Gregg Segal for TIME
By Nolan Feeney
April 17, 2015

Celebrities often have a transitory relationship with Reddit: they arrive hawking their latest project, they answer a few questions during an ask-me-anything Q&A session, then they leave, often never to return. But The Fault in Our Stars author John Green is after a more genuine and lasting relationship with his fans and readers — he pops in threads from time to time — so he’s planning to do one AMA every month until the release of the Paper Towns, the second film adaptation of one his novels. Here are four things we learned from his first session:

If he had to choose between video blogging on YouTube with his brother, Hank, and turning his books into movies, the choice is clear:

If I had to pick between YouTube and movies, I would pick YouTube. This would be a financially counterintuitive choice, for sure, but I love online video and love working with my brother. Don’t tell my brother I said that, though.

There are three main reasons he likes writing for and about teenagers:

[1] They’re experiencing so much stuff for the first time–love and loss and grief and individual sovereignty and driving cars and, in the case of nonredditors, sex. Because those experiences are new, they are extremely intense, and it allows me to think about that stuff in a heightened way that doesn’t need to be cut by irony […] 2. Teens are extremely intellectually curious, and I love the straightforward way they consider the biggest questions […] 3. Publishing as a YA author also has many, many benefits.

A line in his book Looking for Alaska was inspired by his wife:

My wife and I went to high school in Alabama together, but we did not know each other in high school. Years later, we became reacquainted in Chicago, where we were both living. The first time we had dinner together, I told her a story from high school about sitting on a porch swing and thinking about all the things that might happen to me, and how I never thought I’d end up in Chicago across a table from Sarah Urist. And she said, “Imagining the future is a kind of nostalgia,” which I put in my book Looking for Alaska.

He worries Paper Towns newcomers who see the trailer might think the movie reinforces the Manic Pixie Dream Girl myth instead of challenging it:

I’m not in control of the marketing of the movie obviously, and I might market it a little differently, but I also understand that you have to set people up with a world they think they know if you’re going to point out what is demented and evil about that world. That’s what the book (hopefully) does, and what the movie (hopefully) does. But that’s hard to do in a trailer for a movie, because you don’t want the trailer to tell the whole story. You don’t want the trailer to deliver the punch that hopefully comes at the end of the movie when Q finally acknowledges that Margo is not a thing to acquire or a miracle but rather a person.

Paper Towns hits theaters July 24.

Read next: Watch Nat Wolff and Cara Delevingne in the New Paper Towns Clip

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