When we finally stopped laughing, squirming and cheering for the unstoppable Chloe Snow in Confessions of a High School Disaster: Chloe Snow’s Diary, we realized we wanted to learn more about the imagination behind something so insanely entertaining. Chatting with adorable author Emma Chastain turned out to be the right place to start…
Where did you get the inspiration for Chloe? (She’s #BFFgoals!)
She’s the person I wish I’d been in high school. I was (and am) anxious and fretful; Chloe is full of confidence, even when she’s careening into a fresh new disaster.
Her disasters are what make her so hilarious and addictively readable! How would YOU describe Chloe?
Well-meaning, feisty and flawed.
Oh, yeah, she’s all that, too! You wrote this book as a diary—why was that the perfect voice for this Chloe?
I love diary-format fiction like Bridget Jones’s Diary and Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging. As a reader, it’s fun to feel that you’re sneaking a look at someone’s secret journal. And as a writer, it’s fun to make your narrator as frank, inappropriate, and narcissistic as real people are in their diaries.
Exactly! That’s why we <3 Chloe. She’s like your favorite dramatically funny friend who you love to gossip with because she’s smart, observant and makes you laugh until you snort. What do you love most about Chloe?
Forget Chloe—I love you for this question! At the beginning of the novel, Chloe’s mother runs away to Mexico to work on her novel. Chloe can’t face the fact that this is a selfish and cruel thing for a parent to do, so she idealizes her mother to hide the truth from herself. Her willed self-delusion is touching to me.
Is there a scene in the book you loved the most or one that made you LOL while you were writing it?
At one point Chloe and her best guy friend, Tristan, attend an exciting upperclassmen party, and the next day they furiously talk and text about their experience. That scene makes me happy. If there’s anything more fun than flirting with cute guys at a party, it’s gossiping about it with your friends the next day.
Oh, my gosh, yes. And speaking of guys, flirting and gossip, Chloe loves to make a lists of potential boyfriends, some hilariously inappropriate. Who is your favorite fictional boyfriend and why?
No contest: Laurie Laurence in Little Women. I’m still not over the fact that Jo chose Professor Bhaer, who probably has old-man breath, over her fun and sexy soulmate.
Haha! OK, that’s all we needed to hear. Now we know why we loved the way Chloe wrote about what she was reading so much. We totally want to be in a book club with both of you! So spill…what was your favorite book in high school and why?
I was obsessed with Middlemarch, which I originally picked up because I was a pretentious show-off—I wanted to carry the book around with the cover facing out, to show the world how brilliant I was—but which I then fell in love with, because it is such a humane, funny, wrenching novel. I reread it this year, and I see all the characters differently now than I did when I was 18. I’m sure they’ll change and change again as I age; it’s the kind of book that grows with you.
Who did you write Confessions of a High School Disaster for?
Bookish high school kids who feel like weirdos, and adults who used to be bookish, weird high school kids.
Helllooo-oo. We love that.