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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Author Insight: People Watching

Where is your favorite place to people watch?

"Coffee shops located near high schools. I'm always stalking--I mean observing teens for YA research purposes in a highly professional manner, and you can glean tons of insight and ideas over a nice caramel macchiato at your local house of overpriced caffeine." - Sarah Ockler, author of Bittersweet.

"The streetcar. Transit is this weird sort of null space, where you're not putting on your work face or school face or party face: you're in between personas, not just stops.  There's a lot of acting that people just don't do when they're surrounded by strangers on the streetcar, and that's when they're fascinating to watch.  Or eavesdrop on.  I eavesdrop like Samwise Gamgee, yo.
" - Leah Bobet, author of Above.

"In my head. I prefer not to engage with people as much as possible because they end up annoying me. So instead I stay home and imagine what it would be like if everyone acted exactly like I wanted them to." - Aaron Karo, author of Lexapros & Cons.

"Urban restaurants, particularly restaurants with outside terraces where you get the combined pleasures of watching people walk by and making up their lives and listening to conversations at nearby tables.  Although never so avidly that it could be considered, say, creepy…" - Ann Stampler, author of Where It Began.

"I’m the kind of oblivious person who is terrible at people watching—even when I set out to do it, I usually get distracted a few minutes in and am soon lost in my own thoughts. (Does that make me a narcissist?) But the one place I’m able to really focus on strangers and their strangeness is the subway, maybe because (if I’ve forgotten my book) there’s really nothing else to do but pretend not to stare. It’s also an excellent source of interesting people to watch. More than once I’ve seen a man with a pet chicken on a leash." - Robin Wasserman, author of The Book of Blood and Shadow.

"At the moment, I think it's outside my window. There are some strange people in this neighborhood, and I don't know about you, but when my neighbors are strange, I feel like I need to keep an eye on their doings. Like, what is that man who never smiles making with all those power tools in his garage, and why is he out there at 10 o'clock at night sawing away? There's a story there, I'm sure." - Alissa Grosso, author of Ferocity Summer.

"It's more fun to people eavesdrop." - Kendare Blake, author of Girl of Nightmares. 

"The Ocean Front Walk in Venice Beach! There’s no other place like it in the world." - Jennifer Bosworth, author of Struck

"Train stations, I suppose, because there are a million reasons to be there and a million ways for unrelated people to intersect." - Meg Medina, author of The Girl Who Could Silence the Wind.

"'Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport.' That’s from Love, Actually, one of my favorite movies, and it’s true for me. There’s so much happening at airports: I like to wonder what’s in people’s heads as they sit at the gate, waiting for their planes to arrive." - Cat Patrick, author of Revived.

"There is a fountain at the Seattle Center (where the Space Needle can be found) that I really enjoy. It's a huge bowl with the fountain in the middle that shoots water in sync with music. In the summer, kids play in the bowl. When it's colder, you see more teens daring each other to touch the base without getting wet. I love to sit on the outside edge of the bowl and watch all the different kinds of people that gather. There are families, couples on romantic strolls, homeless people, hippies, dog walkers, teens, tourists...it's just a smorgasbord of humanity." - Gwen Hayes, author of Dreaming Awake.

"The subway, especially going from south Brooklyn to the north Bronx, because you see everybody." - Nina Malkin, author of Swear.

On Thursday, find out where the rest of the authors like to people watch!
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