Thursday, April 2, 2009

Author Interview: Nicole Johns

Author Interview with Nicole Johns

What, ultimately, made you want to share your story?

I wanted to share my story for several reasons, including wanting other people struggling with eating disorders to know they aren't alone, to show that recovery is possible, to show people what living with an eating disorder is like and what treatment is really like as well as to help others. Helping other people with eating disorders (especially EDNOS) was my
main purpose in writing Purge.

What advice would you give teens struggling with their self image or an eating disorder?

I would tell them to talk about it, and not keep it to themselves or keep it a secret. They should talk to whomever they trust. Keeping their struggles to themselves is only going to allow their negative self image or eating disorder to grow stronger. Talking about it takes away the power of negative self-image and eating disorders.

What should someone do if they suspect their friend of having an eating disorder?

If you suspect a friend has an eating disorder, you should talk to them about it, and remind them that you care about them and love them no matter what. Also, try to encourage them to talk to an adult they trust, and try to get them help.

Who has always been there for you when you needed them?

My fiance, Brady, as well as my best friend from when I was a kid, Jess, a group of friends from boarding school, and my friend Liz who I actually met in treatment, as well as my grad school adviser Julie and my cousin Jocelyn. Before they died I was very close to my maternal grandparents (I actually grew up in the house next to them) and they were a constant source of support and love. I am lucky to have so many wonderful, caring people in my life, and to have so much support both in recovery and while writing and publishing Purge.

Do you have any favorite books or authors?

If I listed all my favorite books and authors, this list would be very long! I'll tell you my newest favorites. I just finished reading Chalked Up by Jennifer Sey, which is a memoir detailing the author's childhood and adolescence as an elite gymnast, and before that I read The Latehomecomer by Kao Kalia Yang, which is a memoir about the author's childhood in a Thai refugee camp and her family's immigration to Minnesota. I'm really on a memoir kick lately, although I'm also reading Louise Erdrich's The Antelope Wife, and I just finished up Jonathan Safran Foer's Everything is Illuminated.

Are you going to write anything else?

Yes. I'd love to write a sequel to Purge, but I'm also in the beginning of writing a book about the so-called "boy crisis." A few years ago Newsweek magazine ran an article about how boys are supposedly disenfranchised by a girl-focused educational system, and how feminism and Title IX are causing boys to backslide academically. I disagree with this view, and I am writing about and trying to debunk the myth of the boy crisis.

What are you doing right now?

Right now I'm sitting in my office draped in my favorite blanket while simultaneously answering interview questions and browsing amazon. I'm also trying to avoid helping my fiance do laundry because I hate doing laundry. ;)

Mac or PC?

PC. I have a Dell.
Thanks so much for your lovely review of Purge, and for interviewing me!!

Thanks so much Nicole!


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