Tiny Talk Thursday with . . .(wait for it). . .Jay Asher!

My apologies to all for not getting Tuesdays post in. I was celebrating my big 5-0. I’m starting the New Year off with a bang with Jay Asher. I’m a lucky girl. The person to hook me on Jay was my teenage daughter. She feel in love with his book Thirteen Reasons Why and said, “Mom, you got to read this one.” Now I’m hooked. I met Jay at the LA SCBWI conference last August. His presentation was amazing.

jay asher     photo 1

Jay Asher,  has published two books to date, Thirteen Reasons Why, where Hannah Baker, a girl who committed suicide reveals her thirteen reasons for her decision in a series of seven audio tapes mailed to a classmate with instructions to pass them from one student to another, in the style of a chain letter. This novel was a 2007 New York Times best-selling young-adult fiction novel.

He has written several picture books and middle school humor novels. Thirteen Reasons Why has won several awards and has received five stars from Teen Book Review. jay book

So today I share my “tiny” interview with one of my favorite authors.


 ME: tell us something that has been in the vault. Something hardly anyone knows about you.

 JAY: I’m shy and very much an introvert. I speak a lot as an author, and I do enjoy myself once I begin speaking, so people assume I’m very outgoing and an extrovert. That’s me acting as a professional author. Whenever my friends see me speak, they know that’s not the real me up there and are shocked. What people don’t see are the thoughts in my head leading up to a speaking engagement, looking for anything to stop it from happening. “A flat tire! They couldn’t blame me if I got a flat tire!”

Me: Boy, I would’ve never pegged you as an introvert.

ME: How do you want to be remembered?

JAY: If my son, who turns four in December, remembers me as a great father, I’ll feel like my life has been very successful.

ME: I love that.

ME:  If you can spend a day with one of your book characters who would it be, and why?

JAY: It would be this boy from a middle-grade book I wrote but never sold (but one day, maybe…). His name is Adam Kinski and he’s in fourth grade. After school, he has to put on a cow costume and pass out candy to people walking by a candy shop in the mall. He and I share a lot of the same insecurities, so it’d be like hanging out with my younger self, which could be interesting. As far as published books, I think Tyson from THE FUTURE OF US would be hilarious to hang out with.

 ME: What genre have you not written in, but would love to try?

 JAY: I have an idea for a scary YA novel that I eventually want to tackle, and I will. I’m just waiting on a twist that’ll make it even scarier.

ME: I’d buy it. I love horror/suspense.

ME: Who influenced your writing career/passion?

JAY: Any of the authors who wrote the books I loved in elementary school were the people who lit my reading passion: Betty Miles, Patrick Skene Katling, Katherine Paterson, Bertrand R. Brinley. My parents let me drag them to the library to fill up on books, and then let me sit for hours reading in the living room without interruption. My school librarian at Highland Oaks Elementary, I considered her a friend. I still remember standing beside her desk talking about books during lunch.

ME: Sound like fond memories. It definitely paid off.

Thanks so much, Jay for letting me do my tiny interview with you. It was an honor. My teenage daughter thinks I’m cool now to have connections with her favorite author. I wish you many more successes that are sure to come. Now get on that scary story. I want to read it!

Tiny Talk Tuesday with Angela Sunde

G’day Mate. I’m talking down under today!

My tiny talk this morning is with Angela Sunde. I read about this Aussie author from another blog site. She loves to inspire the imaginations of children by showing them how to uncover magic and humour in daily life. Her light-hearted fantasy novel, SNAP MAGIC, caught my attention. It’s a bewitchingly funny coming-­of-age story about secrets, bullies and pumpkin soup. What 9-12 year olds wouldn’t want to read about that? The story idea came from Angela’s own recollections as a tween. This book is being released at the end of this month. I’m sure my niece will love it.

It was a pleasure interviewing my new Aussie friend. I wish her much success with this novel.

Angela Sunde

ME: Tell us something that has been in the vault. Something hardly anyone knows about you.

ANGELA: I’m bilingual from birth (English and Croatian) and learnt three more languages at school (German, French, Spanish), going on to study them at university. I ended up speaking five and have spent most of my working life as a teacher of German in secondary and elementary schools. Becoming a children’s author and illustrator has been a change of direction in my life. I’m loving it!

ME: Finish this sentence. A perfect day would involve . . . 

ANGELA: . . .sleeping in till I am ‘all slept out’; followed by a breakfast of smoked salmon and poached eggs hollandaise at my favourite beach cafe ‘The Beach Shack’ at Currumbin, Gold Coast; a walk with my husband along the esplanade watching the surfers at The Alley; and then curled up with a book on the veranda in the hammock.

ME: Australia is on my bucket list. I hope ‘The Beach Shack’ will still be there, sounds yummy.

ME: Are you a Pantser or a Plotter when you write a story?

ANGELA: I do both. I write a skeleton plot after mind-mapping ideas, then begin to write the first draft. When I get stuck, as I inevitably do, I stop and plan in more detail, writing scene summaries. I find these keep me on track, without hindering my creativity. Perhaps that makes me a plotter.

ME: If you can spend a day with one of your book characters who would it be, and why?

ANGELA: It would be Mrs. Swan, the old witch who lives next door to my main character Lily (12 years). Mrs. Swan is sprightly for her age, very wise and old school. She likes to potter in her magical permaculture garden, though her magic skills can be a bit rusty at times. You just know that if Mrs. Swan’s involved, something will invariably go wrong for Lily. And it does.

ME: She sounds like an interesting character. Someone I’d like to meet.

ME: What genre have you not written in, but would love to try?

ANGELA: Perhaps Young Adult, though it might be difficult for me to return to this time in my life, to find my young adult voice and dig up memories. My father died when I was 18 and my optimism and joy for life was buried with him for many years. I have written some YA short stories recently and hope to write more.

ME: Well, I’m sure if you wrote one it’d be wonderful. Thanks so much for being part of my blog. Maybe someday you can come back and we can chat some more. Good luck!