As we celebrate the digital publication of The Outsiders, we asked S.E. Hinton to reflect on the original publication, and what it’s meant to readers and fellow writers throughout its history.
The Outsiders is one of the very first books written exclusively for a teen audience. Now, there’s an entire market for YA fiction. Can you explain what it’s like to have been the pioneer for an entire genre of books?
I'm glad I opened up the field. There wasn't much to choose from when I was a teen.
Are there any current young adult novels today you would have enjoyed as a teen?
I don't know. I have never read YA!
What would be your advice to an aspiring author?
Read and practice. Read and practice. Oh yeah, read and practice. That's what I did.
You wrote this novel when you were a young girl in high school. Did you have any help from adults?
No. I wrote every sentence in it.
The Outsiders is set in a very specific time and place. What do you think the modern day
equivalent of this type of scenario would be in today’s society?
The uniforms change, the labels change, but the "groups" go on forever.
The film came out about 16 years after the book was published. What was your experience like as an adult revisiting the original story you wrote as a teen.
Lots of fun. I was very involved in the filming, on the set every day, and it was a great experience. Especially since Francis Coppola wanted to remain faithful to the book.
What in your experience has aided you to write from the male point of view?
I grew up with boys, and had a hard time identifying with the female culture of the time.
In other words, it was easier to write from a male point of view and I am lazy.
Do you write for you as a personal outlet, or are you hoping to reach people with your stories?
I always write for myself first, then hope people like it.
A Free sample excerpt from this book is available for download on the product page now!
NOOK owners: go to shop and search for “SE Hinton” to download her groundbreaking books.
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