Sunday, December 2, 2007

Julep O' Toole: What I Really Want to Do Is Direct

Here comes another spunky Julep O' Toole book from fresh and funky author Trudi Strain Trueit. This time, Julep's signed up for the Heatherwood Middle School Play in order for English extra-credit to bring up that C- (yikes!). But Julep bombs her audition, and finds herself at the bottom of the stage crew list. Just as Julep's about to quit the play once and for all, she is suddenly promoted to assistant director! Suddenly, she's copying scripts, prompting the actors, running lines with them, and shouting commands. Julep seems to know just what everyone needs, and has a feeling the school's production of The Princess and the Pea is going to be a big smash hit!
   But weeks before the play premieres, everything comes crashing down, in more ways than one. It looks like the play's ruined for good. Can Julep find a way to save the play with her newfound talent as director? Will this ignored middle child ever get her true chance to shine? It's sure going to take courage, determination.......and a whole lot of spunk!
   Readers will ADORE Julep and will be rooting for her to whole way, from Curtain Up to the Grand Finale!

1 comment:

Trudi Trueit said...

Dear Bookworm:
Thanks so much for your positive review of Direct! It was great fun writing this third book in the Julep O'Toole series.

What I discovered while writing this title was the important of listening to your characters. And yes, they do speak! There's a point in the book when Julep takes over directing the school play (it's a new experience for her, having never before been thrust into such a pivotal leadership role). I had originally planned for her to be bossy with the other kids, which, of course, was supposed to make her friends quit in frustration. When I tried to write the scene, I couidn't do it. I took a break and tried again. Nothing doing. No matter how I tried to approach that section, I hit a wall. It was as if Julep was saying, "Don't you see? I would never do or say this." That's when I realized I was trying to force something to happen. It wasn't in Julep's make-up to be pushy or difficult. She was much more likely to be intimidated by the other students and too scared to ask for help. So I gave in. When I let Julep say what she was meant to say, the words came easily, and the scenes flowed. Lesson learned! Now, when I write, I am careful to step out of the way and let my characters go where they must go. It's very freeing!

Thanks for reading, and for rooting for Julep! Keep up the great work with the blog.
Warmest Wishes,
Trudi Trueit