Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Interview with Wren Emerson

In mid-June, I posted about a wonderful Digital Debut: Wren Emerson's I Wish..., the first book in a Young adult series titled The Witches of Desire. Recently, I was lucky enough to get Wren to spare a bit of time to answer questions.

Thus, I bring you my first interview, with the talented Wren Emerson:

1) When did you start writing, and when did you start thinking of yourself as a writer?

That's a hard one. I've always written. Not always with the clear intention of getting published, but I've always felt compelled to put words on a page and express myself that way. When I heard about indie publishing and decided that's what I wanted to do for a living, I started to think of myself as writer. Wild horses wouldn't have pried that out of my mouth to another living person though. I still don't necessarily bring up my writing when I talk to people in real life. I'm actually a little shy about the idea of people who already know me in a real life context knowing that I write.

I anticipate changing that when we move this summer. I plan to introduce myself as an author to the new people we meet and that's all they'll ever know me as. I guess what I'm saying is that it's much easier for me to reinvent myself than to try to change the impression of me that people already have as a non-writer.

2) Did you start by publishing short stories, or dive right into a novel?
I find short stories to be really hard for me. I'm working on several right now for different projects and oh boy. I started with I Wish and in a lot of ways I think it was far easier to write than any short story ever will be for me. I just don't think short, I suspect.

3) I've seen that you like to outline. Have you always written like that, or is it a learned habit?

Monday, July 4, 2011

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday: Nate Rocks the World

Nate Rocks the World

Nate Rocks the World independently published.
Author: Karen Pokras Toz
Free copy sent by author after request

I have a backlog of books to review, most with partial reviews saved in draft mode, but I decided to do a Marvelous Middle Grade Monday (woefully neglected for the past several weeks) on another self-published book.
Nate Rockledge is ten years old, and he has many of the difficulties boys of his age face. His mother is a truly terrible cook. His father reminisces endlessly about past glories. His thirteen year old sister taunts him mercilessly.

But Nate has a secret. Like a fourth grade Walter Mitty, Nate dreams of heroic adventures where he saves the day, and often the life of the cute Madeline who lives across the street, although Nate does.not.like.girls! Unfortunately, after saving the day, he is left with little but the comics he draws and the wish that he could do something real. Little does he know how close the chance for real heroics is.

I love the way the author seamlessly blends Nate's real life and his fantasies of heroism and excitement. Middle grade readers, especially on the younger end, will easily relate to the loose boundaries between real life and fantasy, and will also instantly relate to the real trials and tribulations Nate faces with his family and friends.

I can easily recommend this book for both boys and girls in third through fifth grade. I'm glad to have had a chance to read it.

Four out of five stars.

Buy 'Nate Rocks the World' on Amazon.com

Normally, there are several bloggers who participate in Marvelous Middle Grade Monday, but since it is the 4th of July holiday here in the United States, most are taking a holday. The only other I have found so far is Deb Marshall, who is Canadian. She profiles Leslie Carmichael (Lyranel's Song and The Amulet of Amon-Ra), and has an interview with the author plus a giveaway. See her post HERE.