6 Questions With Lina Branter, Author of Her Tree Boy Blaze

1. You’re a teen again and call your MC (from your forthcoming story in volume 3) on the phone with urgent news: What’s the news and what is his/her reaction?

Me-Hi Ainsley! I’m so sorry to have to tell you this, but your long time crush is a total asshat and has posted a picture of you naked on the internet and now the whole school hates  you and his psycho ex-girlfriend wants to kill you.

Ainsley- Click. Dial tone. (She ran away).

2. We are making a short film of your story, who plays the lead character?

Someone with the acting ability of a Hailee Steinfeld or Jennifer Lawrence but with bigger, redder hair. Oh yeah. I guess Hollywood could take care of that…

 3. If you were hired to co-author a book with a best selling YA author of YOUR choice, who would you choose?

This is a terrifying question. Shame on you. I think Libba Bray because I love how she is always exploring different genres. I mean first a trilogy about a 19th century London boarding school then a book about a boy dying of mad cow disease and then a Mel Brooksian story about beauty queens stranded on a deserted island (or is it?) and then her new one which I haven’t read yet but seems just as awesome? That woman is my hero. And also, I refuse to apologize for my run-on sentences.

4. Describe your weirdest writing habit.

I mostly write at 5 in the morning. But I guess that’s not really weird, just necessary.

 5. Which character in the classic teen movie The Breakfast Club bests describes you in high school?

This is so easy it is almost embarrassing. Except I can’t remember her name, which is really embarrassing. You know, the weirdo- the one who eats a cornflake sugar sandwich and who makes dandruff art. The one played by Ally Sheedy… Wait! I have Google! Give me a minute…Allison Reynolds! Actually, do they ever refer to her by name in the movie? This feels like obscure John Hughes trivia to me…

6. What’s the best part about being a member of the Sucker family (so far!)?

Got an hour? The Sherlockian way you dissected my story, the extremely helpful editorial comments, your refusal to let any cliché or hackneyed imagery pass, your palpable dedication to helping emerging writers, the fact that Hannah let me spell her name wrong for the first half of our correspondence and then gently corrected me, and then, just to make me feel better, sent me a cryptic email meant for someone else and then a long apology. You guys are like the Jack Russell Terriers of editors! But way smarter of course… And probably cuter. Oh and now I get to be in contact with a bunch of awesome writers!

So, umm, basically all of it is the best part.

To read Lina Branter‘s story in volume 3, click here.

How I Found Sucker, Lina Branter author of “Her Tree Boy Blaze”

How I found Sucker? I think I was trolling the internet to see what kind of magazines or journals were out there that showcased writing for young adults. I think Sucker Literary popped up right away!

My experience? My experience has been one of the most rewarding of my writing career and I say that with not even a hint of hyperbole. My writing has never been subject to such careful scrutiny and respectful critique. The care the Sucker editors took in helping me mold my piece and the seriousness with which they did it was shocking at first, gratifying during and resulted in me having more respect for myself as a writer (because if these smart ladies thought my writing was worth it, then who am I to argue?) and a desire to have all my stories go through such a rigorous editorial process. Thank you so much Sucker ladies!

Lina Branter, author of “Her Tree Boy Blaze”

To purchase volume III, click here.


The Story Behind The Story, “Her Tree Boy Blaze” by Lina Branter

Three separate things inspired my story. The first was a story someone told me about their brief stint in a remote boarding school. Apparently there was an old, abandoned cabin in the woods where students would go to hook up. Then I began to think about first sexual encounters and how even if you give official consent, it can still feel violating. I actually wrote a story about this but it never really worked well so I shelved it. Then I saw a call for submissions for stories about the Green Man (a figure in different world mythologies that represents nature and fertility)  and I realized that was the missing element to my previous story! I needed a Green Man!

-Lina Branter, author of “Her Tree Boy Blaze” follow her @linagordaneer

To order a copy of volume three, go here.