As the reigning king of young adult literature, John Green has become a household name by now. But even though we all know his name and his face, it’s easy to forget that the author hasn’t actually released a novel since 2012’s "The Fault In Our Stars."
Of course, he’s been juuuust a little busy since then. First "TFIOS" was made into a critically acclaimed film, and now his 2008 novel "Paper Towns" is getting the big screen treatment as well (it hits theaters July 24). Both of those films also come with extensive press tours and promotion, which Green has been an active part of.
During a revealing Reddit AMA on Thursday (July 25), Green reflected on his big-time, whirlwind success when a user asked him how "TFIOS" has impacted his writing.
“Well I haven’t written a new novel in the 3.5 years since 'TFIOS' was published, so I suppose it has affected my writing primarily by slowing it down,” Green answered, adding that its success has also given him time to work on his educational video series, “Crash Course.”
“Also, the movies have proved more time-consuming than I ever imagined, partly because I’ve chosen to be more involved than authors typically are,” he wrote. “And my kids are little and I want to spend time with them. So it’s hard to know if it’s the success of 'TFIOS' or other factors that have played into this extended bookless period of my life, but while I do feel a lot of pressure, I also don’t want to publish until I’ve written something I can feel proud of. That hasn’t happened yet. Hopefully I’ll make more progress soon.”
Green brings up an interesting point about choosing to be involved in the film adaptations of his books. It’s pretty rare that an author is as involved as he is in the process — diehard “TFIOS” fans surely remember all the videos and pics he used to share from the movie’s set, which he was on every single day of filming. His presence and involvement, though, are arguably what makes the adaptations of his novels so successful. “TFIOS” captured the sentiment of his words so elegantly and seamlessly, and most book fans were thrilled with the big screen result.
Later in the AMA, Green also spilled about how the "Paper Towns" film has affected his life, and his answer was similarly candid.
“Here’s the thing: I really love the 'Paper Towns' movie,” he wrote. “If I didn’t, I wouldn’t be spending so much time away from home to promote it. But I really do love it, and I’m so grateful to the director Jake Schreier for making a beautiful and funny and sweet movie, and so I feel a responsibility to him and to everyone involved to promote it. On the other hand, I obviously feel a big responsibility to my family, and I traveled a lot for the 'TFIOS' movie (which I also really liked). That is hard to balance, but I just wouldn’t feel right not supporting the 'Paper Towns' movie.”
With another one of Green’s novels, "Looking for Alaska," also getting the film treatment (it just named its director!), it’s safe to say much of the the author’s time will continue to be taken up my movie business — but hopefully he’ll find his way back to the books soon.