The 3-minute interview with Nick Hornby

The British soccer nut and music fan is the author of the best-selling novels “High Fidelity” and “About a Boy.” His new book, “Slam,” his first for young adults, is about a 15-year-old boy who undergoes major life changes after he hooks up with his girlfriend. Hornby will be at Books Inc., 601 Van Ness Ave., San Francisco, at 7 tonight to talk about “Slam.”

After reading “Slam,” it isn’t obvious that the book is strictly for young people. Is it? I don’t know if it is or it isn’t. I knew I wanted to write about this particular kid, but there wasn’t anything about the process of writing it that was different from my other books. I had been in touch with a young readers editor about a project, and this ended up being it.

The characters in your books are always self-deprecating and funny. Are you? I wouldn’t write a book without jokes. That’s quite a large part. I am both. … I’m trying to be modest about being self-deprecating.

Do you have children? Do they inform your writing? Kids are prominent characters in most of your books. I have three kids; one autistic teen and two others under 5 — they don’t so much figure in the books. I started out as a high school teacher; I write about kids because I like the moral structure they give; kids bring out moral issues a lot of the time.

Have you been to San Francisco often? Do you like it? I’ve always had first-rate readings in San Francisco. This will be my sixth time here; I have friends here. It’s beautiful; it’s the city I’d most like to live in outside of London. … The politics, the vibe of the people, there’s a relaxed feel.

lkatz@examiner.com


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