Jen K. Blom is an Internet writing buddy of mine, and I'm so happy to be able to participate in the blog tour for her debut middle-grade novel, POSSUM SUMMER, which will be published by Holiday House in March. Jen has designed a really creative format for her tour, so I'll let her and her main character, Princess, do the talking!
Welcome to the POSSUMS ARE AWESOME world blog tour for the middle-grade book, POSSUM SUMMER, coming out in March! (Have you preordered yet?)
I'm here with Julianne today talking about my lovely book, and living in Germany, and lots of other things as well! But P had to come along too...which you'll see later.
First off, 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! Wheee!!!
JD: Living in Germany, you probably speak German, or at least you hear it all day. How does the constant switching between languages affect your writing? Do you find your style affected by the German in which you are immersed?
JKB: OOOH. Good question! I can definitely tell a difference in my writing now vs. some years ago. German has the layout of their sentences all wrong (heh heh) and sometimes I'll get comments back from crit buds that it 'sounds too German'. The nice thing is that my editor says the same thing, diplomatically, which allows me to try and remember it for the next time.
I do think that even my normal writing (such as in this little interview! *cries*) is affected. I try not to, by reading tons of books, but I'm afraid I fail quite a bit ...
JD: How did you come to be a writer? Did you choose to write Middle Grade because you are drawn to that demographic or because the story you had in mind fit best into that category?
JKB: Well it seems I was always one? At least I thought I was - I was terribly stuck-up about it when I was ten or so. I can remember it always, alongside my books. I was a reader and since we didn't have much and lived on a farm, I was a re-re-re-rereader. I loved Middle Grade stories when I was that age, and I think I never really passed that time fully in my head. (I love most books, but MG books are definitely where my heart is at!)
JD: In the “long, convoluted biography” on your website, you claim you had a possum as a childhood pet. How much does Possum Summer draw on own your personal experience with this animal? Can you share an experience with your pet that didn’t figure in the book?
JKB: Many of my experiences with my possum made their way into the book. I had to do a lot of trial and error before I figured out how exactly to feed the possum to his advantage. He was an impatient thing and would continuously hiss in disgust as I prepared his milk.
And I always loved his slight cinnamon-coloured outer hair as he matured, although it went away once I learned the proper diet for a possum. (They need a wide range of foods in order to avert bone and digestion problems.)
Princess: Good morning good morning, Miss Julianne!
JKB: Right on cue.
P: Jen tells me you write historical stuff and it's really good, 'cause she's read it. Which is nice, but you know I always wondered: were lark's tongues in butter always really lark's tongues? Those are birds, right? Who's crazy enough to sit there and cut a whole bunch of songbird tongues out, huh? What's your favrite food?
JD: Filet mignon with mushroom wine sauce, scalloped potatoes, green beans and something deliciously chocolate for dessert.
P: *pauses* You know? I'm glad I'm doing this. I have never ate a mushroom in my whole life, and there you go, sticking them in wine! It sounds good. *pauses* I think. But what about your favorite activity? (See? I finally got favorite spelled right!)
P: Reading, huh? What's your favorite book then? Mine's "SUMMER OF THE MONKEYS." It's a great book! What's you finding really neat about yourself, huh? (I like the blond color of my hair. I know it's just because of the sun, but I like it anyways.)
JD: I have long brown hair, past my shoulders.
P: I wish I could see it! I like brown hair! I had to sit and think about that picture in my head, of long brown hair in the wind! Whipping it around, and stuff, so I thought you'd be this:
P: Did you know Great Heron's have long pretty feathers on their head, almost like hair? And I think that anybody eating mushrooms and wine in a sauce would probably like turtles too, right? Hey - can I try some? I mean, I never had any mushrooms before --
JKB: -- *cough* I'm sure this kid has homework. Let me be on my way! :-D Thanks, Julianne!
Check out the book trailer here !
Want to read more POSSUMS ARE AWESOME blog tour entries? Go here and knock yourself out!
Thanks, Jen, what fun! Can't say I'd like to eat turtles, though. I'll leave those for Princess, or maybe the possum. Best of luck to you at this exciting time! I have a niece for whom POSSUM SUMMER would be perfect reading.