Between The Lines with Carrie DiRisio and @BroodingYAHero

Between The Lines is a sporadic feature on Pop! Goes The Reader in which authors and other industry professionals provide further insight into the writing and publishing process in the form of interviews, guest posts, etc. So, sit back, relax, and enjoy as we read between the lines.

Today’s post was some of the most fun I’ve had working on a project for Pop! Goes The Reader in recent memory. You see, much like the 34,000 (Yes, I said 34,000) people that follow him, I too have fallen victim to the seductive smile and smouldering charm of @BroodingYAHero. I’ve quietly followed (and fawned over) this delightfully droll Twitter parody account since its inception, whose tweets never fail to make each and every day a little more fun. You can therefore imagine my surprise – and excitement! – when I was approached by Carrie, the creator of our favourite fictional brooding boyfriend, about featuring both herself and @BroodingYAHero on Pop! Goes The Reader for an exclusive interview. (Yes, I got to interview @BroodingYAHero.) (No, I haven’t quite recovered.) Please read on to learn a little more about our enigmatic, trope-filled hero and the brilliant mind who brings it all to life.

Caffeinated extrovert; Slytherin, not Sith.

@BroodingYAHero is a twitter account that lovingly mocks and pokes fun at some of our favorite brooding book boyfriends. I hope it makes people laugh, and just maybe makes them think before writing another tall, sorta-creepy-but-kinda-hot, personal-space-invader.

One winter night, I was walking alone, in a dark forest, when a mysterious stranger saved me from a wild were-lemur. He did not give me his name, but I knew from his magnificently strong shoulders, his gemstone colored eyes, and perfectly tousled hair, that he was a main character. He left me his diary, and I merely transcribe it.

Sheer joy. Seriously. It’s just fun. I’m the type of person who is happiest when people are laughing, so it’s a ton of fun to share that humor with others. Plus, now if anyone ever says, “Carrie, you’re not funny,” I can fire back, “Well, 33,000 people on the internet think I am, so there.”

The ideas come from everywhere. Books, tv, terrible tinder dates, my own writing, I once had tweets for three weeks, all from tropes I found in a story I wrote when I was sixteen.

The best part is when people quote and retweet with “This made my day” or interact with the account like he’s a good friend of theirs. I know I always turn to humor, funny blogs (RIP The Toast) or books, when I’m having a bad day, and being able to offer that mood-booster to another is an honor.

I can’t say there’s a bad part, although I do feel a bit uncomfortable when people use his tweets to attack a specific author. I poke fun at generic tropes, and they’re all done in good humor. I’d hate to know a tweet made an author upset.

I always say I mock out of love. Some of my favorite tropes are the broodiest ones, the loner who sulks with his feels, the sassy all-powerful being, the bad boy rockstar.

Least favorite: Why, why, why are the men always taller than the ladies? Maybe it’s just me as a taller girl, but the fact I’ve only ever read one book with a short male love interest (The excellent Anna And The French Kiss) blows my mind.

And then, of course, are my un-favorites, which are problematic, such as the heroes who insult and manipulate their love interests.



I’m not a rabid fan girl, I swear.

But Maggie Stiefvater is one of the best YA writers around. I remember finishing Linger, and fangirling so much over Cole, that I talked my best friend into reading the book that week, just so I could have someone to chat with about him. He’s dark, and edgy, and sarcastic, but written so well that he’s also multi-faceted and very human. And a were-wolf, but it’s the human-ness that makes him so fascinating.

Also, if you’re friends with me on Twitter, you know another favorite is Slate from Heidi Heilig’s excellent The Girl From Everywhere, but, let’s be honest, he probably wouldn’t spend much time on Twitter.

As my friends might tell you, I’m happiest when I have a million things going on. My non-writing hobbies include running, knitting, and most recently, Krav Maga.

So many! It’s hard to pick just a few to name.

I’ve already mention Maggie Stiefvater and Heidi Heilig, whose books really made my life a better place. Tamora Pierce, growing up, for writing kick-ass lady characters, Victor Hugo because I have an unreasonably deep love for Les Miserables, Dahlia Adler for being a reccing ball on Twitter that actively advocates for books free of harmful tropes, and Laura Lee Anderson, who I met, shortly before her debut novel, Song Of Summer came out, but is now one of my closest friends in the world.

Likewise, Ellen Kushner and Delia Sherman were the first authors I met in person after Brooding YA Hero was “born,” and their enthusiasm for the tweets, as well as their general awesomeness, has been a wonderful influence in my life. And she’s not an author, but my agent, Melissa Edwards, is one of the most patient, dedicated people around, and I wouldn’t be the writer I am today without her in my life.

…World’s longest short list ever. And there are still so many I didn’t name. I’m a daughter of a librarian. Love for books, and their creators, is in my blood!

Stay positive, and stay flexible! I started @BroodingYAHero when I was querying and things seemed bleak. Now I have an agent and…a Broody.

I just finished A Darker Shade Of Magic, and it was magnificent! Next up, And I Darken.

Broody will keep on brooding his way through life, sulking in rain storms, and saving man characters without ever telling them his name, for at least the next thousand years. He is a vampire/elf/immortal being, after all.

Meanwhile I’m working on a few projects, all of which are secret, as well as being the social media intern for Serial Box Publishing. We’re combining the best parts of TV (serialized stories, compelling arcs) with all the awesomeness of books. Our first YA serial, ReMade, launches in September, and I’m really thrilled about it – it’s a mix of sci-fi adventure with YA contemporary drama, and features some awesome authors including Gwenda Bond and Kiersten White!

About Carrie DiRisio

Carrie Ann DiRisio is a YA writer and creator of @BroodingYAHero. She lives in Pittsburgh, PA, and is currently pursuing her masters in Digital Marketing, although her true dream is to become a Disney Villainess, complete with a really snazzy gown.

Find Carrie on: WebsiteTwitter

There’s nothing average about me. But, it would probably involve skipping my morning classes so I can get my broody-rest, then sitting at the cool kids lunch table while gazing dramatically at the new girl, and then maybe saving her life from a were-lemur, or just delivering a sarcastic one-liner that entrances her.

I dunno. I’m not sure I can count to five. I failed math class when I described the sides of a triangle as “me, some jerk with good hair, and my destined love interest”.

Author? I don’t trust those people. They’re always killing characters off, or making unnecessary plot drama. Editors are worse, though. They actually CUT adjectives and adverbs. Can you believe that cold-hearted cruelty?

My vacations are usually pretty full of “mysteriously running into a main character and romantically showing her around a new city,” so I’d probably bring some book of poetry that she also loved.

Another book question? Seriously? Can’t we talk about something else? Actually, look. I know I agreed to answer all these questions, but c’mon. Do you think I become so incredibly popular by following the rules? I’m a rebel, baby, and I’m done with this interview.

Instead, I’d just like to talk about my favorite topic. Me.

Do you have any idea how hard it is to be me? For example. Have you ever lived for centuries as a paranormal being of limitless power, only to fall in love with an average high school girl, and then have her ignore you for, like, five chapters? Or have you ever been the ridiculously attractive leader of a rebellion who can’t communicate why he feels so gosh-darn, eye-blazing angry all the time? No? Well, have you ever been a prince who’s supposed to wed someone in an arranged marriage, but then a masked ball totally makes him fall in love with a mysterious stranger, who is impossible to recognize no matter how small her mask is?

Like I said, my life is hard.

And why is there always so much talk about books? I mean, books are cool, but you know what’s cooler? Prom. I’d like, just once, to be interviewed on a prom site. I could give them all sorts of advice on how to measure your love interest while they’re sleeping, so you can surprise them with a perfectly fitting dress.

Plus, you asked me about authors, which is weird, because I know exactly zero authors. I know way more love interests. I’m not sure you and I have anything in common. Why did you want to interview me anyway?

Actually, wait.

An unlikely meeting, a large amount of (internet-infused) eye contact as you stared at the screen to type these questions, and personalities that don’t match at all…

Pop! Goes The Reader…are you my next love interest? If so, I have a few questions for you.

What six adjectives describe your eye color?

Would you rather attend prom, a masked ball, or a survival-of-the-most-main-character-est-dystopian-battle?

What are the obstacles to running off with me? (i.e. your destiny, your pet cat, your best friend thinks I’m a horrible person, you hate my band…)

Perfect. We’re basically TeamMeantToBe. Right?

4 responses to “Between The Lines with Carrie DiRisio and @BroodingYAHero”

  1. Julia E. says:

    AHHHHHH I love this entire post so much. And the Broody Graphic!!! How incredibly adorable!

  2. Leah says:

    1. I. LOVE. THIS. so so much.

    2. She lives in Pittsburgh?!?! WHAT! & now all my love for this post has turned into panic over unknowingly passing her on the street and making a complete fool of myself (it’s a gift of mine /crying forever)
    Leah recently posted…July + August recaps!My Profile

  3. Paméla B. says:

    This made me laugh so much, thank you Jen and Carrie!!!! 😀 And just saw your Writing’s on The Wall with Broody and I just had to come back to this! God you’re both amazing!

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