Welcome to the POSSUMS ARE AWESOME blog tour for the middle-grade book, POSSUM SUMMER by Jen K. Blom, coming out in March! (Have you preordered yet?) Jen was interviewed on The Blog a while back, so check that out, too -- it has a lot of info about POSSUM SUMMER.
Today Jen answered a few questions for The Blog! P also joined in and well, did her thing...but you have to wait until the end of this little interview to see what she did!
First off, a little about the book:
a lonely kid.
an orphaned baby possum.
a dad that says no way.
how do you keep that kind of secret?
and what happens when you’re found out?
So! On we go with the Thrilling Three questions!
Realm: Princess sounds like a great character. How do you relate to the main character Princess and how did you use your own experience to create her?
JKB: I'd like to think that I had a bit of P's spunk, but I just don't know. She seemed to jump into my head about 15 years ago, and commented and railed and hissed until I broke down and wrote what she was saying. I admire her attitude and I'm proud of her being a strong-willed girl! We need those in our literature!
Realm: Princess has Oklahoma as Tom Sawyer has Mississippi. I imagine the setting must be very well done. What is your process to establish a scene/setting?
JKB: Gosh I love this...and you're absolutely right! P *is* Oklahoma, just like Tom *is* Mississippi! I like to think that they'd be best friends if she could get Mart to give up his spot. And if she moved to Mississippi, of course.
But setting. I grew up with the Oklahoma plains as my best friend, so it's very important to me in all my books that the setting has as much to say as the characters themselves. You could consider the setting a character, if you like. After finishing my first draft, I go through in successive drafts checking off particular aspects that are important to me ... and setting is first on my list. If you can't sit down and feel that story, well then, what's the point in reading it?
Realm: I don't see a story with a possum often (or ever) so I think that makes your story very unique. What drew you to them and what's an interesting possum fact you've found?
JKB: Possums get a bum rap. They're actually amazing animals, and I should know - I had one when I was little. Let's see. A very cool fact? It's extremely difficult for possums to contract rabies (practically impossible) as their blood temperature is lower than that of most other mammals. Possums FTW!
And now...Princess joins us!
Princess: HELLO MISS REALM! Miss Jen says you're an ARTIST! I am a FAN! You did a good job of drawing me here even though you gave me too many freckles! I don't like freckles!
JKB: P. Not again.
P: The last one went good! You're not the boss of me! My question is What's your favrite food?
Realm: I like steak. *JKB gives up*
P: Steak! Steak! I like steak! My dad raises Charolais! Have you ever had them? They're fat! Well, what's your favrite activit
ies? *JKB tries to chill*
Realm: Writing and drawing!
P: I don't like writing any, but drawing! Yeah! NEXT: What's yer most inneresting body part about yourself?
Realm: I am Eurasian so I have distinctly shaped amber eyes.
P: Wow! I think your eyes are really neat! They look like an animal I saw just the other day, so I already knew who I'd pick for you as an Oklahoma animal! I drawed you! I hope you like it seeing as you're a profes-proffe-an expert drawer!
P: You're definitely a Western Grey Fox, what with your eyeballs! They are really neat and did you know they can climb trees? True story! I wouldn't lie to you! Why, the other day ...
JKB: I hope you enjoy my little interview, here! *P stutters* Next up is the amazing and talented Gretchen McNeil, author of POSSESS !
Hurray, thank you, Jen! I am honored to be a part of your tour...and what a treat to have a drawing for me! Love the gray fox!