It’s research, not stalking.

I’m excited to bring you another Reader Paparazzi interview.  Thanks so much for all your comments and suggestions on my first installment.  If you missed it, check it out here.  

Basically since I spend a lot of time inside the mind of fictional teens and tweens–writing and reading, I decided it might be nice to get a little perspective from the real world.

So I’m stalking interviewing young adult readers.

And this week I have what the publishing industry refers to as the reluctant (boy) reader.

But you can call him Ben.

Ben is a twelve-year-old middle schooler.  He is on the Lacrosse team, plays the trombone in his school’s All City Band and he has the distinction of being the only kid I know who prefers dark chocolate over milk chocolate.  Plus, as you will soon see, he loves skateboarding.

Welcome BEN!!

What is the last book you read?

Probably one of the Magic Tree House Series. I don’t read a lot for fun, but I do have all of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books!

What are the top three songs playing on your iPod?

Skrillex: The First of the Year

Skrillex: Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites

Kanye West: Dark Fantasy

What is your favorite class in school?

Social Studies

What is your favorite thing to do after school?


If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life—what would it be?

That’s hard!  I guess Chicken & Rice Soup.

If you could Skype with a famous person who would you pick?

Paul Rodriguez

(P-Rod,his nickname, is a professional skateboarder.  I’m glad Ben filled me in on this fact, because the only Paul Rodriguez I know is a comedian–and turns out,  happens to also be P-Rod’s father).

See how much you can learn in an interview?

So Ben, what was the last movie you saw?

Hunger Games! And I loved it.

Me too!  What are you most looking forward to right now?

Sunday Skate Sessions at the skate park.

 Ben ollie skateboarding _opt

Ben lifting off the ground with an “ollie”.


While we’re on the subject of skateboarding, what did you think when you heard that a 12-year-old (Tom Schaar) landed skateboarding’s first ever 1080 spin?

Amazed! I thought it would be a pro!

So other than cool skateboarding tricks, what would you like to learn how to do?

Drive a Rally Car.

I have to say I’m feeling for your mom here a little Ben . . .

Okay one last question.  If you could get on a plane right now and go anywhere—all expenses paid—where would you go?

Tokyo Japan!

Arigato Ben. 🙂


Check back for more Reader Paparazzi interviews–or if you don’t want to miss a post, simply subscribe by email (above on the sidebar)!

Have any questions you’d love for me to ask young readers?  Drop me a comment, I’d love to know!  Or answer me this question: 

If you could get on a plane right now and go anywhere—all expenses paid—where would you go?



28 thoughts on “Reader Paparazzi: Interview with a Skateboarding Tween

  1. Susanna Leonard Hill

    Love these interviews with teens and tweens! i don’t know where you’re drumming them up, but keep ’em coming! It’s great to hear what kids this age are interested in and how they talk!

  2. August McLaughlin

    Another great installment, Coleen! Wow, a skateboarder who digs social studies. For some reason I find that cool. 🙂 And hmm… Hawaii, Nashville and India are sounding nice. Can I pick all three?

  3. Patricia Tilton

    Coleen, I kind of like the word stalking! Another interesting POV from a tween. Sounds like there are some story ideas in there. He’s cool on the skate board.

  4. Lynn Kelley

    I love this interview, Colleen. You captured the tween boy’s personality so well. I totally enjoyed reading about Ben’s interests. Nice job. And that photo you took, awesome!

  5. Jennifer Jensen

    Cool interview, Colleen. And thanks for a peek in your head, Ben!
    First travel choice – Ireland, of course. Second would be Hawaii during the non-rainy season. Dream on!

  6. CC MacKenzie


    I love this, Coleen – great interview Ben. I would go to the Hemingways Hotel at Malindi, Kenya. Or The Indian Ocean Beach Club at Malindi, Kenya. Unbelievable. I’ve been there three times and can’t wait to go back. Only downside is the 10+hour flight!

  7. Jennette Marie Powell

    Coleen, so cool that you’re thinking of the boys, too! I really don’t see a lot out there for teen boys to read, and it’s sad how little encouragement they get to read. My daughter’s boyfriend is one of the few I know of who does read – mostly lit fic and classics! I think he’s rather unusual. 🙂

    1. Coleen Patrick Post author

      Yes that is curious! But in a good way. I think the only classic my son read that wasn’t homework, was a book a girl recommended. So you see the motive there 🙂

  8. Jess Witkins

    Cute interview! I had to laugh cause I didn’t know who Paul Rodriguez was either…except a kid I went to school with! I don’t think it was the skateboard champion.

    Fly anywhere in the world right now? I’d got back to Seoul!!!

  9. Angela Orlowski-Peart

    Coleen, I missed the previous interviews (do you want to hear my lame excuses?) I love this concept, especially because I am YA fiction writer and because I can’t rely on my own kids’ or their friends’ opinions just test, since they are much younger than my audience 🙂

    If I could choose ANY destination (greedily, I have to ask, just one?), it would be Paris for a month!

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