TEEN

John Green Explains How 'Paper Towns' Resembles His Own Teen Years

03/20/2015 01:04 pm ET | Updated Mar 20, 2015

Fans of the book-turned-movie "Paper Towns" will be excited to hear that much of the novel's protagonist, Q, was actually inspired by the author's own experiences as a teen.

"[Like Q,] I definitely romanticized the girls I liked and the girls I had crushes on and I thought of them as more than human," explained John Green in a HuffPost Live conversation on Thursday, shortly after the official 'Paper Towns' trailer debuted earlier that morning.

"That ends up being really destructive I think, not just to you, but also to the women you're imagining. Like if you think of them as more than human, it's dehumanizing to them in a way, so that is definitely taken from my own life."

That may be where the similarities end, however.

"Q is really nerdy and he's a good student and he's going to Duke and I was really nerdy. But I was a terrible student and I did not get into Duke," he admitted.

With a catalogue of several best-selling young adult novels on his resume, Green affirmed that he feels teens are an important demographic to capture.

"I think that teenagers are just as interesting and intellectual engages as anyone else, and I think they're asking big, interesting questions," he said. "They may be asking them differently from the way adults ask them, or they might be approaching those questions differently from the way adults approach them, but they're still asking them."

"I think we should credit teenagers with the way that they grapple with that," he continued. "I don't know -- I find them inspirational, actually, and I think they're a lot of times smarter than I am -- a lot smarter than I am -- in terms of the way that they grab onto a question and really, really wrestle it without fear."

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