Today I am interviewing Jeff Chaucer, Kim Zarins character from ‘Sometimes We Tell The Truth’
Before we begin, if you’ve been here before for past Character Chats, you know what I’m going to say?
To see other character chats click here! <—-
Title: Sometimes We Tell The Truth
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pub-Date: September 6th, 2016
Jeff boards the bus for the Civics class trip to Washington, DC, with a few things on his mind:
-Six hours trapped with his classmates sounds like a disaster waiting to happen.
-He somehow ended up sitting next to his ex-best friend, who he hasn’t spoken to in years.
-He still feels guilty for the major part he played in pranking his teacher, and the trip’s chaperone, Mr. Bailey.
-And his best friend Cannon, never one to be trusted and banned from the trip, has something “big” planned for DC. …more
I love to meet my readers!
(Wait, we have to describe what we look like?! In our bio?! Well, here goes…)
Name: Jeff Chaucer
Hair: Brownish/light brownish hair
Height: I’m not short, but I didn’t make the 6’0 mark, sadly. I’m, like, almost there in a not-really sort of way.
Shape of face: Round, rosy cheeks that are totally pathetic and make me want to hide under my bed, except for the dust bunny + asthma issue.
(Okay, this truthful bio stuff is making me feel like a total loser–can we try again without all the sad physical descriptors?)
Take 2: Jeff Chaucer Bio
Name: Jeff Chaucer
Won school-wide acclaim for a Neil Gaiman-influenced short story about death, desire, and dreams. He is currently working on… oh crap, he has no idea… writer’s block SUCKS. He knows this random lady-person named Kim who says when he’s older he’s going to write a book called The Canterbury Tales, and that it will still be read for centuries beyond count. He is terrified of random lady-persons. His idea of hell is sitting next to his ex-best friend on an all-day bus ride, which is exactly what is about to happen to him. To end on a positive note, he is devastatingly tall and ruggedly built, and he enjoys pensive thoughts and long walks on moonlit beaches.
Hi, everyone. It’s great to be here on this YA blog. I’m Jeff. I kind of exhausted myself writing that bio, so maybe just read that and come back when you’re done.
This is the most casual, innocent question in the world. It pops up so quickly, and when I answer it, things are never quite the same between us. So, yeah, I had a sister, but now it’s just my parents and me. No need to drag out condolences and treat me like I’m fragile. Let’s just move on. Thanks.
Getting trapped in my private, introverted hell, including (1) The inability to walk across the room to get someone’s attention; (2) The assumption that everyone tolerates me but couldn’t care less if I transferred to another school; (3) The soul-shriveling interior monologue that plays on repeat in my head and keeps me cringing inside my shell. Don’t be an introvert with extroverted ambitions. Just don’t.
When you connect on an emotional level… Same, Jeff, same.
Piggyback riding on my sister Bee. She was much older than me, and so strong. It was like flying. I’ve lost most of memories of her, to be honest, but that one stayed. It’s more a memory of movement, feeling totally alive and infinite, and unlike looking at photos, which remind me how blurry my memories actually are, when I remember these rides, I have the whole thing inside me: the sun on her hair; her amusement-park scream as she ran; the feel of her shoulders holding me up–even the time we knocked together the wrong way and I bit my tongue. I’d taste that blood anytime, gladly, because it was her shoulder that did it. And then, in a time warp, the phone would ring, or someone at the lunch tables would catch me zoning out and jab me in the ribs, and it’s like rudely waking up from a perfect dream, and the memory feels like just that. A dream.
I guess I’m a decent writer. Once in a while I get it right, and it’s good–even I think so. Honestly, I think that is the only good thing about me. I suck at friendship, love, all the stuff in life that matters more in life. I’m more of a writer than a human.
Life is short, and craft is long to learn. Just a cheery proverb to get me writing…or freak me out and leave me with writer’s block and stomach-curdling guilt.
Anything Harry Potter. Those were formative books, and my Harry Potter fanfiction still means a lot to me. I still write it, just to dip in that world and find a place for myself there, for a moment, anyhow. When I got older, I got really, really into the Sandman series by Neil Gaiman, and I’m a huge fan of the Discworld novels by Terry Pratchett. So…lots of fantasy. I also love YA whether it has fantasy or not. I really admire Rainbow Rowell, Francisco Stork, and Sherman Alexie, to name a few.
If you were at Southwark High and asked me that, I’d just say, “Cannon,” and you’d be impressed, or maybe you wouldn’t believe me because he’s way more popular than I am, and he knows it. Still, he’s the best friend I have, and he lets me in closer than pretty much anyone else, and I don’t break that trust. Or, if you went to my school, you might say, “Hey, weren’t you best friends with Pard? You guys seemed really close,” and I’d change the subject and get it back to Cannon or anything else as quickly as possible.
I hate calling long rectangular pastries donuts (doughnuts, donuts–it’s the donut itself, not the spelling, that matters). Donuts are round with a hole in the middle. No exceptions. Calling a bear claw a donut pretty much rips away the last shreds of integrity this world has left.
Wait… what about a Boston Creme? it’s round but there isn’t a hole in the middle…? It has one but not the other XD
I have ‘fun’ every time Cannon gets me into a party with all the popular kids (you know these cliched sorts of parties with all the beer, loud music, and hookups). I can do the beer and loud music. Not so good with the hookups. Okay, so the truth. ‘Fun’ is not fun. It’s terrifying. I don’t even know why I go or who I’m kidding. To be honest, I had more real fun back in the day with my ex-best friend Pard. We did all the things loser pre-driver’s license kids did–go to the park, walk to the store, or just hang out in our rooms to write and draw and do nerdy things like that. Also, his mom’s macadamia-avocado chocolate chip cookies were the greatest culinary thing to ever happen to me. When we really needed a splurge, we made those late at night, and I swear, I can picture him right now licking that spoon even though it has raw egg in the batter, and he doesn’t care at all, just offers the spoon, and when I don’t take it, he shrugs and says it means more dough for him…but he’ll ask me, every time. Sometimes I really miss him and wish things didn’t go the way they did.
Sure, thanks for having me! As a way of saying thanks people reading this interview, if you email me (or really Kim) through Kim’s website
and give me your address, Kim can give you a bookmark and a sticker with a character’s spot art from the book (I can give you my sticker if you ask me–the illustrator made my spot art an inhaler, go figure–you can see other images on the cover art as well and ask for one of those). If you are getting a paperback or hardcover copy of Sometimes We Tell the Truth, I can get Kim to sign a matching bookplate for you. I don’t have endless money for postage and all that, but I’m happy to send goodies to the first ten people who ask me. It’s kind of amazing that you guys are even reading this!
Thank you so much Kim for the interview and the giveaway!
Luv’s make sure to read the last question to know how to get a bookmark and a sticker with the characters spot art from the book. I suggest getting the Inhaler for Jeff, but that’s just my opinion!
While you all are running to get bookmarks, I am going to figure out when I can buy this book ASAP because… I don’t need to explain more. I just need it.
I hope you LOVED this interview as much as me, Luv!
HAPPY READING, LUVs!