It’s time to celebrate the dog days of summer with a special guest—debut author Rachel Anderson, author of THE PUPPY PREDICAMENT.
Let’s hop right into a Summer Lightning Round of Q & A with Rachel . . .
What is your favorite day of the week–and yes, why?
Wow. I’d forgotten there are different days of the week. Being retired does that.
What is under your bed? (Remember, Frog on a Dime is a judgement-free zone.)
Two ear plugs the cat stole from my dresser (hubby snores sometimes).
If you were a cheese, what kind would you be?
Hmm. Interesting. Mozzarella because . . .
It’s versatile, yet predictable (I think).
Quick. What is your inner adult/inner child ratio?
I’d say 70/30 on most days, except when I’m writing for kids, then it’s 10/90. If I could get rid of that 10 percent adult, I’d be so much easier on myself when it comes to revisions.
If you hadn’t become a writer, what would you be?
I am a creative person, so that’s who I’d still be without writing. My muse would be different, though. And maybe that muse wouldn’t hide for days on end.
I feel melancholy descending. Let’s move on.
Your favorite punctuation mark is:
It makes a statement! Or an overstatement!!
Okay!!!! Thank you!
Congratulations! You’ve made it to the final Summer Lightning Q & A, uh, Q. It’s a fill in the blank: my favorite food to eat while writing is_______________________.
I’d like to eat a bag of Cheetos, but the cheese messes up the keyboard.
I’ll send you a can of compressed air. You’ll be good to go.
Great job, Rachel. Now, it’s time to dig a bit deeper. Not to worry. I’ll be gentle.
You look pretty happy in your photo. What’s it like to have your dream finally delivered and decked out on your dining room table?
I’m absolutely delighted to be holding my middle grade historical fiction novel in my hands. It’s a wonderful feeling. I’ve worked hard on this novel for many years.
Your novel centers on a girl, Emily. How did you two get your start?
I don’t remember the year I began writing Emily’s story, but back then, it was just a simple story about a girl who wants a dog. I didn’t know anything about story structure, point of view or character development until I joined SCBWI and began attending conferences and workshops. After that, I had the tools to build my story into something special.
What kept you coming back to your manuscript?
There were times when I put the manuscript away for a month or more as I moved to other projects like picture books. But I was always drawn back to Emily’s story and her need to have a dog of her own. And I keep thinking about the reasons she couldn’t have one, and what her never-give-up attitude would drive her to do. The more time Emily and I spent together, the more I enjoyed reading her story over and over as I revised.
How did you prepare to write the historical backdrop of Emily’s story?
To do it justice, I had to do a lot of research into the 1960s. Once I dug into topics related to the war and wrote some scenes, I reached out to two Vietnam veterans for their perspectives. Those interviews made all the difference as I continued writing, getting critiques and gathering suggestions. Two years into the project, I found another veteran who not only reviewed everything the first two veterans gave me, he even helped me make some scenes stronger. At that point, my confidence with the historical aspect of the story grew and it was easier to finish the book.
It sounds like you really put your heart into this novel, Rachel. What do you hope your readers take away from THE PUPPY PREDICAMENT?
I’ve always felt deep down that Emily’s story had to be told. I’m so glad I was the one to tell it. I like to think young readers will be inspired by Emily’s determination and the way she’s able to think through problems to find solutions. By the time they reach the last page, I hope kids think of Emily as a new friend and feel a bit sad the story’s over.
That’s beautiful. So, Rachel, what’s next for you?
My editor at Late November Literary tells me she’s waiting for a sequel, so I’d better get writing it!
Best wishes to you! Thanks so much for making this year’s Summer Open House extra special.
Rachel Anderson grew up in Freeland, Michigan, a small farming community with lots of wide open spaces. As kids, Rachel and her sister took full advantage of that room to roam while riding their horses–sometimes bareback–mile after mile. Neighbors were friends, and most everyone, whether town folk or farm folk, knew one another. And of course, Rachel had a dog.
Today, Rachel still loves animals and her community. When she’s not writing, Rachel volunteers at her local pregnancy resource center and her church. Rachel is an active, long-time member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and writes picture books, as well as novels for middle grade children and young adults.
Enter FROG ON A DIME’S SUMMER OPEN HOUSE GIVEAWAY!
The winner of the random drawing will receive:
- TWO autographed copies of THE PUPPY PREDICAMENT—one for you to enjoy, and one to share with a child you love. Rachel will even include a personalized autograph message, if you wish!
- Summer Journal for capturing those glimmering, elusive ideas like fireflies.
- PLUS! A special surprise (and no, it’s not a puppy!)
To enter, simply leave a message in the comment section below.*
Enter by Noon (EDT) on Friday, July 10.
*Limit one entry per person. (GIANT EXCEPTION! If you invite a friend to follow Frog on a Dime (and they do), you can enter twice—and so can your friend!)