Meet Sam Hopkins from Andrew Klavan’s latest YA novel, Crazy Dangerous, available from Thomas Nelson
Sam Hopkins is a good kid who has fallen in with the wrong crowd. Hanging around with car thieves and thugs, Sam knows it’s only a matter of time before he makes one bad decision too many and gets into real trouble.
But one day, Sam sees these thugs harassing an eccentric schoolmate named Jennifer. Finding the courage to face the bullies down, Sam loses a bad set of friends and acquires a very strange new one.
Because Jennifer is not just eccentric. To Sam, she seems downright crazy. She has terrifying hallucinations involving demons, the devil, and death. And here’s the really crazy part: Sam is beginning to suspect that these visions may actually be prophecies-prophecies of something terrible that’s going to happen very soon. Unless he can stop it.
With no one to believe him, with no one to help him, Sam is now all alone in a race against time. Finding the truth before disaster strikes is going to be both crazy and very, very dangerous.
Brief physical description
Sam Hopkins is a 16-year-old son of a preacher, who’s tired of everyone treating him like he’s supposed to be some kind of saint because of his dad. He’s not very big, not very strong, and not very tough, but he can’t seem to stay out of trouble, especially when someone tries to push him around.
The actor I like for Sam is Joel Courtney, the guy from Super-8. He has just the right sort of wry-but-indomitable attitude to play Sam.
Strengths and weaknesses
I would say Sam’s major strength is his courage. Sometimes it takes him a long time to figure out what’s right or wrong, but once he does, he’ll act on the right, even if it means getting his head handed to him. His major weakness: he’s impulsive. He’ll launch into action when a little patience might have saved him a lot of pain.
Quirk (if any)
He hates getting pushed around – just hates it. Whenever someone bullies him, he goes nuts and fights back even if he hasn’t got a chance. He also hates seeing other people get pushed around, and he’ll go to bat for them too. It gets him in a lot of trouble.
Your inspiration for the character
I always hate this question because I don’t know where my characters and stories come from, they just come. But I think you always put a little piece of yourself in all of your characters. I got in a lot of fistfights as a kid, mostly because I didn’t like bullies. I think I literally fought just about every bully in the school at some point. So I used some of those experiences for Sam.
Background to the story
I’ve always wanted to write a story about dreams or hallucinations that seem to come true. It seemed like an exciting idea, but also a way to write a fast-moving adventure that asked a lot of interesting questions. Like: how do you know what’s real or not? Is everything about you contained in your brain or is there some other, more mysterious part of you? Anyway, it turned out to be a very cool story, I thought.