I hope you get a chance to pick up A.S. King's fantastic new novel, Everybody Sees the Ants! In honor of the book's release, I'm hosting an interview with the novel's main character, Lucky Linderman.
You seem to read a lot, so what would your favorite novel be?
I read mostly non-fiction, but I think my favorite novel is probably Catch-22 by Joseph Heller, which I read last summer at my aunt and uncle’s house in Arizona, or Animal Farm because Orwell was right about everything.
You compare your mom to a squid and father a turtle. What animal would you compare yourself to?
A squrtle? Kidding. Hm. I never thought about this. I guess it depends on which me we’re talking about. The old me was a rodent—kinda hiding. Maybe a mouse or a mole or something. And the new me is more like a dog. I bark. I’ll bite if I have to. I’m loyal, but I avoid people who don’t treat me right.
Do you think that by being named Lucky, you are prone to luck or are you more unlucky? Or do you think names have nothing to do with it at all?
I’m glad my parents named me Lucky and for a long time I thought I was the unluckiest kid on the planet, which made the whole thing ironic. But then, the more I read about life around the planet, the more I realized just how lucky I am. Granddad Harry helped me with that, too. Compared to him, we’re all pretty damn lucky, right?
Nader has been a longtime bully, but adults seem to ignore the fact that he's a bully. What's the worst advice you ever received about dealing with Nader? Has there ever been any good advice?
The worst advice I ever got was what I heard all through grade school. Ignore him. I mean, ignoring can work, I guess, depending on who you are and who your bully is. If the bully leaves you alone after that, then fine. In my case, ignoring him didn’t work at all and to continue to tell me to ignore him after we knew that. . . was really bad advice. I think essentially, my parents were telling me to ignore him because they were ignoring him. The other bad advice I got once was to not go to the guidance counselor. My dad said it would mean that they’d “psychobabble me to death” and while that did happen later about the stupid question from my social studies survey, I think that guidance counselor in middle school would have helped me.
The best advice I got was from Granddad. This might be a little hard to follow, but it works for a lot of things in life, which is why it’s the best advice I ever got. Granddad once said to me, “Only you can give control of you away.” I didn’t get it at the time. I felt like the whole thing was out of my control, which, in many ways, was true. But then I read an article about Nelson Mandela. He was wrongly imprisoned for 27 years, and still, he can say, “Any man that tries to rob me of my dignity will lose.” That made me understand Granddad’s words a lot more than I had.