Thursday, November 17, 2011

Memories of High School You - Angelina C. Hansen

As a young adult writer, the foundation for most of my writing starts with my own teenage experience.  Times, fashion, and music have changed but that overall quest for self is still the same.  So in that spirt, I share these bi-monthly interviews:  Memories of High School You.  Fellow MG and YA authors will share their own spin on the hallowed halls.  If you're interested in participating just drop me a line in the comments.

This week, may I introduce Angelina C. Hansen.  Angelina is another Twitter friend and #wipmadness participant.  She can be found at her blog, YAScribe.  Without further ado, please meet teenage Angelina!

Tell us about your high school, public or private, size, demographic, location?
I went to public high school in a small artsy theatre town in Southern Oregon. I think our graduating class was around 200. 
Were there cliques at your high school?  What were they?  Who did you hang with?
Cliques? I suppose there were the usual groups. But I was able to fit in with whomever I chose to hang out with. I’ve always preferred unusual individuals and my hometown bred them. ^_^ Being different was the norm. 

(J.Ro here - that sounds like an amazing place to be a teenager)
Did you have a memorable teacher?  Good or bad?  How did they influence you?
My French teacher, who was also a close friend’s mom, was a burly Norwegian who had lived all over the world.  When a severe illness blew my plans for college during my senior year, she suggested I take a year off and work as an au pair in Paris. And so I did. 
Did you have an inkling as a teenager that you would become a writer?
I had those inklngs as a child, but as a teenager I aspired to International Politics—diplomacy. As it turns out, I got my BA in International Affairs. 
What book had the biggest impact on you as a high school student?  How?
Not so much a book, but a group of writers—Emerson and Thoreau. The Transcendentalist philosophy sang to my soul. 

(Geez - and I thought Tom Robbins was intellectual when I was 16)

What band could you not get enough of in high school?  Were you an album or a CD kid?  Cover art you remember?
My tastes, even in high school, have always been eclectic from Pop to Opera. But I went through a phase where I couldn’t’ get enough of The Scorpions. Cassettes, baby. 

(But didn't you despise having to roll them back up when your tape player ate them?)
What was the fashion rage - the one article of clothing you either got, or didn’t get that rocked your world?
As I mentioned earlier, the spirit of my hometown encouraged individualism, plus I never was one to pay much attention to fashion or trends. The one item of clothing I got that rocked my world was a very expensive hand-knitted  fisherman’s sweater from Ireland. I still wear it! Oh and a pair of skin-tight black leather pants. Outgrew those. 
What hobbies, activities, sports were you involved in that influence your writing today?
I played jazz trumpet, composed music for piano, and played basketball and tennis. But it’s the music composition that most influences my writing today. My writing has to sound right and my creative process is very similar. 
Good kid or wild child or a little of both?  Details? (Mwaahaa)
For appearance sake, I was the good kid (4.0 GPA, home by curfew, never in trouble). But in reality, I was a wild child who was adept at lying and not getting caught. 
Did you have a favorite phrase or slang word?
For some reason, this is a really hard question. The only word that comes to mind is “bitchin”.
Who was your bestie?  Your frenemy?  Your sworn enemy?  Did you ever have one that switched to another?  Why?
I had a few besties, but I also dated an older guy the whole time I was in high school which meant I didn’t spend a lot of time outside of school with my friends. No enemies. My dad taught me to look for the good in everyone and be peaceable with all sorts. 
If you could say one thing to your high school you, what would you say?
Listen to your intuition and keep your mouth shut. 

(Sounds like a story in that line....)
How do we find you now? 


  1. Love it! Lying well is such an excellent skill for a teen. I was such a bad liar that I pretty much always got caught.

    But I wish we had known each other then--I think we would have definitely been friends! :-)

  2. Lovely interview, it sounds like adolescents was wonderful for Katie.

  3. This is an awesome idea! I love it!

    ASHLAND? I love Southern Oregon.

    I like your advice, too :)

  4. Thanks, y'all. Shelly wins the prize for best deductive reasoning skills.

  5. Isn't that where they have a huge Shakespeare festival?

  6. Yep. We went to plays as field trips in elementary school. I'm not biased, but I think it's the coolest small town in the country. ^_^

  7. Good interview, though my own teenage self is already envious: 4.0 gpa, fun but cool, loads of quirky friends but no clique, and Angelina grew up in OREGON. Any town in Oregon would have suited me fine.

    I was a first-class liar as a teenager too. I remember reasoning with myself that it was okay for a number of reasons, mainly, I think, because I craved privacy.

  8. I've been to Ashland a bunch of times for the festival and always kind of wondered what it would be like to live there. Sounds pretty nice, really!

  9. Great interview. I can totally relate to the being good at lying without getting caught--and lots of other things.

  10. Oh my gosh, what a great idea for an interview series, and it's great to meet you, Angelina!

    I would love to participate in this if you need another interviewee... High school is such a funny, weird time. :)

  11. LisaAnn - I'd love for you to participate!


Hey, do you ever wonder why they call it 'your two cents?'