Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A Moment with Scorn

Hi L...I mean, Scorn (awesome codename btw). Thanks for stopping by to visit with us today! Now, as you know, we at Brave New Words LOVE to write stories for young adults, and since it's Halloween and all, I thought maybe you could help me out with some teenage spookiness. What do you say?
I’ll try my best.
First, can you tell us a little about yourself?

Well, I’m a 15 year old, a sophomore, and a guy. I don’t play many sports, not on organized teams anyway, but I am in a band. It’s the school band, but it sounds cooler when I just say a band.
So tell me, Scorn. What are a few things from your perspective that teenagers are afraid of? (Not you, of course. Obviously Scorn fears NOTHING.)

Well obviously I’m not afraid of much, and I don’t know if I can speak for all teenagers but from my experiences I’d say that this about sums it up…

1. Spiders. It’s nothing original, but isn’t everyone afraid of spiders? Some guys might step on a spider like it’s no big deal, but it isn’t, and if that same “tough” guy woke up with that spider crawling across his face he’d scream like a little kid.

2. Little kids. For most teenagers the presence of little kids is a sign of trouble. When little kids are near it usually means that you will have to babysit, entertain, or just have to put up with the shenanigans that you, hopefully, left behind years ago. Don’t get me wrong, I love my little siblings, but whenever I’m within a ten foot radius of them I get a headache and have to make some effort to divert their attention someplace else.

3. Effort. Although teenagers get a bad reputation, we are actually a pretty hard working group of people, it just depends on the work. For teenagers, and many others, the effort put forth depends on the time allowed, and we don’t have much extra time. This makes for an interesting dilemma, should I take a nap before football practice or study for my math test. If you choose nap and get a C on the test then your parents and teacher are going to think you’re slacking, but if you study for the math test and come to football practice half-awake your coach will lecture you and your teammates will look down on you. It’s frightening to think that no matter what choice you make there’s very likely going to be some sort of negative outcome. I suppose that might be the reason why a small minority of teenagers chooses to do nothing at all.

4. Other teenagers. I always have qualms when I’m invited to an event with my peers. For girls this seems to be because they don’t know what they should wear or if “he’s” gonna be there, but for me it’s because I never know what kind of odd stuff we might get into. I went to a bonfire last weekend during which one of my friends played yakety-sax on the banjo while another friend ran a lap around the yard with… minimal clothing. It was amusing, but I was content with pants and some s’mores.

5. I don’t know how typical it is, but I would say that public restrooms are probably scarier for guys than girls. I say this because in my experience it seems that guys attempt to get in and out as quick as possible and if you’ve ever been in a men’s restroom then you are aware that this is with good reason.

6. In elementary school there was a girl in my class named Carly who tried as hard as she could to inflict pain on me. I was definitely a little scared of her. At the play ground she would kick me and my friends in the shins, but she never got in trouble because all of the teachers said that she did it because she had a “crush” on us. All of us? Doesn’t seem likely. These days the only girls that really scare me are the legitimately scary ones, but I’m sure that if I don’t aggravate them they won’t take me down.

Interesting…so Scorn is both fearsome and insightful. A deadly combination to say the least.

I’ve only killed 5 or 6 people so it’s obviously not deadly enough.

Ok, moving on.

What's your creepiest Halloween memory?

Probably the time that I went over to my friend’s house that he’d just moved into. When we started our journey for candy the sun was out and houses were easily recognizable. When the sun went down it was a different story. We wandered around his neighborhood for about three hours and when we got back to the house we played it off to his mom as if we were just out having a good time. Neither of us ever admitted that we were lost until after the experience was over.
Scariest food you've ever eaten?

This would undoubtedly be a scorpion. When I was 8 or so, me and my dad spent a night at the science
center. The main event was a cooking course about how to prepare bugs. I got to cook ants, maggots, and scorpions and then was somehow convinced to eat them. I hope they were free range scorpions.

In keeping with the scarefest, what’s the scariest book you’ve ever read?

PREY, without a doubt. It’s by Michael Crichton and it’s about nano-bots gone wrong. The main characters are
practically hunted and eaten by their own creation which had evolved rapidly from harmless little simply programmed nan-robots into a swarm of tiny blood-thirsty robots which are capable of sustaining themselves and reproducing without the help of humans.

Let's just say you're about to be attacked by a gang of zombie ninjas, what do you do Scorn?

Domesticate them. Wouldn’t it be awesome to have a “gang” of agile zombies doing your bidding, like cleaning
your room or taking care of your phone bill by ravaging the phone company. Obviously zombies aren’t smart which means that their ONLY downfall is their speed, but ninja zombies would retain those ninja reflexes while being as gullible as your everyday zombie.

Scorn, I’m pretty sure you’re brilliant.

I completely agree, just don’t tell anybody or they might expect more out of me. We all know that I’m scared of effort.Ok, pop quiz, hot shot: world ends tomorrow. Cannibals and rabid werewolves are combing the streets. What skills do you have to survive Post-Apocalypsia?

The skill of reason. You might say that this won’t be effective when dealing with cannibals and werewolves,
but when you can also speak their language, which I can, reason actually becomes quite useful. And if reason doesn’t work then I’ll just nuke them. Assuming that we’re still in America I’m sure that there will be plenty of nukes laying around and in a post-apocalyptic situation I doubt anyone will even notice a little bit of extra radiation.

Outstanding, Scorn. 10 points to you.

Maybe I can use this interview to get extra credit in English, that’d be nice.

Finally, how'd you earn that nickname, Scorn? I did some asking around about it, and everyone seemed prettttty reluctant to say anything. I think you've got them worried...

Well,as far as official nickname regulations go I haven’t really earned it yet. I guess that I might have to steal some food or kill a couple drifters but I’m hoping to secure the name by 2013. If you want I can find you a cool post-apocalypse name as well. I’m thinking that Animus would be a good fit.

Fair enough. Happy Halloween everyone. Scorn and Animus, signing off.

Kristen Simmons is the author of ARTICLE 5, the first installment of a dystopian trilogy, which will be published by Tor Teen in February 2012. Learn more about her at her here, at goodreads, or on facebook.


  1. Perhaps free-range scorpions ought to be added to the school lunch menu in every town... Although that would take effort, and I am totally with you, that IS something to fear.

    LOVE this interview Kristen and Scorn! :D

  2. Oh Scorn! You are so amazing and frightening. Domesticating zombie ninjas? I would never have thought that was possible, but if anyone could do it, it would be SCORN.

  3. LOVE this! Scorn you are most def. amazing and frightening and I completely agree with the fear of effort. *shudder* If you ever do domesticate those zombies, let me know, because I REALLY need someone (thing) to help with the laundry.

    Also, you ATE a scorpion?! *whole body shudder*

    Awesome interview, guys.

  4. Scorn, you are not only fearsome and insightful, but smart women know the guys in the marching band are the most swoonworthy of all. Great interview!

  5. Great interview! Scorn sounds like a wicked character. I don't know if I'd have the guts (or stomach) to eat maggots and scorpions.

    Safari Poet

  6. OMG, I *NEED* a domesticated ninja zombie. Just one. Pretty, pretty please??

    This interview--and Scorn--are made of awesome.

  7. Scorn is a fifteen year old boy? He sounds smarter than I do! Not fair, Scorn!