Monday, June 25, 2012

MG Author Spotlight & Giveaway: Interview with Joanne Levy

I'm pleased as punch to bring you today's interview with author Joanne Levy who penned the hilarious just-about-to-be-released Small Medium at Large.

First of all, I'll wait while you marvel at that astounding title.

Secondly, you should know the book itself is as funny, charming and wonderful as the title suggests.

Thirdly, Joanne and I have a lot in common. We're both in the Class of 2K12. We're both Bloomsbury MG authors. And we both have sassy ghosts* in our debuts! Currently, we are hard at work trying to make #sassyghosts a trending topic on Twitter.

*Term coined by the fabulous Christina of A Reader of Fictions.

The only other thing I'm going to say is that Joanne has one scene in her book involving a seance and a dead clown that had me rolling on the floor laughing.

Here is a little bit more about the book:

After she’s hit by lightning at a wedding, twelve-year-old Lilah Bloom develops a new talent: she can hear dead people. Among them, there’s her overopinionated Bubby Dora; a prissy fashion designer; and an approval-seeking clown who livens up a séance. With Bubby Dora leading the way, these and other sweetly imperfect ghosts haunt Lilah through seventh grade, and help her face her one big fear: talking to—and possibly going to the seventh-grade dance with—her crush, Andrew Finkel.

And without further ado, here is my interview with Joanne. And since I know that synopsis (and that dead clown tease) piqued your interest, one lucky blog reader will walk away with their own, shiny copy of Small Medium at Large! Just scroll down after the interview for the giveaway.

To borrow (and modify) a question from James Lipton, what’s your favorite middle-grade appropriate “curse word” or insult?
Joanne Levy: Hmm. Since I was raised among wolves (read: older brothers) I’m used to the real thing, so my MG appropriate swears aren’t all that original. Probably Oh Crap! would be the one I use most.

What's the first book that you remember LOVING as a child?
JL: Someone asked me the other day about picture books I loved and Ferdinand popped into my head. I went to look at a preview of it online and it took me back to where I was seriously tearing up over the pictures, because I remember them so vividly. I must have read that book so many times as a kid and I’m sure it was dog-eared and torn. I’m not sure what it was about that book that resonated with me, but looking back, I love that Ferdinand wouldn’t be swayed and did what he enjoyed, even if it wasn’t what other people wanted from him. And, you know, in this day and age, sitting among the flowers and just being sounds pretty okay to me.

If you were a medium, which three ghosts would you most want to hear from? 
JL: The real bubby Dora, my great grandmother, who, even though she was over 100 when she died, left this planet way too soon. She was a remarkable and VERY funny woman and I wish I’d been a bit older when she was around so I could have appreciated her more. Jim Henson, just to tell him how awesome I think he is/was, and whoever it was who invented Mac & Cheese, because I’d like to shake his or her hand on a job well done.

Small Medium at Large? Probably one of the BEST titles I've ever heard. What are some other books that really grabbed you solely because of their titles. 
JL: Oh, good question. I picked up Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal (Christopher Moore) based on the title. Also, although I’ve never read it, I’ve always loved the title A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by David Eggers.

What are two MG books you'd recommend and why? 
JL: Besides yours? I’d have to say a couple of recent reads: How They Croaked by Georgia Bragg (illustrated by Kevin O’Malley) because it’s morbid and interesting and VERY entertaining. And The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate about a gorilla and his friends who are living their lives stuck in a roadside zoo. The voice of the gorilla is so amazing – funny but a bit gruff yet at the same time gentle—exactly what you’d expect from a gorilla. Based on true events, it’s a great read that I think kids and grownups will enjoy.

Thank you, Joanne!
Thanks for having me!

GIVEAWAY:
And now for the giveaway! Simply fill out the Rafflecopter form below to be entered to win one hardcover copy of Small Medium at Large. You get 1 free entry and +1 entry for commenting on this blog post, following me on Twitter, or following Joanne on Twitter. You get +2 entries for tweeting or Facebooking about this giveaway and +3 entries for blogging about it. The giveaway will be open until Friday, June 29th at 11:59 PM EST and is open internationally!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

18 comments:

  1. What a great interview, guys!! I've seen a ton of great buzz for this one!!

    (Also, I totally entered but am from Canada, so feel free to ignore my entries LOL) .. Attack of the Monday brain. ;)

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    1. Actually, Jess, it IS open internationally! That's my fault for not changing that. So you've been entered! :-)

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  2. I can't wait to read this book--the title alone should win an award!

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  3. I hope I can win! I am finally trying to get serious about my writing. I've said most of my life that I want to write a book, so why not now? I love getting lost in a good book, and this certainly seems to fit the bill!

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  4. I enjoyed the interview. Nice title for the book.

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  5. I'm really looking forward to this one, and that clever title is part of it. Crap is probably my favorite expression of displeaure as well.

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  6. The title, Small Medium at Large, grabbed me the first time I saw it and I laughed out loud. It's so clever! I've been interested in this book for some time now because of that. Thanks for the chance to win a copy!

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  7. Thanks for posting this interview and for the giveaway! I'm excited to read Small Medium at Large: such an interesting title. ;)

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  8. After she’s hit by lightning at a wedding, twelve-year-old Lilah Bloom develops a new talent: she can hear dead people. Among them, there’s her overopinionated Bubby Dora; a prissy fashion designer; and an approval-seeking clown who livens up a séance. With Bubby Dora leading the way, these and other sweetly imperfect ghosts haunt Lilah through seventh grade, and help her face her one big fear: talking to—and possibly going to the seventh-grade dance with—her crush, Andrew Finkel.

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  9. This is a book that I really look forward to reading.

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  10. Oh, I need to win! Really :D I'm really excited for this book. I won a bracelet and a signed bookmark already :) I would love to have a hardcopy *_*

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  11. Thanks for all the love, everyone! Good luck - I wish you could all win!

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  12. Love the title. Definitely entering!

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  13. I am seriously going to hunt down this book and give it smooches. (Smooched it earlier today on Project Mayhem, and now here.)

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    1. And this book is going to smooch you back.

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  14. Oh, and I have to say: "Sassy ghosts rock--or whatever it is ghosts do for coolness quotient."

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