters, though they are original they are all the same. I forget when reading your books if Nick Twisp is talking or a mad pigeon, an invisible paparazzi, ect. Is there a reason other than "that's how you write"? Ben S., Chicago, IL
A. It’s probably just how I write. Since sex can be a great vein to mine for humor, I see no reason to confine my stories to heterosexual encounters.
Q. although i a much older than nick when he begins to wonder how to not get stuck in his situation of no love from anyone, i am in the same spot, I do not have any idea of what to do in my life. any. no idea what i'll do. i'm waiting for a car to pass by and pick me up and take me away on some adventure. i know i have the françois side in me but all it tells me is to run away. have tried that with no luck. i take that what made a change for nick was fighting for a cause he believed in. the difficult part is finding such cause. how do I make françois be able to influence positively my decisions? how do i leave the staleness of life that both nick and sheeni felt in their teens? my main quest has been growing up but I seem to think i am an advanced teen while i have clearly not lived most of adolescence. What do you recommend from your experience because I suspect Nick was based on a life you know. thank you, Fernando Pizano, Bogota, Colombia
A. Nick’s life is fiction, exaggerated for comic effect. Few of us will live lives as crazy as his-be thankful for that. Life and love have a way of showing up. Be patient and follow your dreams.
Q. Let me personally thank you for all Nick Twisps books, including the sixth one. They were by my side from my age aprox 16 until now (23). I just finished The last book and it was great once again. I read a lot, but just with your books I feel like Im part of the world in it. When I finish the book, I feel like when something died inside of me. Are you going to continue with the story? I don’t really need to know what it’ll be about, Im just curious if that’s the real end. Wish you all the best in the new year, take care (J.B., Prague, Czech Republic)
A. Sorry, as of now Book 6 will be the final book for Nick. Time to let that guy get on with his life. [2014 addendum: Yes, I changed my mind and wrote book 7.]
Q. Do you become tired when thinking of new ideas for your books, or does it just come to you naturally? Just an odd question since you've written so many books. You are an amazingly extraordinary writer- My favorite! (no name, California)
A. Ideas tend to come to me out of the blue, then 99.9% of them are discarded. This is probably true of most writers.
Q. Thank you for great end of series Youth and Revolting. I would like to ask - what is your relation to Juggling and Prague? (no name, Czech Republic)
A. Alas, I have never juggled or been to Prague. Time for you folks to start a juggling festival in Prague?
Q. I've been a fan of Nick since I bought the original book in Dublin the year it came out -- I was so taken with his character, he almost made me feel subversive and uniquely insightful when I read it, especially given that I read it at the age of 14. It helped me develop some aspirations and ambition in life. One question though -- I hadn't realized until today that there were 3 more books to read in the series! -- why are you so popular in the Czech republic? I don't know anyone else who's read them in Dublin! (Pete, Dublin, Ireland, and Bradford, UK)
A. When it comes to appreciating literature (great or otherwise), those cultured Czechs have long been ahead of the curve. Now the rest of the world is catching up with them on matters Twispian.
Q. Do you have any response to the negative comments about the ending of Young and Revolting? I found it very disappointing. (Ramesh, Ontario, CA)
A. As we say in California life is about the journey, not the destination. I am not the guy to blame because 99.9% of teen romances end in pain and suffering. I had no choice but to toss Nick off that cliff. To see how things turned out for Nick, readers are advised to move on to Book VI.
Q. Have you seen The Squid and the Whale? When I first saw that movie, I could not stop thinking how Owen Kline would be perfect for the role of Nick Twisp. He is Nick Twisp. Michael Cera may have that baby face but he is truly pushing 20... I know you don't have a say in who is cast but YOUTH IN REVOLT is your child. When I first heard Youth in Revolt is being made into a film, it was worse than if there was a Catcher in the Rye television show... here's hoping they don't botch it. (Eileen, no city)
A. I will check out that movie. Michael Cera is an excellent actor who has a large following. Yeah, I'm hoping they don't blow it too.
Q. Youth in Revolt has been one (actually six) of the greatest books I ve ever read. I laughed almost all the time. But all the glory aside, I was quite disappointed by the end of Nick´s story. It made me sad, and temporarily emotionally exhausted (even though I am happily married). It´s a pity that in real life it is often so. I was a bit hoping to find a romantic termination of Nick´s path. I know you get that a lot (with the epilogue), but still one question though. Was there a special someone in Your life who made you feel the same way? Was there someone who made you suffer that bad? Once again thanks for creating such a terrific hexalogy of fun and space for thinking. (Ivan, Czech republic)
A. Like most people I've had a few loves over the years who put me through the emotional meat grinder. As is typical of Nick his case is rather extreme. He may not be done with Sheeni yet, as a future book may reveal.
Q. I just thought that you'd like to know that a copy of Youth In Revolt can be seen in the new movie "Charlie Bartlett" on the title character's nightstand during one scene. I was so excited, and I only wish that you could tell what it was if you weren't already aware (being an avid reader that AIVIA book color scheme can't elude me.) The character in the movie is an over intelligent teen himself, so I'm wondering if the writer/director/someone in the cast was a fan ahead of time? (Rob, New Hampshire)
A. Gustin Nash (the screenwriter) got the assignment to write the film script for Youth in Revolt based on his spec script for "Charlie Bartlett." Both movies are from producer David Permut, hence the small plug for Nick in "Charlie Bartlett" (which opened in 2008). It's now out on DVD.
Q. I still have my original hardback copy from 10 years ago. I have since loaned it out to many friends who have began signing their names in my book, sort of like a library checkout list. I've been able to convince friends who are not big readers to start Youth In Revolt and they miraculously finish it within the week! Everyone loves this book! I'm so excited about the movie! Everyone appears perfectly as I pictured them except Paul Saunders. Forgive me!, but Justin Long has always seemed such a dopey, weak, character actor and not at all the interesting Saunders type. But I'm sure I'll be surprised. I would love to own this as a shirt! Are there any plans for Nick Twisp merchandise? (Angela, Long Beach, Ca)
A. As I recall there's not a lot of Paul in the script. We'll have to wait and see what Justin does with the part. Peter Fonda in his younger days would have made a good Paul. I sold all the Nick cargo years ago, but perhaps the movie company will be offering tempting Twispian merchandise. It seems to be a profit center for Squarepants Spongebob.
Q. I'm curious about any myths, heros, or archetypes that are the inspiration for Nick's character. Sheeni seems to be "the ideal woman" myth, and she's the Pisces, and her name is Sheeni... But I'm wondering what deep psychological archetypes are lurking in Nick's character. Keep up the good work. (Brian, Sonoma, CA)
A. Sorry, I am too many years removed from the classroom to do a credible job on these exam-type questions. Nick could be thought of as a late 20th Century update of Peck's Bad Boy or Willie Baxter. I may be one of the few persons still breathing who actually read Peck's Bad Boy, once a popular comic novel. In case anyone is wondering, Nick exhibits considerably more "bad behavior" than Mr. Peck's lad.
Q. I would like to say thank you for all the great books you have created. I read youth in revolt when I was 10 and decided I had loved the ending. Upon finding out that there was still more to the series 7 years later I decided to recently reread youth in revolt and the new additions to the series. I have to say I am saddened by the fate of nick and sheeni. I can certainly understand that teen romances end dramatically and very emotionally, but you started out in youth in revolt that nick would do anything to be with sheeni, you based the whole series on how he would go to such lengths to ensure they would be together. My point being that being that you created this illusion that this is what the series was how they strived to make their love work. I was very distraught and torn upon reading the last two books. . . You built up this story of love and desperation just to have it drop almost completely. Books 1-4 will be fondly remembered in my mind, and even books 5 and 6 will remain as a very good piece of literature to me. I was just not understanding to the way you made this story seem to be so much like an uphill struggle for love in seemingly hard times just to have it end so quickly between them. Anyways, sorry for all the rambling. On to the questions, I have a few. 1) You said in another answered question that you are at about a 6-6.5 on a scale of 10 to continue nick/noels story. Are you still planning on this (I sure hope so)? 2) How long did it take you to write youth in revolt? 3) Do you have any more useful tips for aspiring writers, other than like inspiration and other such things, I mean things to help build stronger writing fundamentals? . . . Your book Youth in Revolt will go down forever as my all time favorite :) (Nate, no city).
A. Sorry, I have to disagree with your premise. The books are not about Nick and Sheeni's romantic struggles. They are about Nick and his love obsessions. These generally do not work out (see Lolita). I might write Book VII, if I thought there was any demand. I wrote Youth in Revolt over three years: '90 - '92. Writing tip: If the words aren't coming, steep yourself in good prose (Austen, Dickens, etc.) to "prime the pump."
Q. [Spoiler alert] Literally just finished your series, after a fairly intense week or so of reading, to the detriment of my other obligations. Very much enjoyed them all; very absorbing and hilarious to boot. I was really quite pleased with the way you balanced Nick's more depressing periods with his more copacetic ones, something I would imagine is hard to do over such a long series of books. I was also very satisfied with Noel/Jake's much more gratifying journey (I find I get a little too into books, and stress when things get too tough for the characters, which often happened in for Nick). I wonder, a few things though. What's with the circus ending? I mean, there was no hint of any sort of propensity towards the subject until the end of Nick's series, and then all of a sudden, Nick is a juggler. And then Noel spends a substantial amount of time at a circus himself. Was it just a good idea you decided hadn't been explored enough? Or do you find the circus particularly attractive (I'd imagine the opposite, with the enlightening picture you paint of the experience)? Or something else? Also, I was a bit disappointed with the ending to Nick's adventures. Not so much the content (I actually quite enjoyed the realism, although again the circusy overtones were surprising. Also I hated Sheeni's guts. B*tch.) but with the rapidity. It seemed rather out of sync with the tone of the rest of it all (Nick goes about day by subversive day, suddenly is caught for unsatisfyingly mysterious reason and next response is 13 years later and is contrarily brief and to the point. Less intellectual introspection shown). I imagine it's extremely hard to create a ending that’s satisfyingly in tune with the pace and tone of the story, yet is summarily succinct, and I see this sort of thing happen a lot in books. I was wondering if this was the case for you (and by association other writers), or if that was your intention? If so, why so abrupt? I suppose the change in writing style makes sense under the banner of Nick's personality having changed, but yes, curious about the ending.
Finally of course, when is the next installment coming out! Are you further than 65% of the way through? Most excited.
Thanks again for your books!! (Dorian, Sydney, Australia)
A. Nick becomes a juggler the way many of us acquire our occupations--he stumbled into it. (I went to college intending to become an architect.) A circus theme is inherently more interesting than having Nick become an accountant, for example. Yes, I like circuses. I've learned not to make any promises about the next installment for Nick.
Q. My question is two fold...are you coming to NYC in the near future for any signings? Are you currently teaching writing anywhere? I am obsessed with your writing, thanks for Revolt. (Marla, NYC)
A. I am not planning any trips to NYC, though I was in Akron recently where it rained a lot. Sorry, I have no plans to teach anything to anyone.
Q. As I browsed my local Barnes and Nobles bookstore, I came across Youth in Revolt. The title caught my attention, but as I flipped the book over I saw that you were born in Akron, Ohio. I too was born and raised (and still live in) Akron, so in support of a local, I purchased the book. It was probably one of the best decisions I made because I absolutely loved it. I immediately fell in love with the character of Nick! As I researched more, I learned that a movie was going to be made... any ideas on who will be cast as Sheeni or if they are still casting? (Meghan, 20, Fairlawn, Ohio)
A. At the speed they're making this movie Dakota Fanning is probably already too old. Nope, I haven't heard of any more casting decisions. Too bad you didn't know Akron back when they were vulcanizing rubber on every street corner and almost everyone was turning out a few inner tubes or condoms in their basements. But don't get me started on that!
Q. I'm just writing to congratulate you on finishing the series as well as express my adoration for the books. I discovered Youth in Revolt seven years ago while I was attending a boarding school in my late teens and I have been reading them ever since, always recommending it to my more literate friends. I have to admit I liked the way the series ended. I have no delusions about how teenage relationships generally turn out, so I found it rather apropos. I like that Nick and his readers were able to get the closure so desperately needed at the end of book 5. I suppose I should get a question out amidst these platitudes: what do you think your next project will end up being? If the movie turns out to be a success, will you continue with Noel (Jake) and, by relation, Nick? Even if there isn't another book in the series, I'm satisfied with how it turned out. Congratulations again. (Jordan, Santa Clarita, CA)
A. I'm working on several ideas -- in between remodeling my house (endless project). No plans for more Nick or Noel at present, but one never knows when inspiration will strike. Thanks for keeping an open mind about the rocky course of Nick's tumultuous life.
Q. I'm already a great admirer of yours even without having actually read Youth in Revolt. I was able to read a bit more than a couple of pages on Amazon.com and I laughed my ass off - please excuse that foul language. Unfortunately as I am pitifully penniless at the moment I can't even buy it. But I will! no matter what! Furthermore I was utterly revolted - I'm still young, hohoho - by the fact that there was no such thing as a French translation of it. I mean COME ON - I really enjoyed Arrested Development and I first heard about your novel in a Michael Cera interview -; I hate my country! - and I love it of course -. Not that I want to read it in French - I don't trust translators in general - but how will I be able to convert my dear avid reader boyfriend who can't understand more than 100 words in English to this chef d'oeuvre? I even considered translating it myself; I could seriously do it, this would be so much fun - and so agonizing -! But it might take me a good ten years, poor me. Translating great texts is such a slow laborious process! And translating well your witty trenchant style must be one hell of an achievement. Czech people are impressive. Anyways I hope some lazy French translator won't ruin your novel for the French - and I hope it won't be me! -; or rather publishers imposing a deadline on a poor soul... By the way do you speak French? Are you an American Francophile? Do you arch? What's the weather like? (Sophie D., a 20 year-old Khâgne student from Dijon, France)
A. Nick is cutting a broad swath through the hearts and minds of Eastern Europe, but (excepting UK and Germany) Western Europe has been resisting him. Perhaps there are too many allusions to "Frogs" for French publishers to swallow, though shouldn't Sheeni's rabid Francophilia make up for that? I speak even less French than Nick, but enjoyed a great two weeks in France a while back. I hope to return one of these days (perhaps there will be a French version by then).
Q. While I'm still but a Youth myself (15 this summer thank god), I can without a doubt this will remain one of, if not the, best books/series I've had the pleasure of reading. Unfortunately, since it was such a wonderful collection, I breezed through Youth In Revolt after getting it at a library, which only had one copy on loan from another library, after hearing somewhere in this endless worldwide web. Being the great friend I am, I recommended it to as many people I thought that may enjoy it, but unfortunately most of them have some tight purse strings so I've loaned them my recently purchased copy. As soon as I discovered the sequels, I promptly ordered all of them off Amazon and tried to take my time, but finished in a week (as a matter of fact, I wrapped up Revoltingly Young yesterday). I'm satisfied with the "end" you gave to the incredible series. I use end in quotes because I'm praying for the slim chance of another sequel or two being brought into the mix. While I haven't acquired proper funding, I still intend to purchase some of your other works, which I'm sure are just as delightful. I suppose I've prattled on enough, but I just have two question. 1) What's the greatest advice you have for a possible-future author (though I intend to get a jump on it ASAP)? 2) On a scale of 1 to 10, what's the chance of you bringing another Twisp novel into this world of ours? From the depths of my being, thanks a pantsful for the books and your time you spent reading this e-mail. PS: I eagerly await for a Youth in Revolt film, as long as they don't screw it up!
(George P. of Richfield, Wisconsin -- which right now is as boring as Winnemuca).
A. Not only is it boring, I imagine your town is currently sub-zero too. To answer your questions: 1) Save yourself a lot of grief and open a hardware store. 2) Six, maybe 6.5.
Q. Well I happen to be an avid reader of the Nick Twisp series and have found it extremely enjoyable especially as a 15-year-old who can sort of relate. My friend Charlie (who is indeed brilliant and does have some Nick in him) introduced me to the series and I cannot thank him enough. Although the ending did stun me a tad I did like that Nick did not end up with Sheeni who I must say I truly despise, but am confused as to why he was arrested as the stopping point of his youth instead of some tragic circus thing that could make him have a epiphany of sorts. But back to the questions; do you intend readers to grasp some kind of moral from this book? If so what kind of moral for female readers besides always use and condom and don't get married at 15? Also how do you feel about "The Catcher In The Rye" comparisons that every book review seems to make (also a huge Holden fan so no disrespect towards you or Mr. Salinger)? Also the series is consumed by sexuality in all of its facets might you tell me how you believe teens should deal with these…."urges"? (No I am not a devout Catholic just a girl who is trying to avoid becoming a whore because sexuality is a large part of my life). And finally I really thought that the guy who plays the older brother Dwayne in "Little Miss Sunshine" should have been Nick since the guy who played Paulie Bleaker is not Twisp enough for me as a humongous fan. (Madeline K., Owings Mills Maryland), Aspiring Comedian and Writer
A. No moral alas; the Nick Twisp novels are intended for amusement only. I don't think Nick is at all Holdenesque, and regard all comparisons of that sort as doing a disservice to Mr. Salinger. Teens should do as they've always done and channel those urges into sports, debate, car cruising, after-school jobs, library runs, sullen brooding, ironing, shopping, sheep grooming (4-Hers only), etc.
Q. [Spoiler alert!] I just finished the whole series and loved it. My question pertains to Nick's state of mind once the last book ends. When Veeva speaks to Noel about having dinner in Paris with Paul, Reina, Sheeni, and Nick, she tells Noel that his brother was obviously still very much in love with Sheeni. As many of the books show us the Saunders are very intuitive. Later in the book, at a pit stop while Nick is bringing Noel home from the circus, Nick tells Noel over dinner that after seeing Sheeni he realized he no longer loved her. Is Nick being completely honest with Noel? Did seeing Sheeni again help Nick finally move on so that he could marry Ada? Or is he still hung up on Sheeni, and only settling with Ada because he realizes he will never have Sheeni? Was Veeva mistaken? (Brennan, Manhattan, Kansas)
A. Good question. Knowing Nick as we do, there is no reason to suppose that he would answer Noel's question honestly. Or he may have been trying to convince himself that he was no longer obsessed with S.S. I'd say Veeva reads him like a book (as did her mother).
Q. I noticed a typo when I was reading "Cut To The Twisp". It was in the circle jerk scene and you must have mixed up Fuzzy and Lefty at the time, for the book reads " Always the proper host, Lefty suggested a circle jerk." It doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand that it was a mistake, but what I'm really curious about is another possible typo in the same paragraph. Here is the quote: "I don't know what Vijay was whining about. In the competition for biggest
missile launcher, I was clearly fourth runner-up." I'm assuming that the "fourth runner-up" was a typo, as there were only three of them there. Should it have read "third runner-up" or am I missing something? This must seem like a very nerdy question. Forgive me, for I'm obsessed with your books. (Robby, Valley Village, CA)
A. Yes, it should have been Fuzzy extending the gracious invitation, not Lefty. The other one was not a typo; it was Nick's way of saying he was not at all competitive in that arena. Sorry if that point didn't come across. The Aivia Press edition of Youth in Revolt is a most typo-laden tome.
Q. Just finished reading book 7, so totally wanted to thank Mr. Payne for that. Are questions still being answered? First one that comes to mind; is it really true that many of the original first editions were destroyed? I'm sure I could ask hundreds of more questions, but it's been a couple of years since I read the 1st six books...but of course I have to again now. I really should have done so before 7 but just couldn't wait. Seriously, thank you so much (Andrew, Baltimore, MD)
A. None of the first editions were destroyed except by outraged parents who found them in the possession of their impressionable children. Most of the first printing of 3,000 was sold pre-1993. The rest are gathering dust in my garage.
Q. Are you Nick Twisp? (Debbie, Colorado Springs)
A. No, I'm considerably older than Nick and don't have quite as many zits.
Q. What other authors would you recommend to readers who like your work? (Rusty, Kill Devil Hills)
A. You might check out the high-energy comic novels of English writer Tom Sharpe: Wilt, Wilt on High, The Throwback, The Great Pursuit, Riotous Assembly, etc. And don't miss the zany fantasies of Christopher Moore: Practical Demonkeeping, Bloodsucking Fiends, The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove, and Island of the Sequined Love Nun.
Q. First of all, I love your Revolting Youth books. I have two questions. First, where did you create Sheeni from? For that matter, where did you come up with any of these characters? I'm an attempted fiction writer and can't help admire all the wonderfully built characters in your books. And second, I noticed in your bio you were married. Um, what does your wife think of your books? Thanx for you time. (Alli, Santa Rosa)
A. Sheeni and the other characters just appear and begin to play their roles. They seem to arrive on the scene fully formed and ready to go. I don't think too much about it. My wife looks at me peculiarly sometimes and wonders what's going on in my head. Fortunately, she went to art school and is used to weird people.
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