Please Don't Kill the Freshman: an interview with Zoe Trope by Mina Lavender

Recent high school graduate Zoe Trope is the precocious author of a critically lauded memoir. Hip Mama asked one of our own expert teenage staff members to read the book and interview the writer.
 
Mina: I know this work started out as a zine, but how did it become a book?
 
Zoe: Joe Weisberg, author of 10TH GRADE, sent the Future Tense chapbook to his agents. Those agents passed the chapbook around to different publishers with the proposal that the publisher could have the chapbook as well as the journal entries from my following sophomore year to publish as a full-length book.
 
Mina: Are you a fast typer, and if so how did you learn? I am a self-taught typer so I would like to know how other people learned.
 
Zoe: I type too much and too fast. My family got a computer with the Internet when I was 10 and I, too, self-taught myself typing because the hunt-and-peck method was very frustrating and inefficient. I put my fingers on the home row and forced myself to type that way until I got faster.
 
Mina: Did anyone ever comment upon your rainbow shoes?
 
Zoe: Not that I can remember, no. I still have them, even though they're too small and ratty to wear.
 
Mina: What is the most recent and/or memorable book you read? Zoe: I read three books while I was on vacation last month: The Tribes of Palos Verdes by Joy Nicholson, Naked by David Sedaris and The Pleasure of My Company by Steve Martin. All three were very enjoyable, entertaining reads. I think I liked Tribes the best because it was such a vivid, haunting and beautiful story of a struggling girl surfer with a fucked-up family in California. The voice of the narrator was powerful & concise & true. It's a great story.
 
Mina: Do you have any advice for soon to be high schoolers? (I am an 8th grader)
 
Zoe: Fight back. Be honest, with yourself and others. And remember -- it's just high school. Anyone who tries to convince you otherwise has an agenda.
 
Mina: What is your favorite food?
 
Zoe: Pad thai with tofu, vegan boca burgers and tangerine popsicles. Blue bubblegum jones soda is probably my favorite drink right now.
 
Mina: Now that you are through with high school, are you going to make your writing talents into a career?
 
Zoe: We'll see. I'm going to tackle college first. Writing as a career seems completely overwhelming and relatively impossible.
 
Mina: Are you writing any more books at the moment?
 
Zoe: Sort of? I've got tons of ideas and I'm trying to pick just one to work on.
 
Mina: Do you have to take your parents on tour with you, and if so, do they hinder you in any way?
 
Zoe: Touring with my parents is hilarious. My dad and I went to NY & Philly for the east coast leg of my tour and we had a great time. If anything, I think my father kind of stole the show. A few people told me I was his opening act. I believe them -- My dad is very gregarious and funny. My mom and I are going to San Francisco next month and I think we're going to have a lot of fun together. Both of my parents are ridiculously supportive of me and what I've done, so travelling with them isn't a problem at all.
 
Mina: Do you ever feel nervous or embarrassed about what you have written while at readings?
 
Zoe: Nope, not yet. I'm unapologetic about what I've written. My journal entries were the truth as I saw it at the time. I can't change, erase, or deny that -- To do so would be to falsify the past.
 
Mina: How and why did you choose the high school that you went to?
 
Zoe: I attended a public high school, so my geographic location dictated which school I attended. While I was given the option of attending a private school, I declined because I didn't want to leave my friends or drain my parents financially, especially for such a silly reason. I didn't think I'd be any happier at a private school, so it was easiest to remain at the public school.
 
Interested in knowing more? Check out: http://www.zoe-trope.com/ Mina Lavender reviews comics for Punk Planet, sings in a band, and is also a future freshman.