Anything You Want
by Geoff Herbach
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Release Date: May 3rd 2016
by Geoff Herbach
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Release Date: May 3rd 2016
Expect a bundle of joy—er, trouble—in this hilarious, heartwarming story from the award-winning author of Stupid Fast Geoff Herbach
Taco's mom always said, "Today is the best day of your life, and tomorrow will be even better." That was hard to believe the day she died of cancer and when Taco's dad had to move up north for work, but he sure did believe it when Maggie Corrigan agreed to go with him to junior prom. Taco loves Maggie- even more than the tacos that earned him his nickname. And she loves him right back.
Except all that love? It gets Maggie pregnant. Everyone else may be freaking out, but Taco can't wait to have a real family again. He just has to figure out what it means to be a dad and how to pass calculus. And then there's getting Maggie's parents to like him. Because it would be so much easier for them to be together if he didn't have to climb the side of the Corrigans' house to see her...
Hello Geoff! We are super excited to have you in our FFBC tours.
That’s so tough to answer, because I like so much. Here’s three: Visit from the Goon Squad, by Jennifer Egan; Slaughter House 5, by Kurt Vonnegut; Winger, by Andrew Smith
Favorite TV show?
Before Sunrise and also The Breakfast Club and also The Bourne Identity (favorite movies that start with B).
Your Favorite Song?
King of Carrot Flowers by Neutral Milk Hotel
I wish I didn’t like pizza so much, because I’d be a lot healthier (I just ate cold pizza for breakfast).
Name 3 fictional places you would move to in a heartbeat.
Hogwarts, of course. I’d like to float on the Dawn Treader in Narnia. I’d like to go to a bar on Tatooine (but I’d rather move to the Cloud City).
I’m a Thomas Merton fan. So many great quotes. How about: Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.
If you could meet one author, dead or alive, who would it be?
Jennifer Egan. She can write anything. She’s a freaking emotional genius.
Could you tell our Book Addicts a little bit about Anything You Want?
I’m so glad to be here! It’s about this kid, Taco, who is in the midst of losing everything. But he promised his mother on her deathbed that he’d treat every day like it’s the best day ever, which causes him to make some wrong and deluded decisions, but also, ultimately, saves him. He can’t be sunk.
So Anything You Want talks about teenage pregnancy, can you tell us how this experience affects your characters?
Maggie, the female character, is in full-bore rebellion against her mother. She doesn’t really want to be pregnant, but (a few readers have already picked this up) she sort of does it intentionally to take a big swing at her mother. She doesn’t want to be a mother. She wants to live a different life all together, but her confusion and anger keep her from doing anything to stop it.
In the last couple of years, Taco’s family has evaporated. Mom died. Dad left town to make more money. Brother can’t bear all his responsibility and falls into chemical abuse. Taco, who wants to treat everything as a blessing, decides the baby is some kind of great gift. He’ll rebuild his family! Unfortunately, Taco’s maturation clock got stuck at the moment his mother died. He’s really a little kid in a teen’s body (a small one, at that). He is not remotely capable of being a dad.
How did you come up with the story? Did you find inspiration in any other story/movie/show and how has this affected your writing?
Paulie Bleeker, from Juno. I teach that movie in my screenwriting class, so I’ve watched it a thousand times. I’ve thought a lot about how Juno forgives him for being a kid instead of an honorable man. How the story doesn’t judge him for his immaturity and his continued engagement in a regular teen’s life. I thought, what if he wasn’t middle class? What if he wanted to be a dad, even though he’s still a little kid at heart? He’d make such a terrible mess. How could he be okay? Taco was really born from those questions. (I think his weird way of talking was inspired a bit by Diablo Cody’s stylized dialogue in Juno, too.)
Tell us your favorite quote from Anything You Want.
“In Lord of the Flies, lots of kids thought having no rules would be great fun. They ended up murdering one another. I want rules.”
Is there a specific scene that you had the most fun to write?
Taco and his older brother, Darius, get in two physical fights. Both of the fights pretty much kill me, because they make me so sad, but the scenes were really fun to write. These guys aren’t good fighters, so the scenes are goofy as well as sad.
If you had to pick one song to be the Theme Song for Anything You Want – Which one would you pick?
This is a song Taco’s mom would’ve listened to. It would totally kill Taco. Al Green’s Let’s Stay Together.
Imagine that we get to see your book on the big screen (how awesome would that be?). Who would you pick to play your characters?
Casting would be tough, because Taco has to look so young! I’d use Michael Cera from 2006 as a model. Or John Francis Daley in Freaks and Geeks mode (but aged by maybe a year or two, physically!). I’d use Amanda Bynes in 2002 or 2003 as sort of the model for Maggie (huge personality).
Is there any recommendations you could give your readers to be in the “perfect mood” to read Anything You Want (specific music, snacks…)?
Prepare your favorite Mexican food! Make sure you have some cold sodas and also maybe some doughnuts. Then, laugh at Taco, because he’s funny. But, also just know he’s completely deluded and very, very sad, and he’s fronting so hard, working so hard to be okay (he’s no okay). Have some Doritos.
Any advice for any teenage who’s in Taco and Maggie’s situation?
Find help, okay? People need people in times of trouble. Go to someone you trust and ask for help, because no one can handle something like this alone.
What’s next for you?
Strange Times: The Ghost in the Girl, which I co-wrote with Tom DeLonge, formerly of Blink 182, comes out in October. I’m pretty stoked about it! A crew of skate punk kids turn into paranormal investigators. It’s super fun. Then there are some cool things on the horizon! I will miss Taco, though.
I’m really glad you’re addicted to books, because that makes you good people. This book I’m promoting is so weird, and you sort of have to not believe all the crap the narrator says to even get into it, so it’s not that easy, so I appreciate you even reading this. Thank you.
Something to say to our Book Addicts?
Thank you so much for everything, Geoff!
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I am the author of the YA title, Stupid Fast (June 2011 from Sourcebooks Fire). I also wrote The Miracle Letters of T. Rimberg, a Novel from Three Rivers Press. When I'm not writing books, I'm writing for Radio Happy Hour or developing ridiculous musical bits.
When I'm not writing, I'm teaching writing at Minnesota State, Mankato, which means I write a lot of comments about writing on student writing.
Writing a lot of writing and reading about writing and writing on reading.