Posted by Tamera Wissinger
Today, Louise Galveston is joining Smack Dab In The Middle Blog for a guest “middleview” interview. Louise’s debut middle grade novel BY THE GRACE OF TODD, Razorbill, releases on 02/27/2014! Congratulations, Louise!
Here is a bit about Louise:
Louise Galveston grew up on horseback and books in the Midwest, where she still lives. In addition to writing middle-grade novels, Louiise is resident playwright and director of her local children’s theater. She also enjoys performing occasionally alongside her husband and eleven children. When she’s not writing or at the theater, you can find Louise sketching or battling laundry.
Here’s a description of BY THE GRACE OF TODD:
Todd’s room borders on Hoarders-level messy. We’re talking Roomageddon here. When his mom gives him the ultimatum to clean it or miss his best friend’s birthday bash, Todd makes an amazing discovery: he has created an entire civilization of ant-sized people from the sheer grossness on his filthy sock. The “Toddlians” put their faith in their all-powerful creator, but can the kid who can’t even keep a hermit crab alive save them from Max Loving, the biggest bully at Wakefield Middle School?
Here are the links to Louise online: Website, By The Grace of Todd site, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads
Now it’s time to hear from our guest:
Smack Dab Middleview with BY THE GRACE OF TODD author Louise Galveston
1. In a nutshell, what does your main character, Todd want?
Todd wants to ditch the loser image that has haunted him throughout elementary school. He longs to be cool, or at least to make it off the bullies' dork radars.
2. What is in his way?
Todd and his best friend Duddy are obsessed with the Japanese anime series, Dragon Sensei. In fact, they're the founding members of the "Koi Boy Karate Choppers" fan club. They also happen to be on the wrong side of puberty…by a mile. When the coolest kid (and biggest bully) in sixth grade mysteriously befriends Todd, he has to make a tough choice, because Duddy is definitely not invited to the cool club. There is also the problem of the Toddlians (the tiny civilization that has spawned from the grunge on Todd's sock), who Max mistreats trying to train them for a science project. If Todd defends his little people, he can kiss his cool card goodbye.
3. Did you know right away that this was your story, or did you discover it as you wrote? How did the story evolve?
The main story idea was there from the get go, but as the characters' personalities developed, the plot definitely "thickened." I'm not usually an outliner, but this story has quite a few characters because of the Toddlians, so I stuck with the storyline pretty faithfully. And now I'm sold on outlines!
4. Was By the Grace of Todd always for middle grade readers or not? If so, why did you choose middle grade? If not, what had to change for it to be considered a middle grade novel?
The story problem centers on entering middle school, so it's always been for middle-graders. I have written for younger readers, and am working on a chapter book series now, but I think I'll be stuck in a middle-grade mindset when I'm eighty. I connect so strongly to that time in my own life because it was so monumental to me.
5. What is the best part of writing for middle grade readers?
This age is reading well enough to handle more complex writing, yet is not too mature to appreciate my particular brand of corny humor. Middle-graders are still so chock full of hope and wonder. I love this age!
6. Is there any downside?
Sometimes my sixth grade sense of humor makes its way into conversations with adults. That's always embarrassing, (unless they're kindred spirits, of course).
7. Is there one question you wish you could answer about writing, your book, or the author's life, but have never been asked? Here's your chance to Q &A yourself. Who is the amazing illustrator of BY THE GRACE OF TODD?
His name is Patrick Fariscy, and I agree; he is AMAZING!
Thank you for joining us on Smack Dab in the Middle Blog, Louise. Again, congratulations on the release of BY THE GRACE OF TODD!