3 S.R. Johannes: Bookanistas: Jen Blom's Possum Summer

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Bookanistas: Jen Blom's Possum Summer

Welcome to the POSSUMS ARE AWESOME blog tour for the middle-grade book, POSSUM SUMMER by Jen Blom, coming out IN SIX DAYS HOLY COW! (Have you preordered yet?)

Shelli, that fabulously talented writer/marketing guru, has been kind enough to allow us to visit on the blog! I say "us" because my protag decided to join me thru the tour, and today is no exception. So I ask your apologies in advance.

First off, a little about the book:

a lonely kid.
an orphaned baby possum.
a dad that says no way.
how do you keep that kind of secret?

and what happens when you’re found out?

Here we go!

SJW: How were you able to tap into P's 11-year-old self?

JKB: All too easily, I'm afraid. I might be 30 *mumblemumble*, but I love a good fart joke and I still harbor secret pet fantasies...I'm afraid I'm still firmly stuck in the age group I like to write for. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing.

SJW: Looking back now - what have you learned about your writing during the process of this book being acquired?

JKB: I've discovered that my writing and my words are stretchy, bendable things. And that sometimes I get too caught up in the story to be honest when I revise. I firmly try to tamp that nagging *correct* little voice down, to my detriment. I'm trying to change that.

SJW: I know you don't outline. What advice can you give writers on how to write effectively if they don't outline? What helps you stay on plot?

JKB: You're not in a race to get the thing done, and you shouldn't try to force the words. I would say this: stop at a good spot every day. When you stop at that good point, you're better able to daydream about what happens next, and the push is there to get started the next day.

I give myself a good hour every day. I write until I get to a good part, then I stop. Doesn't matter if I'm 30, 45 or 55 minutes in. It helps keep me focused on the story and the plot by doing so.

Princess: Oh can I say something? I love your WEBSITE Miss Shelli!

JKB: Shelli, P. Sorry.

P: Didn't I just say her name? Miss Shelli, you are one of the nicest people I don't know! And your website! With the dandelion! (Though that must be up north somewhere. A dandelion couldn't pull that flighty pretty little poof in Oklahoma). What do you like to eat, huh?

SJW: Mexican cheese dip. (Okay, so it's not a meal but I can make it one!)

P: That's like me and Doritoes. I could eat them morning, noon and night. Ike liked 'em, too. What do you like to do, then? Like for fun?

SJW: Does writing count?

P: Technically, I guess. What kind of writing, though? Because let me tell you, the sentence writing we do in my English class is enough to give me h-i-v-e-s like my sis Monica. What's something interesting about you? Do you get hives?

SJW: Oh gosh - I guess that I used to sing with a jazz band? So boring, right?

P: It's better than singing in the band that my best buddy Mart has on his door! They are dressed all in black, with lots of silver and they are BOYS and they are wearing MAKEUP! And girls LIKE that! Can you imagine? I don't even like makeup let alone makeup on boys!

Next thing you know, they'll say that vampires are sparkly or something. I drew you! Know what you are?
P: You're an eastern flying chipmunk! They are the cutest little things, so tiny with such big eyes! You know, *shifty eyed* I'd sure love to have one. I've even located a nest. But I don't know how my dad would really ever allow it ... what with Ike and all ... and what happened ...


JKB: Shelli, thanks for having me by! Appreciate it!

Jen K. Blom writes about animals, the land, and kids, not necessarily in that order. Her debut, POSSUM SUMMER, is available March 2011.

Just the thing to give to a kid to start their summer of reading off right! (Available from your local indie, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Borders, or Book Depository!)

Seen the book trailer yet?

Want more POSSUMS ARE AWESOME blog tour tidbits? Go here and knock yourself out!

In case you are new stopping by, The Bookanistas ONLY recommend children's books we
absolutely love. Why? Because there is enough negativity in the world and to be honest,
why give a shout out books we think are okay or not so much. Just as a side note - right now -
we have about 100 in the YA queue and about 20 in the MG queue.

If you have any books you'd like to send the Bookanistas,
get more information here.

Here are some other Bookanista book recommendations for the week:


Hilary Wagner said...

Hey, I wanted to be a flying chipmunk!!! No fair! My post is up tomorrow, can't wait!!!


xoxo -- Hilary

Carolina M. Valdez Schneider said...

I love the twist on these interviews! So cool that we get to learn so much about the book and its characters, while also getting to learn about the interviewer! Looks like such a sweet book.

Heidi Willis said...

I still don't know how Jen writes without some even vague outline! Clearly it works for her though...she is a writing MACHINE, I tell you!! And a great one, as well.

Love love love this book.

JKB said...

Thanks, Hil! <3

Carolina, thanks! She's so vibrant I really needed an outlet to showcase her. Thanks for being so kind!

Heidi? <3 <3 <3 :-D

Jemi Fraser said...

Love it! :) Possums really are awesome - can't wait to read this Jen!

Marie Rearden said...

Incredibly entertaining interview. I LOVE shifty eyes. :)

Shelli, I gave your blog some awards! Yay!


Thanks for the great info you give! Marie

Tess said...

I love the advice to stop at a good point. I do that and it really makes a difference...I'm itching to get back to writing the next day :)

Congrats on the upcoming release!

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

This is the second interview I've read for Possum Summer. I have to say I'm really getting hooked on Princess! Great interview Shelli!