Because of Rob Buyea: The Author’s Perspective

Elena Nasar and Avery Kalter on Zoom Interviewing Rob Buyea

Avery Kalter and Elena Nasar

Elena Nasar and Avery Kalter on Zoom Interviewing Rob Buyea

Elena Nasar and Avery Kalter, Staff Writers

Sixth graders, Avery Kalter and Elena Nasar have been fans of Rob Buyea for years. That’s why even when they had a full schedule, they reached out to him and managed to get a short meeting with him. His books helped and inspired them for a while, and connected with them more then any book ever has. Fun fact, they even wrote a movie for his Mr. Terupt books. Full of eagerness and excitement they asked him a series of questions that helped them gain a new understanding of the books and an author’s perspective.

Avery: One of the first questions we have for you is, what inspired you to write this series? Have you experienced any of the things your characters have experienced?

Rob: My books are actually, partially inspired by my students, and all of the memories we had together. I also like to say that my books are a mixture of fiction and non-fiction. A lot of kids like to ask me if the snowball scene in book one actually happened to me. No, I didn’t go into a coma from being hit by a snowball, but that scene was inspired by something that happened to me and my students. It was based on a memory where one of my students fell in the snow after being attacked by a group of girls. It was a pretty scary moment at the time, but looking back at it it was a great component to add to my book.

Elena: How do you select the names of the characters?

Rob: To be honest, most of my characters’ names aren’t inspired by students like storylines are. I did get one from my real life which is Gavin from the perfect score. I was hoping that whenever my wife had a son, which never happened, I could use it. Now it is taken by one of my many characters.

Avery: Have you ever thought about what these characters you have developed may look like?

Rob: No, I haven’t. I have been asked this by many fans, but I like to let the readers decide on this one.

Elena: Have you ever thought about making your books into a movie or TV show? Has anyone approached you about that?

Rob: Yes, many times actually. I’ve had many agents and production companies get in touch with me. All I can say is that as of now there is a chance for an adaptation.

Avery: Interesting. What was the hardest character to portray when writing the books?

Rob: To be honest, there wasn’t a character that was hardest for me to write. I definitely had my struggles for each character and had scenes where I couldn’t generate any ideas, but they were all equal. As my readers know, I like to use different styles of writing for Jessica, and that is a bit of a challenge, but I have a lot of fun with it.

Elena: Adding on to that, what was the hardest scene to write?

Rob: The hardest scene for me to write was definitely the end of book 2. I was relatively new to writing and I was having trouble giving the book a good ending because I wasn’t sure if this would be a book I would follow through with.

Avery: Really? I loved the ending of book 2. What character do you relate to the most as a person?

Rob: That’s a hard question. I equally relate to all my characters, but I like to joke sometimes and say I am a Lexi. My wife would also say I was a Peter. Another character I deeply relate to was Daniel, who had type 2 diabetes just like my daughter. It was important for me to somehow add that to my books.

Elena: That’s really amazing. How do you respond to your book reviews, good and bad? Do you take advice from your readers?

Rob: The professional reviews from places like Kirkus or The Guardian don’t mean anything to me. The only reviews I take seriously are the ones from my readers, who are in the age group I actually write the books for. I don’t respond much but I am grateful for the feedback and do use it to help me improve my writing and plotlines.

Avery: What is the main message you try to spread in your books?

Rob: Throughout my books, I have spread many messages. There is obviously a lot of friendship, and the importance of it, but there was also a lot of family and overcoming struggles. My characters went through a lot together, but they always got through it with friendship.

Elena: Did you want “Goodbye, Mr. Terupt” to serve as a true ending to the series or an open end?

Rob: Well, when I wrote the first book I thought that would be it. Then I did the second book and thought I was done. But then I wrote the third one and now the fourth just released and I have another book series out as well. So to be honest, I don’t know where the end of the series is or where it will be.

Elena and Avery: Well, that concludes our questions. Thank-you for all this amazing intel. It will really help us develop our article.

Rob: Thank you! In fact, you guys remind me of Jessicas. Very professional young girls.

Elena and Avery: Hahaha, thanks. Happy holidays, and thank-you for your time!