Hello Middle Grade readers! Today we’re interviewing TMUF member Jen K Blom! Her debut, POSSUM SUMMER, released this month!
First, a little about the book:
A lonely girl.
An orphaned possum.
A dad that says no way.
How do you keep that a secret? And what happens when you’re found out?
TMUF: Well, Jen, happy release day! Your book was blurbed by Bill Wallace (A DOG CALLED KITTY). What did you do when you read what he said? And I quote: “Jen K. Blom’s Possum Summer, is a heartwarming, vibrant story of a western Oklahoma ‘country’ girl [that] mixes themes of honor, resolve, and courage with just the right blend of adventure, excitement, humor, danger, love, compassion, and a small touch of romance. It’s a book that middle graders will want to read. The author should brace herself for all the letters and emails she’ll receive asking ‘did this really happen?’ –Bill Wallace, author of A Dog Called Kitty and many other books”
JKB: I thought I’d died and gone to heaven, actually. My school had had him visit when I was in fourth grade, and after I’d sat through his visit I decided I would be a writer too. It just took a bit longer than I expected, back then. (Teachers: schedule author visits for your students! *g*)
TMUF: So how much of the book is personal experience? How will you answer those kids?
JKB: Ha! I had a possum, back in the day. I rescued him in the *exact* way that the first chapter plays it out, too. Not much else is the same, except I did happen to grow up in Oklahoma. (GO SOONERS!) Oh, and Gran in the story is very much like my beloved Gran. She was a hoot. Maybe there is some stuff in there, after all.
TMUF: Did you know a girl named Princess?
JKB: Yes, my Gran! Her name was Princess, and I decided there was no better name than that.
TMUF: What scene reminded you most of your childhood in Oklahoma when you wrote it?
JKB: P slides down the sides of a red canyon early on in the book, and I definitely remember that iron-tasting red dirt.
TMUF: Well, we’ve got to wrap this up. What do you hope readers will take away from POSSUM SUMMER?
JKB: Oh. Well. I’d love to have them come away wondering what they’d do in P’s situation, especially the military kids – they’ll recognize many of P’s foibles, I think. I really appreciate P’s determination: she made a call, and she saw it through to the end, even though that end wasn’t what she wanted.
And I also hope they’d be interested in taking part in the Oklahoma Showdown, later this year.
TMUF: Thanks, Jen!
JKB: Thanks, guys! I hope you enjoy POSSUM SUMMER!
Leave a comment in the comments section below and our random generator will choose a lucky winner on Saturday, June 25th, to win a
POSSUM PRIZE PACK
Consisting of a signed POSSUM SUMMER hardcover, a personalized Lookbook (just like P!) and an Awesome Possum t-shirt!
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