“Middleview” Interview with Debut author team Barbara Brauner & James Iver Mattson

Posted by Tamera Wissinger

Today, the author team of Barbara Brauner and James Iver Mattson are joining Smack Dab In The Middle Blog for a guest “middleview” interview. Their debut middle grade novel, OH MY GODMOTHER: THE GLITTER TRAP, Disney/Hyperion Books for Children, releases next week, on 5/14/2013! Congratulations, Barbara and James!

Here are Barbara’s and James’s biographies:  

Barbara Brauner grew up in a house that had so many books her father had to brace the floors. After she moved to Los Angeles to work in the movie business, she met James, who's been her writing partner ever since. Barbara lives with her bite-y, scratchy, and yet still oddly lovable rescue cat Jeeves.   Before he started writing with Barbara, James Iver Mattson worked in motion picture special effects, which, just like Oh My Godmother, often involved a lot of sparkles. James' cat is named Fred, who is Jeeves' sweeter-natured brother.

Here is a description of OH MY GODMOTHER: THE GLITTER TRAP:

Middle school is far from a fairytale for adorkable misfit Lacey Unger-Ware. When Lacey ends up with popular girl Paige Harrington's smart-mouthed fairy godmother, Katarina, trapped in her hair, life gets more magical-just not in a "prince charming" kind of way. Katarina's wings are too damaged to continue her fairy duties, and Lacey must take over as Paige's fairy godmother. Distracted by her new responsibilities, Lacey's in danger of losing her best friend, Sunny. Can Lacey get the hang of magic, make Paige's dreams come true, and survive middle school?

Connect with Barbara and James online:  Website, Goodreads, Facebook, Amazon
Twitter:  @jivermattson @BarbaraBrauner 

And now it’s time to hear from our guests:

Smack Dab Middleview with OH MY GODMOTHER: THE GLITTER TRAP authors Barbara Brauner and James Iver Mattson:

1. What does your main character, Lacey Unger-Ware, want?

Lacey wants to survive middle school (which isn't easy when you're named Lacey Unger-Ware), and to win the Highland Park Zoo internship contest.

2. What is in Lacey's way?

It's not a what, it's a who: cranky fairy godmother Katarina, who gets injured when she's accidentally glitter-glued to Lacey's hair. If Lacey doesn't carry on with all of Katarina's fairy godmother duties for her classmate Paige Harrington, none of Lacey's dreams will come true either.

3. Did you know right away that this was your story, or did you discover it as you wrote? How did the story evolve?

Yes, this was the core of our story from the beginning: normal girl injures a fairy godmother and has to take over. It evolved as we added all of Lacey's (funny, we hope) mishaps along the way.

4. Was "Oh My Godmother: The Glitter Trap" 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?

At first, we thought Lacey would be a freshman in high school, and we even wrote the first four chapters that way. But all the plot points we loved were wacky and funny -- and seemed to work better when our character was 12, not 15.

5. What is the best part of writing for middle grade readers?

You mean other than the poop jokes? As co-writers, our sensibilities skew more toward middle grade goofiness (obviously) and away from teen angst. If we can make each other laugh we've had a good writing day. And if we hear we've made somebody else laugh, it makes our week.

 6. Is there any downside?

It means our books have to be shorter. Wait--that's an upside. So there is no downside.

Thank you for joining us for a Middleview at Smack Dab Blog, Barbara and James. Again, congratulations on the upcoming release of OH MY GODMOTHER: THE GLITTER TRAP! We’ll look for it on bookshelves soon!


  1. SO intrigued by team writing! Thanks for visiting Smack Dab, Barbara and James!


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