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11 Questions with PAPERBOY Author Vince Vawter

May 8, 2013

Today we welcome debut author Vince Vawter to RAoReading. Vince’s book Paperboy will be available in your favorite bookstore or library on May 14th. He joins us to talk about writing, reading, and of course, Paperboy.


What inspired you to write about a child who stutters? Do you know someone who suffers from stuttering?

“Paperboy” is an autobiographical novel, almost a memoir. I have had a speech impediment all my life. As a child I suffered with it. As an adult, it’s a challenge that I welcome and find that it gives me a certain amount of inner strength.

Where you a paperboy as a child?
Yes, for a month, just like in the book.

Do you plan to continue writing young adult novels or do you think you might write for adults down the road?

The jury is still out on this one.

What book made the strongest impression on you as a child?

“The Swiss Family Robinson” by Johann David Wyss, published in 1812. I remember reading the book three times in one summer. I eventually saw the movie made from the book, and I recall being supremely disappointed. The movie could never have matched the adventure as it played out in my imagination inspired by the book.

What is one thing about you that would surprise your readers?

I’m 67 years old and consistently can still make 8 out of 10 free throws.

What was your favorite genre to read as a teenager?

Sports, fiction and non-fiction.

As an author, how do you feel about the role social media plays in your writing life?
Word of mouth is still the way that works of art become a part of a generation’s lexicon. Social media has simply amped up this phenomenon.

What is one piece of advice you would like to give to aspiring authors?
Don’t worry about inspiration. You will write when you just can’t stand it anymore.

What was your favorite chapter (or part) of Paperboy to write and why?
I enjoyed exploring the confused psyche of the 11-year-old boy as he tried to wrestle with the question of why talking was so difficult for him and so easy for everyone else. The 60-year-old memories became a flood once I opened the gates.

Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans?

While “Paperboy” is suitable for the middle grades, I humbly submit that the story is “suitable” for any age. Simple does not mean simplistic. I have always maintained that the book can be read on many different levels.

Which character speaks the loudest to you? Do any of them clamor to be heard over the others?

The only character in the book without a counterpart from my actual childhood is Mr. Spiro. I wondered where he came from and then it dawned on me that the 1959 Mr. Spiro is the 2013 Vince Vawter.

Advance praise for Paperboy:

Starred Review, Publishers Weekly, March 18, 2013:
“[A] tense, memorable story.”

Starred Review, Booklist, April 15, 2013:
“The well-crafted characters, the hot Southern summer, and the coming-of-age events are reminiscent of To Kill a Mockingbird… This paper boy is a fighter and his hope fortifies and satisfies in equal measure.”

“An unforgettable boy and his unforgettable story. I loved it.”–Rob Buyea, author of Because of Mr. Terupt and Mr. Terupt Falls Again

Paperboy offers a penetrating look at both the mystery and the daily frustrations of stuttering. People of all ages will appreciate this positive and universal story as I did, but it will be particularly meaningful to anyone who has ever struggled with stuttering.”–Jane Fraser, president of The Stuttering Foundation of America

Paperboy – Blog Tour – the celebration continues all week: 

May 7th: Teach Mentor Texts

May 8th: Random Acts of Reading

May 9th: Teach Mentor Texts

May 10th: Ms. Yingling Reads

May 13th: The Children’s Book Review

May 14th: Nerdy Book Club

And for a bonus look at PAPERBOY, here’s the link to the book trailer:

Many thanks to Vince Vawter for joining us  today at RAoR!

Please share your thoughts in our comments section.

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