Author Chat: Angie Thomas

Photo from www.angiethomas.com

This October, the film adaptation of the bestselling young adult novel The Hate U Give premieres on the big screen! Author Angie Thomas answers some questions about the book, film, and more.

Thomas’ debut novel, it follows sixteen-year-old Starr Carter who witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed. Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

What’s it like to see The Hate U Give on the big screen?

It was absolutely surreal to see the story come to life on the screen. I’ve had the opportunity to watch it twice so far, and it still hasn’t really hit me that it’s happening. It’s an honor to know that so many people felt so passionate about what I wrote that they put so much of their time, talent, and efforts into bringing it to life. It’s a humbling experience.

What most surprised you about attending filming?

I was most surprised by the amount of time it takes to get one shot. A scene that lasts a minute can take hours to film. I was also surprised by the fluidity of the process – if a line didn’t work, it could easily be changed in the middle of shooting.

What do you think the movie was able to bring to your story that the book wasn’t, and vice versa?

I think that with the book, things may feel more intimate at times – after all, the reader is in the character’s head. But with the film, the power of some scenes hits harder than it would in the book. For instance, I can describe a protest, but it’s another thing to see hundreds of people participating in one and the range of emotions they present.

Did you take anything home from the THUG set?

I did. I have two street signs from the set, including the street that Mav’s store is on.

You’ve had an amazing start as a debut author – what advice would you give aspiring authors?

Write the book you want to read and write it for yourself. Not for awards, not for sales, not for movies, but for you. Make sure it’s something you love, first and foremost.

Shop for the book today!

The movie tie-in edition is also coming soon to NBS. It features the movie poster art, full-color photos, and Angie Thomas in conversation with Amandla Stenberg and director George Tillman Jr. Sign up for the wait list on www.nationalbookstore.com here.

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