Valerie Leftman on Inside the Characters' Studio

I am so happy to have a chance to host Valerie Leftman, the star of Jennifer Brown's incredible Hate List, on Inside the Character's Studio!

As those of you who follow me on Twitter know, I fell in love with this book when I read it...and I really believe it's one of the best debuts of the year...possibly of the last few years. Hear me when I tell you that you should go out, buy a copy, read it, and take it to heart. I, for one, am trying my hardest to "see things as they are" after reading this incredible book.

Five months ago, Valerie Leftman’s boyfriend, Nick, opened fire on their school cafeteria. Shot trying to stop him, Valerie inadvertently saves the life of a classmate, but is implicated in the shootings because of the list she helped create. A list of people and things they hated. The list her boyfriend used to pick his targets.

Now, after a summer of seclusion, Val is forced to confront her guilt as she returns to school to complete her senior year. Haunted by the memory of the boyfriend she still loves and navigating rocky relationships with her family, former friends and the girl whose life she saved, Val must come to grips with the tragedy that took place and her role in it, in order to make amends and move on with her life.

Welcome, Val!

What is your favorite word?
"Forgiveness". But you don't hear it very often.

What is your least favorite word?
Right now, "guilt."

What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?
Definitely drawing and painting. And visiting my therapist.

What turns you off?
My parents.

What is your favorite curse word?
Some people would say that my boyfriend's name is just about as bad as a curse word now. But I still like the sound of it: "Nick."

What sound or noise do you love?
I love the sound of total silence, especially in the art studio.

What sound or noise do you hate?
Gunshots. I never want to hear that again.

What profession would you like to attempt?
I think I'd do okay as a psychologist. Dr. Hieler inspires me.

What profession would you not like to do?
English teacher. I don't think I could handle reading Shakespeare anymore.

If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
"Don't worry; Nick made it here, too."

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Check out other interviews from Inside the Characters' Studio here.