Inkpop Blog

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Sixteen Year Old Author Interviews His New York Times Bestselling Co-Author

Posted by inkpopbecki on January 14, 2011

Last night we had a fantastic live chat with sixteen year old Ross Workman and Bestselling Co-Author Walter Dean Myers. Today we bring you more from this dynamic team. Before coming together as co-authors, Ross was a huge fan of Walter’s books. Find out a little bit more about a little more about Walter with Ross’s personal interview. If you’d like to read more about Walter and Ross check out the transcript from last night’s live chat in the   inkpop Forum event.




Lockdown, a Coretta Scott King Author Honor book is about second chances and turning your life around.
Ross: Why did you write a book about a kid in jail?
Walter: Many of the 90,000 or so kids in American juvenile facilities lack the outside support and guidance needed to stay out of trouble.  I wanted to call attention to this in Lockdown and to offer my version of the internal dialogue needed for a young person in jail to think about his or her problem.



Shooter, about the aftermath of school violence, was an American Library Association Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers and was also made into a movie.
Ross: What did you think of the Shooter movie? Were you happy with it, or were there things you wanted to change?
Walter: “Case 219,” as the movie is called, was done extremely well. I would have liked to have been in it!





In Game, a Children’s Book Council Teen Choice Book Award Nominee, the main character Drew is forced to compromise and be a team player or risk his future as a basketball player.
Ross: Do you find it hard to write basketball scenes, and would you rather be writing about basketball or playing the game?
Walter: I’d rather be playing the game but my old bones can’t make it anymore so I’ll stick to writing.


Monster, a ground-breaking novel about a kid on trial for felony murder, is the winner of the first-ever Michael L. Printz Award, a National Book Award Finalist, and required reading in New York City public schools.
Ross: Is Steve Harmon guilty or innocent?  What do you think of him as a person?
Walter: Guilty or innocent of what? In a first degree murder trial the conspiracy to participate in the robbery has to be proven. I don’t think it can be in this case. But if it is a case of poor moral judgment giving the appearance of aiding the robbery, then Steve is on shaky ground. In my visits to juvenile and adult jails, I noted that many of the inmates were not aware of the seriousness of their crimes. In short, they thought that their guilt depended on their intent and not on the ultimate result of their activity. At one trial I attended, a young man had taken his father’s gun out to “carry around” for the day. An older boy took it from him and said he was going to rob a newspaper stand. The younger boy, thinking he’d be able to put  the gun back before his father got home, went with the older boy to the robbery and helped distract the clerk while the other boy slipped behind the counter. The older boy shot and killed the clerk. While the younger boy did not intend for the clerk to be killed (or even robbed) he was charged with murder. Was this fair? It doesn’t matter because the law establishes responsibility for all participants.

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