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Thursday, September 27, 2012

S. Willett Interview

Today, I'm interviewing S. Willett, author of Country and the Rock published by MuseItUp

I've been interested in aliens since I was a little girl. I blame ET for this. Although that movie makes me cry every time. Who's with me on that? Anyway, S. Willett has added a new and fun entry into the alien genre. Check it out and see what she has to say! 

 Twelve-year-old Sean West, also known as Country, sees an explosion of light and finds clues that lead him to Clicker, a young alien, who wants to know what it’s like to be a boy from Earth.
Country and his friends show Clicker all kinds of Earth-boy fun and Clicker teaches them about planet, Sory, in the Whirlpool Galaxy.
They discover keeping Clicker a secret from others isn’t so easy. Not only are the boys thwarted by Country’s sister but by the local sheriff, the FBI, and some thieves from another planet, Venatici.

Restless Writer (RW): How long have you been writing for children?
S. Willett (SW): I’ve only been writing for five years, but wish I’d begun earlier. The journey writing lends me is more than I could have ever hoped for.

How did you hear about MuseItUp Publishing?
SW: My good friend and mentor, Susan Davis, is an editor at MuseItUp. I met Sue at an SCBWI conference in 2007.

RW: What inspired you to write Country and the Rock?
SW: I had a dream and knew it had to be written, but quickly learned it’s not easy to write a book. Everything about children’s writing pointed to SCBWI, so I joined and went to my first conference. Susan Davis suggested I take a two-year course with The Institute of Children’s Literature. 

RW: As far as movie/television aliens, which do you think seem the most realistic?
SW: I think we all relate to what is most like us. Star Trek and Star Wars have many strange looking characters but also those much like Earthlings. I have made my main aliens human-looking but with a twist. Of course, there had to be scary looking creatures too.

RW: If you met an alien (and it wasn't pointing a death ray at your head) would you be more scared or more excited?
SW: Funny you ask because I’ve had this conversation with my husband. He would gladly meet with an alien while I’m content to write about them.

If you and 3 other children's authors were going to colonize another planet, who would you take with you and why?
SW: Neil Gaiman, Suzanne Collins, and Philip Reeve all have great imaginations and could figure out how to make it work.

RW: What are you writing currently?
SW: Country and The Rock is the first book in a planned trilogy. I’m working on the second book COUNTRY CAPTURED. Yes, Country gets captured by the bad aliens and taken to his buddy’s planet, Sory, in hopes of a trade. Some strange experiences are to be had on the ship and in the Whirlpool Galaxy.

RW: What is the last book you read that you really loved?
SW: OKAY FOR NOW by Gary D. Schmidt deeply touched me. This is a great story about a tween boy trying to fit, not only in a new town, but in his own family. We are also given wonderful lessons on drawing and art with an insight into John James Audubon and the depth of an artist’s thinking.

Thanks so much S! Good luck writing book 2. Sequels can be trickier than you'd think.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Pajama Girl Meets Blanket Boy virtual launch party

It's here!
Pajama Girl Meets Blanket Boy is now available here.

As part of the virtual launch party (all day today) I'm going to give away several of these awesome Pajama Girl bottlecap necklace and barrette sets, made by my friend, Laura Lorraine. I have the only existing sets so these should be a highly coveted rare item. Not only do they feature the plucky heroine, Pajama Girl (as rendered by the truly amazing Ingvard the Terrible) but they are super cute in general. Laura makes plenty of adorable and affordable stuff like this, and, obviously, she can do custom pieces. Take a gander at her site.

As part of the festivities, I'm going to start with a trivia question about Pajama Girl. After all, there would be no sequel without the original. 

Are you ready for this?


Pajama Girl was published by MeeGenius on May 8, 2011. What year did I originally write the story?

The question will remain all day. The first person to answer correctly will win one of those lovely necklace sets. I'll announce winners for all of today's giveaways sometime this evening. (never know when the kids will get to sleep.) 
Stay tuned for more questions, giveaways and fun!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Pajama Girl Meets Blanket Boy

The time is upon us! My second digital picture book with MeeGenius: Pajama Girls Meets Blanket Boy, will be released this Fri. Sept. 14! (which happens to be the birthday of a dear friend)

To celebrate, I'm going to host a virtual release party all day Sept. 14. I will have events going in a Facebook group page. (Timeline makes it too difficult to have conversations between non-admin people so the group should flow better.)

If you're not into Facebook, I will also host some giveaways right here on my blog so no one will miss out on the fun.

I hope you will be able to stop by to help me celebrate my two favorite superheros.

Thank you!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Gearing Up to Get an Agent Meet & Greet

 Hello everyone! I am part of the 2012 Gearing Up to Get an Agent blogfest. Click the badge over there if you want to sign up to get in on the fun too. 

Our first event is a meet & greet so here's the lowdown on me. 

 I am an SCBWI member and the author of Pajama Girl, a digital picture book published by MeeGenius. The sequel, Pajama Girl Meets Blanket Boy will be released Sept. 14, 2012. An alphabet book is tentatively scheduled to release by the end of the year. 

But I write more than picture books. I'm currently submitting my YA novel, Dream Girl, and hoping to land an agent or editor for that. 

In my non-writing life, I am a wife, mother of two young children and I work outside the home part time as a Social Media Librarian. I also do freelance publicity for things that truly inspire me and I believe in. Among them, Spoken Word Greetings from England
and the debut MG novel Easter Ann Peters: Operation Cool.  I'm very excited about both of those ventures so I hope you'll check them out too. 

Our lovely blogfest host, Deana Barnhart has started us out with some get to know you questions so I'll get to those now.

Where do you write?
My life has been insanely busy lately and I find that I'm in the car a lot, between my half hour commute to work and the 20 minute commute to take my daughter to school, I consider the car as my thinking space. I try to think about my characters and stories while I'm driving so when I do get the time to sit down and write, I know exactly where I'm going and what I want to say.  

When writing , do you listen to music or do you need complete silence?
I need music. Music helps me to access the specific mood and emotion I'm looking for in my work. I compile a playlist for my WIPs and listen to them in the car to help me get into the right mindset. 

What was your inspiration for your latest manuscript and where did you find it?
My YA novel started its life when I had a bizarre dream in 2003.  I jotted down the most interesting parts of the dream knowing they'd be great for a novel someday. 'Someday' came in 2005 when I read a novel by Michael Lawrence. I closed the book and thought, "Oh my gosh, that dream of mine, it needs to be a YA novel!" Until that point, I figured I'd write for adults. Everything snapped into place once I realized the book should be YA. Now I just need someone to publish it. 

And that's all I'll bore you with for now. If you're here from GUTGAA, please leave a comment with your blog link so I can be sure to stop over and meet you too. This is going to be fun! (And if you're not from GUTGAA, I'm glad you're here too!)