How much do you think you know about John Green? Maybe you watch his and his brother’s Vlog Brothers videos. Maybe you’ve read all his books. Maybe you’ve met him personally and gotten his autograph. Or maybe you’ve only just read The Fault in Our Stars because there’s a movie coming out about it. Either way, The Hollywood Reporter has some interesting facts about the one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of 2014:
- The original ending to Fault was very, very, very different than the final one.
It was epic, though some wondered if that was epically bad. Said his longtime editor Julie Strauss-Gabel, “Y’mean the whole Mexican warlords and the drug running and that stuff? All books reach a point, especially at the latter stages, where authors don’t want to walk away. There was a moment where he had particularly colorful ideas on how to end the story.” Adds Green: “Oh god, the ending was um, the ending of the first draft was this epically terrible case where Peter went out and went on a road trip to Mexico. I don’t even want to talk about it. When Julie read the whole draft she said, ‘This is by far your most interesting and ambitious novel, but I can’t tell if the last 50 pages is a joke.’!”
- Green loves to sign books so much so that he signed all 150,000 copies of the first printing of Fault.
He told THR that he became passionate about signing as many copies as he could when he went on eBay one day and discovered how much his signature was fetching. He said it was unfair that fans in places like Omaha or Wichita couldn’t get signed books like fans in New York or Los Angeles.
- He had to get a physical therapist to help him through all those signatures.
When Green first agreed to sign the copies of Fault, his first printings were in the 20,000 range, which he thought he could handle. But he (rightly) found the idea of signing 150,000 books daunting. Halfway through, his publisher, Penguin, had to get him a physical therapist. She taught him that if he eliminated one flourish in his signature and loosened his grip, he could sign for hours without any pain.
- Paper Towns was inspired by ’80s movies.
“Yeah I wanted that to be like a movie, like one of those one-night movies, like Can’t Hardly Wait, or, I don’t know, a bunch of them in the ’80s — Adventures in Babysitting — one of those movies where it’s just, like, crazy-wonderful things happening and this person who has no reason to be interested in you is interested in you and it’s so magical. And then I wanted to have the book, you know the book that talks about, that dissects it and deconstructs it a little bit.”
- One of his fears about greenlighting a movie version of Fault stemmed from the visual power of movies.
“I think one of the legitimate concerns that authors have is that the visual medium is so powerful that none of us will ever read Harry Potter and not see Daniel Radcliffe. And so it does matter in that sense; it does shape a future reader’s relationship with the book. So I do understand that concern that you’re reading a book and you’re picturing these people as you’re reading it, and then when the book deviates from the movie — at least in the mind of many contemporary readers who read the book after [seeing] movie — they say, ‘Well, that’s quite weird.’ I think the book has to stand on its own, and even though we are a visual species and the images are very powerful to us, you know the book is the book. You have to let it have its life. And the time you make that choice is when you decide whether to sell [the theatrical rights], and then if you decide [to sell] you lose the moral high ground to be like, ‘Oh don’t do that to my story.’ “
You can read all of the 20 facts at The Hollywood Reporter.