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Thursday, February 10, 2011

When I'm Not Writing by Michael Northrop, Author of TRAPPED!

When I'm not writing 
by Michael Northrop

I am a nerd, all right, Kim? Is that what you wanted? Are you happy now? Haha! Seriously, though, I live in Manhattan and about 10 days a month I do freelance magazine work, mostly copy editing and fact-checking. The rest of the time, I work as a writer. Some days, that means writing or editing a book that I’m working on, but other days it means blogging, emailing my agent, going to a reading or networking event, and things like that.

In terms of exercise, I like to go running outside in the nice weather. I don’t like to run on treadmills, though, and I am not dedicated enough to run in rain or cold or anything like that. So basically, I run semi-regularly about six months of the year. I’m not proud.

One kind of surprising thing is that I take dance lessons at the Alvin Ailey Extension program. It is very Billy Elliot of me. I used to do martial arts: I am a second-degree black belt in taekwon-do and have also trained seriously in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and Filipino stick and knife fighting. But I’m getting a little old to get kicked, punched, choked, or cut. I’m not that old, but I don’t recover the way I used to. And dance offers a lot of the same benefits—exercise, improved coordination, flexibility, and so on—without so many dislocated wrists.
I don’t have cable anymore, because I spend too much time watching TV (mostly the Discovery Channel and sports) when I do. Now, I watch a lot of documentaries on PBS, whatever sports are on the networks, and use Netflix to watch things like Shark Week and Deadliest Catch. Overall, I waste less time watching TV now and waste more online: I am one of those annoying people who is always sending Mafia Wars requests on Facebook, and I am also on Twitter (@mdnorthrop).

And I read quite a bit. I am The Little Engine That Could of readers: slow but determined. (I am technically dyslexic and was held back in second grade.) In addition to YA, I like to read nonfiction (things like thick books about some obscure aspect of WWII), mysteries, thrillers, and literary fiction. I am in a YA book club that meets every month, so I usually plan my reading around that.

TRAPPED BY Michael Northrop
Scholastic Press (February 1, 2011) 
The day the blizzard started, no one knew that it was going to keep snowing for a week. That for those in its path, it would become not just a matter of keeping warm, but of staying alive....
Scotty and his friends Pete and Jason are among the last seven kids at their high school waiting to get picked up that day, and they soon realize that no one is coming for them. Still, it doesn't seem so bad to spend the night at school, especially when distractingly hot Krista and Julie are sleeping just down the hall. But then the power goes out, then the heat. The pipes freeze, and the roof shudders. As the days add up, the snow piles higher, and the empty halls grow colder and darker, the mounting pressure forces a devastating decision....

Michael Northrop has written short fiction for WEIRD TALES, the NOTRE DAME REVIEW, and MCSWEENEY'S. His debut novel, GENTLEMEN, earned him a PW Flying Start. An editor at SPORTS ILLUSTRATED KIDS for many years, he now writes full-time from his home in New York City. You can visit him online at www.michaelnorthrop.net.


Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

"Very Billy Elliott" cute!

Bere said...

Hehe, awesome post! I watch a lot of Discovery Channel too =).