Shoshana Flax: The book feels very, tragically up-to-the-minute. How far into the editorial process were you making changes based on current events?
Angie Thomas: I tried not to let current events influence the book too much — I wanted it to be its own story. However, as the deaths of unarmed black people continued to make headlines, my emotions definitely affected my writing. For instance, I was in my last round of edits when I heard about Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. Their deaths had a profound impact on how I wrote the end of the book, and I tried to honor them as best I knew how.