Post Mortem

From Zero to Hero

DEATH:
Hey there, living people. Welcome to Post Mortem, the fake online talk-radio show where fictional characters talk to me about their books, their Authors, and basically anything they want. I’m your host, Death.

Here’s what Publishers Weekly says in a starred review about my next guest’s book: “Rhuday-Perkovich delivers a masterful debut, telling a layered middle-school tale filled with characters who are delightfully flawed and, more importantly, striving to overcome those flaws.”

That’s what I love about living people: their delightful flaws. Give a big hello to the star of Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich’s debut novel, 8TH GRADE SUPERZERO…Reggie!

8GS

[APPLAUSE]

Hey, Reggie.

REGGIE:
[STARES] I’m sorry, I’m more than a little freaked out by…this.

DEATH:
No worries. I get that a lot. Tell me something about your book, EIGHTH GRADE SUPERZERO.

REGGIE:
Um. Yeah. OK. With a pair of sneakers, a political campaign, and a little help from my friends, I might just change my life.

DEATH:
Ah, change. I’m into change. Just ask anyone who reads Tarot cards. What’s the worst thing about your situation in the book?

REGGIE:
Everyone knows me in…a certain way, because of a Certain Incident on the first day of school.

DEATH:
I can hear the initial caps. That had to be some incident.

REGGIE:
And there’s a real me so far down deep inside that I don’t know if he actually exists. He may be a figment of my imagination, like Night Man, my graphic novel character. [PAUSES] Maybe this is all there is. Maybe I’m just the guy who puked in front of everyone, who’s father’s out of work, and who can’t bear to look girls in the eye. I try to do the right thing, but everything seems so bad. I’m just one guy; I don’t know if my voice really matters.

DEATH:
Life can be hard. So I’m told.

REGGIE:
Also, my sister is evil.

DEATH:
Heh. What’s the best thing about your situation?

REGGIE:
I have the best friends a guy could have. Some — mostly me — might say they’re eccentric, but they stick by me no matter what, and I learn from them every day. Sometimes, things I don’t want to know, like about how Victorian women stuck apple peels in their armpits, but hey, small price to pay for true friendship.

DEATH:
Indeed. If you could be anyone, who would it be?

REGGIE:
Justin Walker, the guy every girl wants and every guy wants to be at my school, because it looks so easy.

DEATH:
What’s your standard outfit?

REGGIE:

Hoodie — but my mom won’t let me wear the hood up — jeans, and sneakers.

DEATH:
What are you most afraid of?

REGGIE:
I am most afraid of everyone knowing how afraid I really am.

DEATH:
See, here’s a secret: all the living are afraid. And if everyone knew that, the fear probably wouldn’t be so scary. What’s one thing about you that no one else knows?

REGGIE:
I wrote a love letter to someone.

DEATH:
Love is SO cool.

REGGIE:
I’m not sure if I’m going to give it to her or not.

DEATH:
You’ll make the right choice. In SUPERZERO, were there any parts of the story where you were like, Olugbemisola, what on earth are you making me do? Or were you and your Author in sync the entire time?

REGGIE:
I mean…the Dora shoes. I didn’t think I could do it!

DEATH:
Isn’t it amazing what we can do when we have to? If you had your way, what would you change about SUPERZERO?

REGGIE:
I’d find homes for everyone at Olive Branch. Wait — I’d have there be no Olive Branch. I still don’t get why there is so much trouble in the world, like the song.

DEATH:
Some things, we’re not meant to know. If you could make your Author, Olugbemisola, do anything, what would it be?

REGGIE:
I’d ask for a reunion with George.

DEATH:
Heh. For more that that, living people, you have to read the book. Reggie, tell me one thing in the real world that you wish you could change.

REGGIE:
I wish that we could treat each other with respect, even if we disagreed or didn’t like each other. Just remember that we’re all human —

DEATH:
Well, most of us.

REGGIE:
…And remember to look for that little thing in everyone that we can love. Ugh, that sounds sappy. I’ve been spending too much time with….well, anyway. You’ll find out.

DEATH:
I find out everything, in the end. If there’s one piece of advice you could give to your fans, what would it be?

REGGIE:
Pay attention. Listen. And value the small things.

DEATH:
Words of wisdom, to be sure.

Everyone, give another hearty round of applause for the star of Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich’s debut novel, 8TH GRADE SUPERZERO…Reggie!

[APPLAUSE]

OR-P

[No, this isn't Reggie. But it is his Author, Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich.]

You can purchase 8TH GRADE SUPERZERO at Barnes & Noble, Borders, your favorite independent bookseller, Amazon, and other fine bookstores near you.

That’s it for this episode of Post Mortem. Until next time, go thee out unto the world. Rock on.



Tags: , ,

Comments are closed.