Dream Girl Banner

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.


  1. Sarah, thank you for having me. I'm delighted as this is my first interview about my first book. You're a fun person to work with.

  2. Always happy to help out a fellow author. :)

  3. Congrats to S. (Sorry I didn't see your full name anywhere!) This sounds like a great book to accompany a screening of one of my favorite movies - ET! You mentioned Okay for Now, and I loved that book, too.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Kristin. S. is enigmatic. No full name. I love it. :)

  4. Kristin, Country and his friends have a lot of fun with their alien buddy teaching him to fish, ride dirt bikes, and more. Might make a great movie. Lots of action. Thanks for joining us today.


  5. Congratulations to S. Loved your answer about who you'd colonize another planet with -- I'd pick Neil Gaiman and Suzanne Collins too. Scott Westerfeld would be my third choice.

    Glad to hear you love aliens, Sarah. The YA story I'm plotting now is a near-future, first-contact story. Perhaps you'd be interested in reading for me, say, late winter-ish?

    1. Hi Ray! Thanks so much for stopping by. I'd love to take a look at your story whenever you're ready. Near-future, first-contact sounds awesome to me!