Yesterday you heard we’re giving away another round of fantastic Skype author visits.
Today, as the bus heads out across the vaste inter-webs, we’re visiting with Sarah Aronson, the author of BEYOND LUCKY and one of our prize-winning Skype authors!
Tell us about you and your books.
I started writing in 2000—after someone dared me to try. At the time, I didn’t know much about books for kids—just what my kids liked and what I enjoyed reading to them. But nothing about the craft of writing. I got involved in SCBWI and earned an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from VCFA. Now I am a full time writer. When I’m not writing or drinking coffee or practicing yoga in the hot room, I teach writing for writers.com. I also co-organize the Novel Writing Retreat at Vermont College, now in its ninth year. My writing mantras are “Try Everything” and “Celebrate every step.” I do both.
I have been very lucky to publish two novels: the YA novel, Head Case and the middle grade novel, Beyond Lucky. Beyond Lucky is about heroes, luck, a superstitious goalie and a girl who makes the team. It’s about friendship and doing the right thing.
What do you like best about writing for middle grade readers?
I love making up characters and putting them in tough situations. I also enjoy thinking about issues that matter to me and my readers. Middle grade readers are great readers. They care about story, and so do I.
What was your favorite book when you were 8-12?
That’s a tough one. I was what we would now call a reluctant reader. In fact, for a long time, my mom had to pay me to read. When I think about my life as a writer now, I can reference two important middle grade reading experiences:
The first one: When I was ten, my family moved to England. Every night, my mother read one chapter of David Copperfield to us. Hearing the language of Dickens was amazing. His writing is so cinematic. I became so involved in that book that I finally began to read.
The second: I had a teacher named Dan Sigley who staged Romeo and Juliet with my sixth grade class. I got to read Friar Lawrence. He was the first teacher to challenge me to understand and convey important dialogue. He treated me like I was a thinker.
Tell us about what you and BEYOND LUCKY are doing for charity.
In honor of the publication of my novel for young readers, BEYOND LUCKY, I am hosting a fundraiser/party and online auction to support Grassroot Soccer.
You can find the auction on my website: www.saraharonson.com. There are books and gifts and critiques on the board!
Why Grassroot Soccer? In the book, the main character, Ari Fish wants to be the starting goalie of the local select soccer team. He also faces more than one moral dilemma. AND he is studying for his bar mitzvah. He wants to do the right thing.
So do I.
Grassroot Soccer is a non-profit organization that uses the power of soccer to prevent the spread of AIDS and save lives among those with the highest rates of new infections – youth in Africa. By the next World Cup in 2014, Grassroot Soccer will have educated one million young people about AIDS, and inspired them to live healthier, more productive lives, thereby strengthening communities across Africa.
I can’t think of a better way to celebrate this book.
Me either! Hooray Sarah!
Click this picture to go to Sarah’s Silent Auction Site-
Thanks Sarah! Would you like to have Sarah or one of the other Mixed-Up Middle Grade authors to visit your classroom, library, book club or troup (or any other group of book loving kids?) Enter by leaving a comment here. Good luck!!!
When Tami Lewis Brown isn’t driving the Mixed-Up Middle Grade Skype Tour bus she’s busy writing books like THE MAP OF ME.