Monday I told you about our homeschool visit with Cynthia Port, and how we got to ask Cynthia all about her writing process, where she finds inspiration for her characters, and what's next for Dinky.
Sitting down with an author is a pretty awesome experience. Kinda like meeting a rockstar, really.
Want to sit down with her? Grab your kiddo. Here are some of the questions we asked and some extra ones we didn't have time for.
Q- What inspires you?
A- First off, thanks for showcasing my book and series, Kibble Talk! It means a lot to me that you enjoyed it so much. Okay, inspiration. It seems lame to say “everything” but that’s kind of how it is with me. I am an incurable observer. It’s an exhausting habit, but it also means that I have yet to experience a moment of boredom in my life. Even in the most boring line at the bank, or the most boring work meeting, I just start observing and analyzing and before you know it, I have some new twist to a character or fine detail to add to a scene in one of my books. For the Kibble Talk series, I take a lot of direct inspiration from my childhood memories, blended with the stories my two kids (aged 9 and 13) share on the ride home from school each day. Oh, to be a fly on the wall in that school!
Q- Do you have a character that bugs you to tell his or her story?
A- Too too many. They put me to sleep at night and wake me in the morning with things like: “Here, make sure you put this scene in and that I say this . . .” or, “I still need a little help here getting out of the jam you’ve put me in . . .” or, “Hey, wouldn’t it be REALLY fun to put me in this ridiculous situation and see what I do? I would love that. Let’s find out together!” So basically, yeah, I hear voices.
Q- Who is your favorite character?
A- Of all time it would be . . . . oh, that is hard. I love Hazel from Watership Down a lot lot lot. He demonstrates how to be a leader in the most trying of times, and even when the last thing you think of yourself as being is a leader.
I also love Hermione Granger – she’s so much brainier than your average witch or wizard but also has a big heart.
Of my own published characters, probably Dinky. He’s a bit like Hazel and Hermione – super smart, big heart, and a leader. Unlike them, he’s also full of snark and pomposity, which makes him a hoot to write.
Q- Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
A- This is sort of funny advice, but don’t dabble. You can dabble while you’re planning the book in your head, and while you’re outlining – actually, dabbling is good then. But when you feel it is ripe inside you, clear your schedule and make sure you can write and/or edit for several hours each day, preferably with some of those hours shortly before bedtime. This has a physiological reason behind it – your brain pays the most attention to something when you are spending more time on it than anything else. By writing this way, your brain will literally work for you even when you’re not writing – you’ll dream about solutions to plot problems, notice random comments others make that help your character dialogue, etc. It’s science helping art, and who doesn’t want a little extra help when they’re writing a whole darn book?
Q- What's next? We CAN NOT WAIT for your next book.
A- Well DO read Dog Goner, because, in my humble opinion, it is even funnier than Kibble Talk. There are some crazy characters in there that get up to ridiculous stuff!
Book 3 is started. It will be called What Dat? The plots for books 4 and 5 are in my head, and they are rolling around in there like spikey bowling balls. Ouch. Get writing!
I also have a historical fiction set in Australia. This is actually the first book I wrote, but I’m still working on the introductory chapters – they aren’t quite right. Once they are, I can’t wait to share it with the world. It's the story of a young girl who spends 6 months in the Outback with her archaeologist mother. It deals with the rabbit plague, racism against Aborigine people (the Stolen Generation), and the repatriation of remains. It's a serious book, but there’s also plenty of humor. Australia is known for its kooky personalities, and I love me some kooky.
Two more important things!
Are you a teacher who would LOVE to get a copy of Kibble Talk, activities, and fun extras for your students?! YOU CAN-
These book party packs are available to elementary school teachers (anywhere) who will use Kibble talk as a class read aloud. There are also free printables available on Cynthia's website.
What a wonderful way to start the new year in your classroom. It's cold and your classroom kiddos are cooped up. Laugh, write dialogue, color, celebrate what makes us all individuals! Contact Cynthia here http://cynthiaportbooks.com or here https://www.facebook.com/cynthiaportbooks
And Cynthia is giving us all another chance to win Kibble Talk. Simply leave a comment below or two if you like Sagetribe on any social media sites, and a digital copy of Kibble Talk might be yours.
Both giveaways will close Friday and winners will be chosen by random number generator and contacted by email.
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