There's a global blog tour galloping around the web. The Next Big Thing is a virtual game of blog tag in which authors and illustrators are sharing their latest or forthcoming work by answering the same ten questions. I've been tagged by these amazing authors who have already played:
and Lauren Stringer
Check out their blogs and new books, then keep reading for my interview and the authors I'm tagging next.
1. What is the title of your latest book?
2. Where did the idea come from for the book? I found a postcard of the Grant Wood painting Plaid Sweater as I started writing The Luck of the Buttons, the first Button book. The boy in that painting was a story begging to be told. He became a model for the character of Ned. I thought of him as the boy Ned imagined himself to be, not who he actually was, football and all. After Ned was done playing a supporting role to Tugs in The Luck of the Buttons, I was eager to put him on the field and see if he could find the hero in himself.
3. What genre does your book fall under? Button Down is middle grade fiction, which means primarily readers between the ages of 8 and 12.
4. What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition? Absolutely Nolan Gould for Ned. He plays Luke Dunphee on Modern Family. I love his comic timing. I’d put a bushy mustache on Dustin Hoffman for Granddaddy Ike and cast Robert Duvall as Granddaddy’s best friend Mr. Jackson.
5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? Ned, of the comically unlucky Button family, hasn't caught a thing in his life until he faces bully Burton Ward in a challenge to catch their town hero's football.
6. Who published your book? The marvelous Candlewick Press.
7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript? It took about nine months to form a complete draft from beginning to end, though in my files, that was draft version 38.
8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? Richard Peck’s novels A Long Way From Chicago and A Year Down Yonder are humorous intergenerational stories set in a small midwestern town during the 1930s.
9. Who or what inspired you to write this book? One of the main themes of Button Down is the relationship between Ned and Granddaddy Ike. My grandparents lived nearby when I was growing up and were very involved in our lives. Writing this book allowed me to explore all the ways in which they influenced my childhood self.
10. What else about the book might pique the reader's interest? Football! While I'd played pick up football as a kid, and lots of a little hand-held electronic football game of my brother's, it wasn't until I wrote this book that I really took the time to understand the strategy behind the game. It's a lot more than a simple knock-em-down sport and I had a great time writing the football scenes.
Michelle Edwards will be posting tomorrow, February 14.
A little boy frets that the spare room where his baby sister or brother will sleep will never be emptied of things his mother has collected from neighbors for years, but she uses those things to sew and knit everything from diapers to Hanukkah gifts.
Rebecca Janni will post February 20.
Nellie Sue is taking her cowgirl flair to the county fair! There are rides and contests and a bicycle rodeo, too. Nellie Sue wants to win that blue ribbon. But can she do it while still being "fair at the fair"?
Thanks for joining this reading rodeo!