Friday, January 11, 2008

Just Another Day In My Insanely Real Life


With Cassie Baldwin's father "out of the picture", and her mother constantly working, Cassie feels like she's responsible for her little brother's needs. On top of that, Cassie's bossy older sister is constantly forgetting to go grocery shopping, instead hanging out with friends after school. Plus, Cassie's grouchy, evil English teacher hates her, and a boy from school is sending her mixed signals. And, finally, Cassie's writing her own novel! Can sassy, spunky, and funny Cassie sort out her totally insane life before she goes nuts? Barbara Dee has created a fun and quirky novel that readers ages 9-12 will love!

3 comments:

Barbara Dee said...

Thanks for the great review! I love your blog and I love chatting about writing books for this age group. If you'd ever like to do an interview, please contact me at barbaradeebooks@verizon.net.

Bookworm said...

INTERVIEW WITH BARBARA DEE, AUTHOR OF "JUST ANOTHER DAY IN MY INSANELY REAL LIFE"!:


WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO WRITE "JUST ANOTHER DAY..."?

I was thinking about how incredibly busy kids were in the town where I live. And then I started to imagine: what would happen to a girl if her home life suddenly became insanely chaotic? How would she cope? I was also thinking about how so many kids are obsessed with fantasy literature (not just Harry Potter). This gave me the idea to write a realistic novel about a fantasy-obsessed bookworm.

WERE ANY OF THE CHARACTERS BASED ON YOURSELF OR PEOPLE THAT YOU KNOW?

Well, Cassie is pretty much me at age 12—not quite ready to be a teenager, a good girl with a rebellious streak, a bit of a misfit.

DID YOU HAVE A CHILDHOOD LIKE CASSIE'S?

No, but lots of kids do. And if they can hang onto whatever they love—books or creative writing or sports or friendships or whatever—they’ll get through the tough times.

WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE CHARACTER?

I’d have to say Cassie, because she’s funny, caring and strong. But I have a soft spot for her selfish big sister Miranda and for her sarcastic, demanding teacher, Mr. Mullaney. They’re really not all bad, are they? I think it’s important to give your villains their own point of view, and for your heroes and heroines not to be too perfect, either.

WHO WAS BESS'S CHARACTER BASED ON?

Bess is just a product of my imagination. I wanted her to be someone who was unfairly overlooked at school, even by Cassie. Bess is such a great best friend, with so much to offer, but Cassie just doesn't see her special qualities at first.

WILL THERE BE A SEQUEL?

I’m so flattered you’re asking! The truth is, I’m seriously thinking about it. Here’s a question for you, Bookworm: do you think Cassie’s story is unfinished? If so, what would you like to read more about?

IS "LADY CATRAIN" IN CASSIE'S NOVEL BASED ON CASSIE HERSELF?

Yes. Lady Catrain is the fanstasy-heroine Cassie, but every once in awhile the real Cassie pokes through.

HAVE YOU WRITTEN OTHER BOOKS?

Yes. My second novel will be published by Simon & Schuster early next year. We’re not set on a title yet, but right now I’m leaning towards ZOE TOTALLY NORMAL. It’s about a girl who goes to a school for gifted kids and feels out of place, until a new boy exposes her (extremely!) unusual talent.

I’ve also just now finished a new manuscript called THE FRANCESCA EARTHQUAKE, about two girls trying to track down a diary about the San Francisco Earthquake for their US History class. It’s about friendship, romance, family, and history, all smooshed together. I think it’s really funny, but now I’m waiting to hear what my editor thinks!

WHAT IS YOUR ADVICE FOR READERS WHO WANT TO BE WRITERS AS WELL?

First, and most important, keep reading. Read what you love.

Second, keep writing. Then show your work to people who won’t just tell you everything you write is perfect. Listen to what they say, but don’t let yourself get psyched out. (If they’re too negative, try to find readers who can give you truly constructive feedback.) Of course, you don’t have to take their advice, but you should try to hear it without freaking out.

Third, get used to revising. Mostly, what writers do is re-write. The hardest thing is to let a book be published, because then you can’t re-write it anymore!!!

Anonymous said...

I think that there should be a sequel and it should be about Danny Abbott and her dad.