Monday, May 3, 2010

The Monday Muse: Interview with Karen Day

Today's muse: Karen Day
Author of: No Cream Puffs
Bookworm: Welcome, Karen! To start, please tell us what your inspiration was behind No Cream Puffs!
Karen: I was the first girl in northern Indiana to play Little League with the boys back in the 1970s. It was such an amazing experience that I knew I wanted to take from it and write about it. But I couldn't figure out what I wanted to say. I didn't want to write about a girl who faces all these odds (the town, boys, parents) and comes out on top because she's so strong. That story has been done so many times. I wanted the conflict in the story to be primarily internal. So, I went back and reread some of the authors from my graduate studies in psychoanalysis. And that really helped me to think about Madison as a complicated girl who is trying to break away from her strong mom, who wants her dad and who is struggling with friends and her place in the world. So you see, for me the novel is about much more than baseball! {Bookworm: Wow--that's a lot of in-depth, cool research!}

Bookworm: Did you play sports when you were younger?
Karen: Yes, I was a big jock! I played baseball, basketball, ping pong and kickball. I also played tennis and by the time I was 12 I was the best player in northern Indiana for my age. I gave up all other sports and really concentrated on tennis, traveling around the Midwest and playing tournaments. Eventually I quit, when I was 18, but it was a great experience.

Bookworm: How are you and Madison, the protagonist of No Cream Puffs, alike? How are you different?
Karen: Madison and I are alike in several ways. We were both natural athletes. We were both conflicted about playing with the boys. We both don't know what to say in situations. We both had conflicts with our moms. But I grew up in a different family than Madison. And I think she is much braver than I ever was!

Bookworm: What do you enjoy doing when you're not writing?
Karen: When I'm not writing I am most likely hanging out with my three kids (ages 15, 13, 9) and our new Lab puppy. Or cooking, doing yoga, reading, listening to music.

Bookworm: What do you like most about writing for the MG/YA genre?
Karen: I so clearly remember feelings, clothes, conversations, teachers, smells from middle school! So it feels very natural for me to write from this age. But I guess what I most like is that kids at this age are beginning to realize who they are and what their place is in the world. I like capturing that moment of change, how they react, the decisions they make, what happens to them. It's so full of richness!

Bookworm: What was the last book you read and loved?
Karen: I read a mix of adult and MG novels. My latest favorite adult book is called Cost, by Roxanna Robinson. And I just finished Dairy Queen, by Catherine Murdock, which I also loved.
Thanks so much, Karen! Visit Karen on the web here
Watch out for Karen's latest, A Million Miles from Boston, hitting shelves spring 2011!

1 comment:

Eleni @ La Femme Readers said...

Nice interview. I actually never heard of this author. No Cream Puffs? That's an adorable title!