Note: My answers may contain some spoilers for the book—please don’t read this if you haven’t finished the book!
Would you want to have the same talent Lindsay has, to hear anything anybody says about you?
Absolutely not! I think we’re definitely better off not always knowing what other people think of us.
Wouldn’t it be really distracting to hear other people talking a lot of the time? Especially if more than one person is talking about Lindsay at the same time?
Yes, and that’s a huge part of Lindsay’s problem. Even if what people were actually saying was completely inoffensive, it would still be distracting to hear so much chatter. She would have a very hard time concentrating on anything else.
Why does Lindsay’s house—and some of the others in her town—protect her from hearing what people say about her?
When I first wrote Claim to Fame, I was toying with the notion of writing a sequel to the book, and I thought that bit of information would be something that I would reveal in the second book. That plan was very convenient for me, because I hadn’t actually figured out how the houses could have that power, except in a symbolic sense. (Home = where you can go to be safe from the outside world. At least, that’s what it should be.)
It’s looking less and less likely that I will ever write a Claim to Fame sequel, but my younger brother (who has an engineering degree) had some good suggestions about connecting the houses’ powers with some sort of metal in their foundation. I’m thinking that it could be like the way lead can protect you from radiation in sensitive places when you go to get an X-ray.