Q&A with MG author, Jen White

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Next up on Fearless Fifteeners’ Wednesday Q&As is MG author, Jen White, whose debut, SURVIVAL STRATEGIES OF THE ALMOST BRAVE, is out on June 9th. We’ve got a bio and book blurb at the end of the post but right now we’re skipping straight to ogres. Fearless or what?!

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1. You wake up to find a massive ogre in your bedroom. If you had to choose one MG character to fight him off who would you choose and why?
I would choose India Opal Buloni.  Because she would give my ogre a perfect name like Ogre Dixie, feed him a fine meal of Littmus Lozenges, and take him to listen to her father, The Preacher.

 

2. Having defeated the ogre, you find that your car doesn’t start. Bummer. Would you rather ride a dragon or a unicorn to work? Why?
I would ride a dragon, because I am still a huge fan of, THE NEVER ENDING STORY, and hope that someday Falkor will come and take me on an adventure.

 

3. After arriving at work late, your boss asks you what your most embarrassing childhood memory was. You have to tell him. 
My most embarrassing moment? When I was dressed as our high school mascot (a wolf) and tripped and fell down the high school stadium stairs during a football game.

 

4. You’re pretty fed up now so when a time machine appears offering to take you to any historical event, you agree. Where do you go and why?
September 15, 1835, to board the HMS Beagle.  I’d assist Charles Darwin and study everything natural on the Galapagos Islands.  All of those animals to get to know. 😊  Yippee!!

 

5. There is light at the end of the tunnel. As a Fearless Fifteener, your debut is out this year. Tell us about your book in 15 words or less.
How to be brave, even when you don’t think you can.

 

SURVIVAL STRATEGIES OF THE ALMOST BRAVE

Jen Book Cover

After their mother’s recent death, twelve-year-old Liberty and her eight-year-old sister, Billie, are sent to live with their father, who they haven’t seen since they were very young. Things are great at first; the girls are so excited to get to know their father – a photographer who, for the summer, is travelling around in an RV. But soon, the pressure of parenthood becomes too much for him, and he abandons the girls at the Jiffy Company Gas Station. Instead of waiting for someone to come to their rescue, Liberty takes matters into her own hands. On the sisters’ journey to get home, they encounter a menacing gas station attendant, a heavily tattooed trucker, a kid obsessed with Star Wars, a woman who lives with many very usual pets, and a host of other characters. When all seems lost, they get some help from an unlikely source, and end up learning that sometimes you have to get a little bit lost to be found.

AUTHOR BIO

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Jen White (jenwhitebooks.com) holds an M.F.A. in writing for children and young adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She lives in San Clemente, California, with her family. When Jen was twelve years old, she and her sister were accidentally left at a gas station in the desert. Her parents returned, but wondering what would have happened if they had not inspired Jen to write Survival Strategies of the Almost Brave. This is her debut novel. twitter: @jenwhite_

 

Q&A with MG author, Sarah McGuire

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Next up on Fearless Fifteeners’ Wednesday Q&As is MG author,Sarah McGuire, whose debut, VALIANT, is out now. We’ve got a bio and book blurb at the end of the post but right now we’re skipping straight to ogres. Fearless or what?!

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1. You wake up to find a massive ogre in your bedroom. If you had to choose one MG character to fight him off who would you choose and why?
Hermione. Granted, the whole troll in the girls’ bathroom incident didn’t go too well, but you know she could handle it now.

 

2. Having defeated the ogre, you find that your car doesn’t start. Bummer. Would you rather ride a dragon or a unicorn to work? Why?
Dragon. (Especially if it had Bennedict Cumberbatch’s voice.) How amazing would that be to fly to work? And if we could torch a few things along the way, so much the better.

 

3. After arriving at work late, your boss asks you what your most embarrassing childhood memory was. You have to tell him. 
I was eleven years old and my family was visiting the family of a boy I had the hugest crush on. Later that afternoon, we were roasting marshmallows around a bonfire. I wasn’t wasn’t a girl to slowly roast her marshmallow over the coals– I held the marshmallow right above the flames, and it caught on fire almost immediately.
So, of course, I began waving the marshmallow around. What could be more attractive to your crush than dancing around with a flaming marshmallow? (This story would be so different if I’d taken the time to truly consider that question!) In my enthusiasm, the marshmallow flew off the stick, and . . . stuck to my forehead. Fortunately, I’d been swinging it hard enough that the flame went out before it smacked me in the face. I spent the next few minutes picking melted marshmallow out of my hair and putting aloe on my burned forehead.
You will not be shocked to discover that the relationship did NOT work out.

 

4. You’re pretty fed up now so when a time machine appears offering to take you to any historical event, you agree. Where do you go and why?
Can I be a total geek and just say a meeting of the Inklings? The Chronicles of Narnia were the first books I read as I kid, and when I was older, I tore through the Lord of the Rings trilogy. When I learned that Lewis and Tolkien used to get together and talk writing, I almost died. For me, that WAS a historical event.

 

5. There is light at the end of the tunnel. As a Fearless Fifteener, your debut is out this year. Tell us about your book in 15 words or less.
Smart girl dresses as tailor. Giants with heart. Villain without one. Can she prevent war?

 

VALIANT
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Reggen still sings about the champion, the brave tailor. This is the story that is true.

Saville despises the velvets and silks that her father prizes more than he’s ever loved her. Yet when he’s struck ill she’ll do anything to survive–even dressing as a boy and begging a commission to sew for the king.
But piecing together a fine coat is far simpler than unknotting court gossip about an army of giants, led by a man who cannot be defeated, marching toward Reggen to seize the throne. Saville knows giants are just stories, and no man is immortal.
Then she meets them, two scouts as tall as trees. After she tricks them into leaving, tales of the daring tailor’s triumph quickly spin into impossible feats of giant-slaying. And stories won’t deter the Duke and his larger-than-life army.
Now only a courageous and clever tailor girl can see beyond the rumors to save the kingdom again.

AUTHOR BIO

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Sarah McGuire loves fairy tales and considers them the best way to step outside of everyday life. They’re the easiest way, at least: her attempt at seven to reach Narnia through her parents’ closet failed. She lives within sight of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, where she teaches high school creative writing and math classes with very interesting word problems. Valiant is her first novel.

 

Q&A with MG author, Ronald L. Smith

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Next up on Fearless Fifteeners’ Wednesday Q&As is MG author, Ronald L. Smith, whose debut, HOODOO, is out in September this year. We’ve got a bio and book blurb at the end of the post but right now we’re skipping straight to ogres. Fearless or what?!

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1. You wake up to find a massive ogre in your bedroom. If you had to choose one MG character to fight him off who would you choose and why?

I would choose Lyra Belacqua from Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy. She has pluck, that girl. Plus, her daemon—the essence of her soul— can take on the shape of any animal.

She could shift into an eagle and scratch the ogre’s eyes out. But then I’d feel sorry for the ogre. And then I guess we’d have tea.

 

2. Having defeated the ogre, you find that your car doesn’t start. Bummer. Would you rather ride a dragon or a unicorn to work? Why?
Unicorn. They’re a bit more elegant. Dragons are unbridled machismo. Even female dragons have machismo.

 

3. After arriving at work late, your boss asks you what your most embarrassing childhood memory was. You have to tell him. 

It is a well-known fact in my family that I don’t remember my childhood. I think I was abducted by aliens and had my memory erased. I think it lies in the trauma of moving every two years growing up in a military family.

But there was that one time when I peed my pants in school, and I had to…

 

4. You’re pretty fed up now so when a time machine appears offering to take you to any historical event, you agree. Where do you go and why?
Ancient Egypt. I want to see once and for all how those pyramids were built. Plus, the Egyptians were totally stylish. Bejeweled. Kohl-rimmed eyes. Breezy fashions. All that.

 

5. There is light at the end of the tunnel. As a Fearless Fifteener, your debut is out this year. Tell us about your book in 15 words or less.
 My name is Hoodoo. The Stranger’s looking for me. He’s a demon. That ain’t right.

 

HOODOO

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Twelve-year-old Hoodoo Hatcher was born into a family with a rich tradition of practicing folk magic: hoodoo, as most people call it. But even though his name is Hoodoo, he can’t seem to cast a simple spell.

     When a mysterious man called the Stranger comes to town, Hoodoo starts dreaming of the dead rising from their graves. Even worse, he soon learns the Stranger is looking for a boy. Not just any boy. A boy named Hoodoo. The entire town is at risk from the Stranger’s black magic, and only Hoodoo can defeat him. He’ll just need to learn how to conjure first.

     Set amid the swamps, red soil, and sweltering heat of small town Alabama in the 1930s, Hoodoo is infused with a big dose of creepiness leavened with gentle humor.

AUTHOR BIO

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Ronald L. Smith is the author of HOODOO (Clarion Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015). He is a recovering advertising writer and now writes fiction full-time. He longs for the days when writers lived in hotels and got dressed up for dinner.

 

Q&A with MG author, K.E. Ormsbee

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Next up on Fearless Fifteeners’ Wednesday Q&As is MG author, K.E. Ormsbee, whose debut, THE WATER AND THE WILD, is out now. We’ve got a bio and book blurb at the end of the post but right now we’re skipping straight to ogres. Fearless or what?!

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1. You wake up to find a massive ogre in your bedroom. If you had to choose one MG character to fight him off who would you choose and why?

Luna Lovegood, hands down. That girl knows her magical creatures, and I bet she could even devise a non-violent way of shooing the ogre from my bedroom. She could also probably place some protective charms on my house so an incident like that doesn’t happen again.

 

2. Having defeated the ogre, you find that your car doesn’t start. Bummer. Would you rather ride a dragon or a unicorn to work? Why?

This is tricky, because I do have an undying love for unicorns:

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But if it’s a matter of getting to work quickly, I’d have to go with dragoooon! Great big dragon wings travel faster than hooves, right? Also, the dragon could warm up my to-go breakfast with her fiery breath.

 

3. After arriving at work late, your boss asks you what your most embarrassing childhood memory was. You have to tell him. 

When I was nine, I was leading a pack of kids up a flight of stairs and proceeded to totally wipe out. Since I was in front, everyone saw the humiliation, and nobody could move until I’d recovered. It was not a graceful recovery.

 

4. You’re pretty fed up now so when a time machine appears offering to take you to any historical event, you agree. Where do you go and why?

Roanoke Colony, aka The Lost Colony, 1590. I wanna find out the definitive explanation for those mysterious disappearances and the word Croatoan.

 

5. There is light at the end of the tunnel. As a Fearless Fifteener, your debut is out this year. Tell us about your book in 15 words or less.

A portal fantasy filled with poetry, magic, adventure, will o’ the wisps, and BIRDS.

 

THE WATER AND THE WILD

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For as long as Lottie Fiske can remember, the only people who seem to care about her have been her best friend, Eliot, and the mysterious letter-writer who sends her birthday gifts. But now strange things and people are arriving on the island Lottie calls home, and Eliot’s getting sicker, with a disease the doctors have given up trying to cure. Lottie is helpless, useless, powerless.

And then a door opens in the apple tree.

Follow Lottie down through the apple roots to another world—a world of magic both treacherous and beautiful—in pursuit of the impossible: a cure for the incurable, a use for the useless, and protection against the pain of loss.

AUTHOR BIO

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  1. E. (aka Kathryn) Ormsbee grew up with a spaceship in her basement and went on many pretend (?) expeditions to the moon. The Water and the Wild is her first novel.

 

Q&A with MG author, Tatum Flynn

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Next up on Fearless Fifteeners’ Wednesday Q&As is MG author, Tatum Flynn, whose debut, THE D’EVIL DIARIES, is out on April 2nd. We’ve got a bio and book blurb at the end of the post but right now we’re skipping straight to ogres. Fearless or what?!

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1. You wake up to find a massive ogre in your bedroom. If you had to choose one MG character to fight him off who would you choose and why?
Hagrid. He’s one of my absolute favourite characters, and although he’s big enough to fight off an ogre, knowing Hagrid he’d probably befriend it and we’d all end up playing cards in the Three Broomsticks over a pint of butterbeer which would be infinitely preferable to ogre brains everywhere.
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2. Having defeated the ogre, you find that your car doesn’t start. Bummer. Would you rather ride a dragon or a unicorn to work? Why?
DRAGONSSSSSS. Dragons are always the answer. Plus all your colleagues and your boss would be so terrified of you they wouldn’t dare ask you to do any work when you got there.
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3. After arriving at work late, your boss asks you what your most embarrassing childhood memory was. You have to tell him. 
This is why I don’t like bosses. Okay, here we go: my first childhood crush was Bill Sykes. WHAT was Tiny Me thinking?? I blame Oliver Reed.
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4. You’re pretty fed up now so when a time machine appears offering to take you to any historical event, you agree. Where do you go and why?
Soooo many places and times I’d like to go to, but as someone with a Latin degree I’d probably plump for Roman times. If I went around 15AD I could both meet Ovid, one of my favourite writers, and a certain Jesus chap whom I’m quite curious about.

 

5. There is light at the end of the tunnel. As a Fearless Fifteener, your debut is out this year. Tell us about your book in 15 words or less.
Carnivorous carousel horses! Death-trap-riddled libraries! Pouty Lucifer! God in his pyjamas! Demon sloths! Tiny ninjas!

 

THE D’EVIL DIARIES

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Twelve-year-old Jinx is hopeless at being evil. Which is a bit of a problem when you’re Lucifer’s youngest son. But when Jinx runs away from Pandemonium, the walled city he’s lived in all his life, he bumps into dead girl Tommy – who’s been sent to Hell for accidentally feeding her nasty uncle to a circus lion – and unearths a conspiracy that could up-end the entire underworld.
Cue shenanigans involving carnivorous carousel horses, death-trap-riddled libraries and hungry quicksand. Now the fate of the realm rests in the hands of its most unlikely demon and a girl who shouldn’t be in Hell at all…

AUTHOR BIO

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Tatum Flynn lives by the sea in England with a cat called Friday and too many hats. She has a soft spot for the word ‘ramshackle’, and a vagabond past which involves piloting lifeboats in Venezuela, playing poker in Las Vegas, shooting rapids in the Grand Canyon and almost falling out of a plane over Scotland. Her debut, THE D’EVIL DIARIES, will be out from Orchard/Hachette on the 2nd April 2015, with a sequel, Hell’s Belles, to follow January 2016. Find her on Tumblr (sometimes) and Twitter (far too often).

 

Q&A with MG author, Erin Entrada Kelly

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Next up on Fearless Fifteeners’ Wednesday Q&As is MG author, Erin Entrada Kelly, whose debut, BLACKBIRD FLY, is out on March 24th. We’ve got a bio and book blurb at the end of the post but right now we’re skipping straight to ogres. Fearless or what?!

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1. You wake up to find a massive ogre in your bedroom. If you had to choose one MG character to fight him off who would you choose and why?
Wataru Mitani from Brave Story. Wataru is quiet and unassuming and he always has good intentions. But he’s also brave and fights for what he believes in. That’s the best kind of hero, in my opinion.

 

2. Having defeated the ogre, you find that your car doesn’t start. Bummer. Would you rather ride a dragon or a unicorn to work? Why?
The unicorn. It’d be a smoother ride, don’t you think? Dragons are too spikey and fiery.

 

3. After arriving at work late, your boss asks you what your most embarrassing childhood memory was. You have to tell him. 
When I was in sixth grade, my math teacher caught me passing a note to a boy. I can’t remember the boy’s name, but I remember what the note said: “Are you going with anyone? My friend Tonya thinks you’re cute.” The teacher confiscated the note and read it in front of the class. In hindsight, it may have been more embarrassing for Tonya and the Boy. But it was embarrassing for me, too.

 

4. You’re pretty fed up now so when a time machine appears offering to take you to any historical event, you agree. Where do you go and why?
I love history! So my head spins thinking of all the possibilities—the moment Joan of Arc met the Dauphin, the Chicago’s World Fair of 1893, the crowning of Queen Elizabeth I, Shakespeare at the Globe, Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel, the eruption of Vesuvius, the landing of Magellan in the Philippines. But after thinking about it—probably too much—I’m not sure I would want to witness any of these events first-hand. One of the things I love about history is its mystery. (Hey, that rhymed.)

 

5. There is light at the end of the tunnel. As a Fearless Fifteener, your debut is out this year. Tell us about your book in 15 words or less.
A novel for all the outsiders, outcasts, and dreamers.

 

BLACKBIRD FLY

Blackbird Fly

Apple Yengko knows what it’s like to be different. She has a weird Filipino nickname, she’s the only Asian at her school, and she’s obsessed with the Beatles instead of boys. But her life doesn’t truly fall apart until she finds out she’s listed on the Dog Log—the list of the ugliest girls in school—and her friends abandon her. Suddenly she’s a social pariah. The boys bark at her in the halls and the girls turn the other way. Apple dreams of escape and resents everything about her culture, including her mother. Gradually, Apple learns that music can save your soul,  new friendships can come from unexpected places, and mothers are full of surprises.

AUTHOR BIO

Erin Kelly

Erin Entrada Kelly was raised in south Louisiana, but now lives in the Philadelphia area. She’s been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and the Philippines Free Press Literary Award for Short Fiction. She grew up listening to her father play the Beatles—specifically, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. www.erinentradakelly.com | @erinkellytweets

 

RELEASE DAY: THE DREAMSNATCHER IN 3 GIFS

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Gulp. 26th February 2015 is finally here. Time to be fearless because my debut MG book, THE DREAMSNATCHER, is out in the wild!

*grins like a maniac*
*does a happy bum wiggle dance*

I’ve got to hand it to Agnes from Despicable Me though for summing up the book in three GIFs…

12-year-old gypsy girl Moll: ‘Come and get me you big fat scary Dreamsnatcher.’
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12-year-old gypsy girl Moll: ‘Yeah, I’m talking to you, Skull!’ Pause. ‘Eeeeeeeek you’re mean and scary.’
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12-year-old gypsy girl Moll: ‘Ha! But I’ve got a wildcat and I love him so much! He’s so fluffy!’ Turns to Gryff, the wildcat. ‘You better stay and help me against the Dreamsnatcher, okay?’
I love my unicorn

 

THE DREAMSNATCHER by Abi Elphinstone
Twelve-year-old Molly Pecksniff wakes one night in the middle of the forest, lured there by a recurring nightmare – the one with the drums and the rattles and the masks. The Dreamsnatcher is waiting. He has already taken her dreams and now he wants her life. Because Moll is more important than she knows…The Oracle Bones foretold that she and Gryff, a wildcat that has always been by her side, are the only ones who can fight back against the Dreamsnatcher’s dark magic. Suddenly everything is at stake, and Moll is drawn into a world full of secrets, magic and adventure. Perfect for fans of J.K. Rowling, Michelle Harrison and Eva Ibbotson.

Order on:
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When she’s not zooming around Burma on a motorbike or hang-gliding over Rio de Janeiro, Abi Elphinstone can be found in London, in her writing hut at the bottom of the garden. Her debut MG children’s book, THE DREAMSNATCHER, has been described as ‘Pullman-esque’ and follows gypsy girl, Moll, and her wildcat as they fight back against a witchdoctor’s dark magic. It will be published by Simon & Schuster on 26th February 2015.

Q&A with MG author Abi Elphinstone

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Next up on Fearless Fifteeners’ Wednesday Q&As is MG author, Abi Elphinstone, whose debut, THE DREAMSNATCHER, is out on February 26th. We’ve got a bio and book blurb at the end of the post but right now we’re skipping straight to ogres. Fearless or what?!

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1. You wake up to find a massive ogre in your bedroom. If you had to choose one MG character to fight him off who would you choose and why?
Lyra Silvertongue – because she comes with a daemon and that means extra ogre-fighting power. Aaaaaaaaand she’s mates with an armoured polar bear and a bunch of fiercely protective Gyptians so basically, I don’t think the ogre would stand a chance.

 

2. Having defeated the ogre, you find that your car doesn’t start. Bummer. Would you rather ride a dragon or a unicorn to work? Why?
Tricky one. Although I have a teddy called Jim The Unicorn – who comes complete with magical unicorn farts – I’d opt for riding a dragon. One of my favourite things in the world is watching Toothless from How To Train Your Dragon fly. I would love to race a dragon through the clouds.
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3. After arriving at work late, your boss asks you what your most embarrassing childhood memory was. You have to tell him. 
My haircuts. So many dreadful haircuts. This pudding bowl extravaganza lasted far too long but probably the most embarrassing was when I used Sun-In to dye my hair the day before senior school. It went very wrong and I was known as ‘the girl with the pink hair’ for ages.
Abi as Moll

 

4. You’re pretty fed up now so when a time machine appears offering to take you to any historical event, you agree. Where do you go and why?
I’d love to have been with the two young cousins, Elsie Wright and Frances Griffiths, in 1917, when they claimed to have taken photographs of real fairies. I’ve always wondered what really went on with the Cottingley Fairies…

 

5. There is light at the end of the tunnel. As a Fearless Fifteener, your debut is out this year. Tell us about your book in 15 words or less.
Super evil witchdoctor versus gypsy girl and wildcat. Plus catapults, tree ghouls and oracle bones.

 

THE DREAMSNATCHER

Dreamsnatcher Final High Res Cover

Twelve-year-old Molly Pecksniff wakes one night in the middle of the forest, lured there by a recurring nightmare – the one with the drums and the rattles and the masks. The Dreamsnatcher is waiting. He has already taken her dreams and now he wants her life. Because Moll is more important than she knows…The Oracle Bones foretold that she and Gryff, a wildcat that has always been by her side, are the only ones who can fight back against the Dreamsnatcher’s dark magic. Suddenly everything is at stake, and Moll is drawn into a world full of secrets, magic and adventure. Perfect for fans of J.K. Rowling, Michelle Harrison and Eva Ibbotson. You can watch the magical trailer for Abi’s book on her website: www.abielphinstone.com

 

AUTHOR BIO

Abi Elphinstone

Abi Elphinstone grew up in Scotland where she spent most of her childhood building dens, hiding in tree houses and running wild across highland glens. After being coaxed out of her tree house, she studied English at Bristol University and then worked as a teacher in Africa, Berkshire and London. THE DREAMSNATCHER is her debut novel and when she’s not writing about Moll and Gryff, she volunteers for Kidsco, does star jumps on the top of very high mountains, messes about on www.abielphinstone.com and runs her children’s books blog www.moontrug.com.

Author website: http://www.abielphinstone.com
Twitter: @moontrug
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/abi.elphinstone
Instagram: @moontrugger

 

 

Q&A with MG author Laurie McKay

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Next up on Fearless Fifteeners’ Wednesday Q&As is MG author, Laurie McKay, whose debut, VILLAIN KEEPER, is out on February 3rd. We’ve got a bio and book blurb at the end of the post but right now we’re skipping straight to ogres. Fearless or what?!

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1. You wake up to find a massive ogre in your bedroom. If you had to choose one MG character to fight him off who would you choose and why?

Hermione Granger. Who else? She’s tough, smart, and would know the exact spell to use. She’d defeat an ogre in the wave of a wand.

 

2. Having defeated the ogre, you find that your car doesn’t start. Bummer. Would you rather ride a dragon or a unicorn to work? Why?

I’m going with the dragon. One, the dragon can fly me to work and I’m betting riding a dragon is faster than riding a unicorn. Two, I have dragons in my books and I have to stay loyal.

 

3. After arriving at work late, your boss asks you what your most embarrassing childhood memory was. You have to tell him. 

When I was a shy middle-school honor student, I had to do a report on a famous person, dress up as him or her, and go to a program at a local school. I choose Diane Fossey – a scientist famous for studying gorillas and whose life was portrayed in ‘Gorillas in the mist’. Anyway, I don’t like a lot of attention, so I was nervous about wandering through the crowd and answering questions.

The night of the program, my dad arrives home for work to take me there. I get in the car, look at him, and he’s dressed from the neck down in a gorilla costume. The gorilla head was in back. If he could have driven with it on, I’m certain he would have.

I was shocked silent. Not the reaction he was going for, by the way. Of course, then we got lost on our way to the school. My poor dad was sweating, gorilla head in the backseat, ungrateful and mortified daughter beside him. Finally, for better or worse, we found the school.

My dad spent the entire night lumbering around, jumping out at people, and generally being gorilla-like. I have to admit, it ended up being memorable. And I finally got over my need to hide in the shadows. (Although, I wished I’d done it sooner.) In the end, I had one of the best costumes – due solely to the fact I also had the best – and only – gorilla.

 

4. You’re pretty fed up now so when a time machine appears offering to take you to any historical event, you agree. Where do you go and why?

I’d like to travel to the future, actually. I want to see what’s happening in 500 years. What will we have accomplished? What will travel be like? I’d really like to see where technology will be then.

 

5. There is light at the end of the tunnel. As a Fearless Fifteener, your debut is out this year. Tell us about your book in 15 words or less.
It’s a reverse portal fantasy – a prince and sorceress become stranded in Asheville, NC.

 

VILLAIN KEEPER

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“Unexpected magic, villainous teachers, and dragons in disguise await readers in the first book of a delightful new tween adventure series by debut author Laurie McKay.

 All his life, Prince Caden has dreamed of being sent on a quest to slay a dragon. But before he has the chance, he is ripped from his home in the Winterlands of Razzon and finds  himself in Asheville, North Carolina—a land with no magic and no dragons. But a prince must always complete his quest. And the longer Caden is in Asheville, the more he realizes  there is magic in this strange land after all. More important, there may just be dragons here, too. But what if Caden’s destiny isn’t to slay a dragon, like he’s always believed?

Fans of Soman Chainani’s The School for Good and Evil and Chris Colfer’s The Land of Stories will be transported by this first book in an epic new series for middle  grade readers about a brave young prince’s quest to find answers, honor, friendship—and what it really means to be a hero.”

 

AUTHOR BIO

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Laurie McKay is an author and biology instructor who lives in Durham, NC. When she’s not working, she spends time with her family and her two elderly dogs. You can find out more and see pictures of her dogs at lauriemckay.net or by following her on twitter, facebook, or pinterest. Her debut MG fantasy novel, VILLAIN KEEPER, will be available from HarperCollins on Feb 3rd, 2015.

 

Q&A with MG author A.L. Sonnichsen

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Next up on Fearless Fifteeners’ Wednesday Q&As is MG author, A.L. Sonnichsen, whose debut, RED BUTTERFLY, is out on February 3rd. We’ve got a bio and book blurb at the end of the post but right now we’re skipping straight to ogres. Fearless or what?!

ogre

1. You wake up to find a massive ogre in your bedroom. If you had to choose one MG character to fight him off who would you choose and why?
I’d choose Peter Pevensie from the Narnia books, because he learns to be brave and he has a big enough sword to kill an ogre.

 

2. Having defeated the ogre, you find that your car doesn’t start. Bummer. Would you rather ride a dragon or a unicorn to work? Why?
Definitely a unicorn. It would feel like riding a horse, but better. I love riding horses when I get the chance. A dragon might be faster, but dragons also increase the risk of burn injury. Not worth it, in my opinion.

 

3. After arriving at work late, your boss asks you what your most embarrassing childhood memory was. You have to tell him. 
I grew up in Hong Kong and we took public transport everywhere. We didn’t have a car. One Sunday coming home from church, I really had to go to the bathroom. I ran into a McDonalds, but their bathroom was out of order and there was nowhere else to go. Our apartment was still half an hour away by bus. While waiting for the bus, I became so desperate I peed my pants right there on the street … and cried all the way home! It was awful. My sister wouldn’t even sit next to me on the bus (though I can’t really blame her).

 

4. You’re pretty fed up now so when a time machine appears offering to take you to any historical event, you agree. Where do you go and why?
It’s not exactly an event, but I’m researching 1920s southern China (for a new book!) and I’d love to explore the streets of old Canton for a few days. That would be fascinating.

 

5. There is light at the end of the tunnel. As a Fearless Fifteener, your debut is out this year. Tell us about your book in 15 words or less.
Kara is left alone in China when her American foster mother is forced to leave.

 

RED BUTTERFLY

Front Cover - Red Butterfly

A young orphaned girl in modern-day China discovers the meaning of family in this inspiring story told in verse, in the tradition of Inside Out and Back Again and Sold. Kara never met her birth mother. Abandoned as an infant, she was taken in by an American woman living in China. Now eleven, Kara spends most of her time in their apartment, wondering why she and Mama cannot leave the city of Tianjin and go live with Daddy in Montana. Mama tells Kara to be content with what she has…but what if Kara secretly wants more? Told in lyrical, moving verse, Red Butterfly is the story of a girl learning to trust her own voice, discovering that love and family are limitless, and finding the wings she needs to reach new heights.

 

AUTHOR BIO

Amy2

Raised in Hong Kong, A.L. Sonnichsen grew up attending British school and riding double decker buses. As an adult, she spent eight years in Mainland China where she learned that not all baozi is created equal. She also learned some Mandarin, which doesn’t do her much good in the small Eastern Washington town where she now lives with her rather large family. Find out more at http://alsonnichsen.blogspot.com. Twitter: @alsonnichsen. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorALSonnichsen