Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Double Dog Dare: Interview with author Lisa Graff

I'm thrilled to be hosting a Double Dog Dare day today on Mundie Kids! Along with sharing my review of Double Dog Dare (which will be up shortly), I'm thrilled to have Double Dog Dare author Lisa Graff on the blog today!! 

    1. Hi Lisa! Thank you for stopping by Mundie Kids today. What inspired your story, Double Dog Dare?

    I like to think of the book as being mostly fun and silly, but with a bit of a serious side to it too. The story really came together when I realized that although I am a child of divorced parents (mine separated when I was four), I had never written a book about a kid whose parents were divorced. For so many kids, that is simply their reality, and while parts of the experience can be traumatic, just like anything else it can be funny, or happy, or sad. So I really wanted to try to capture all of that, while still writing a book that was entertaining.

    1. What three words would you use to describe your characters, Kansas and Francine?
    I’m going to cheat and think up three words for each of them. Francine is smart, stubborn, and loyal. Kansas is practical, brave, and reserved.

    1. Growing up were you someone who was like Kansas and Francine and accepted a Double Dog Dare? If so, what's your most memorable dare you did?
    Oh, I wish I’d been like that! As a child I had neither Francine’s gumption nor Kansas’s wit, and I had a tendency to be rather a stick in the mud. I think the wackiest dare I ever pulled was to eat some dry cat food (boring!). My friends and I did pull off some pretty memorable prank phone calls, however. One of our favorites was to call people up from the phone book and try to convince them that we were their old buddies from the Civil War (I think I had a very strange sense of humor as a child).

    1. What children's authors inspired you to read when you were in grade school / middle school?
    I loved, loved, loved Beverly Cleary when I was a kid. I was a big fan of the Ramona books, of course (who isn’t?), but my absolute favorite was Emily’s Runaway Imagination. In sixth grade I wrote a 20 page book report about it! (My teacher’s response to that paper was probably my first experience with the idea of “less is more.”) I also adored Roald Dahl, particularly Matilda. And I simply could not get enough of the Baby-sitters Club books by Ann M. Martin. I owned about sixty of them at one point, and I read them all so many times half the covers were ripped off. (Team Kristy!)

    1. What's one of your favorite children's books?
    My all-time favorite children’s book is Holes by Louis Sachar. It’s just so brilliant in the ways it ties all the various storylines together, and it’s funny and sometimes serious too. I never tire of re-reading that book.

    1. Is there any advice you'd give to young aspiring authors?
    I have two pieces of advice: #1: Keep writing, even if you think what you’re writing stinks. It’s probably not nearly as terrible as you think it is, and you’ll never finish that story or novel or poem unless you keep pushing forward. And #2: Keep a diary or a journal. Write about silly things, and sad things, and everyday boring things. It’s very good practice for writing a book, and when you get older you’ll be able to remember things you never would have been able to otherwise.
    Thank you Lisa for stopping by Mundie Kids today! 
    Thanks so much for having me, Katie!


    Published by: Penguin Books for Kids / Philomel Books
    To Be Released on: April 12th, 2012
    Ages: 8-12
    Pre-Order from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound

    What would you do to win a dare war?

    In a humorous and insightful novel reminiscent of her award-winning titles The Thing About Georgie and Umbrella Summer, Lisa Graff tells the story of fourth-graders Kansas Bloom and Francine Halata, who start out as archenemies, until--in a battle of wits and willpower--they discover that they have a lot more in common than either would have guessed.

    This dual-perspective novel will appeal to girls and boys alike--and to anyone who has ever wanted anything so badly that they'd lick a lizard to get it -quoted from Goodreads


    "To celebrate the release of the book, Lisa and Philomel Books are hosting a DOUBLE DOG DARE Rube Goldberg Machine Contest. Children ages 6 to 13 are invited to enter by creating their own Rube Goldberg Machines (delightfully complicated contraptions named after inventor Rube Goldberg). The contest is open to school and classroom groups as well as individuals, and the many awesome prizes include a full class set of Double Dog Dare books, and a free Skype visit for your school!
    For a full list of rules, as well as instructions on how to enter, visit the Double Dog Dare contest page. (link: http://www.lisagraff.com/contest.html).  

    Philomel is giving away a copy of Double Dog Dare to one blog reader. All you need to do to enter is to email graff [dot] lisa [at] yahoo [dot] com with the subject line “MUNDIE KIDS.” The winner will be chosen at random on May 1st. And don’t forget to follow Lisa on all the stops of her blog tour for more chances to win. Here are all of the stops:

    Sunday, April 15th: Pragmatic Mom Blog (www.pragmaticmom.com)
    Monday, April 16th: Novel Novice (www.novelnovice.com)
    Tuesday, April 17th: Mundie Kids (www.mundiekids.blogspot.com)
    Wednesday, April 18th: From the Mixed-Up Files . . . (www.fromthemixedupfiles.com)
    Thursday, April 19th: Greetings From Nowhere (greetings-from-nowhere.blogspot.com)
    Friday, April 20th: Reading Everywhere (www.readingeverywhere.com)
    I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves. ~ Anna Quindlen

    Good children's literature appeals not only to
    the child in the adult, but to the adult in the child.
    ~ Anonymous ~