Medeia Shariff just sold her third YA book to be published this year. She sold THE WINTER I LOST ALL MY PRETTY HAIR to Evernight Teen. Here's a blurb:
Tabby Karim has plans that include nabbing a role in the school play, making Michael hers, and keeping bigoted Heather at bay; but when a teacher’s lie and her father’s hastiness rob her of her beautiful hair, her dreams are dashed. She spearheads Operation Revenge, which proves satisfying until Tabby’s problems deepen.Today I’m so thrilled to have Terry Johnson here to share about her new book ICE DOGS that released February 4, 2014. I have a really soft spot for Terry because she was the first debut author I interviewed when I began blogging here about three years ago and her debut book, DOGLSED DREAMS was released. ICE DOGS is a fantastic story about 14-year-old outdoor girl Vicky rescuing Chris, who just moved there from the city, and getting lost in the wilderness. I read this in those cold, snowy days in the beginning of January and really appreciated being indoors. But I loved reading about the adventure of being totally in nature away from civilization that Terry so vividly paints for us. And the relationship that develops between Vicky and Chris is so sweet and natural.
HERE for more details.
HERE for more details.
The winner of my Favorites Giveaway Hop is Aimee Nelson who chose INTO THE STILL BLUE.
The winner of THE JUNCTION OF SUNSHINE AND LUCKY is Crystal Collier!
Congrats! E-mail me your address so I can send you your book. Please e-mail me by the end of Wednesday or I'll have to pick another winner.
Here’s a description from Goodreads:
Author Terry Lynn Johnson is a musher herself and her crackling writing puts readers at the reins as Victoria and Chris experience setbacks, mistakes, and small triumphs in their wilderness adventure.
Hi Terry. Welcome back!
1. For those who don’t know you, tell us a bit about yourself and how you became a writer.
I work as a Conservation Officer in northern Ontario. Before that I worked as a backcountry park ranger in a wilderness park for twelve years and ran my team of eighteen sled dogs in the winter. I spend a lot of time outdoors! I started writing nonfiction articles for outdoor magazines before I wrote my first mg fiction, Dogsled Dreams in 2009. I’ve been writing fiction for young readers ever since.
2. And I know you tap into all your experiences in the outdoors in writing your stories. Of all Vicky’s dogs, Bean was my favorite. Did you have a dog like him? And I loved how the dogs have their own personalities. Share what personal experiences you drew on in developing them as characters and in showing Vicky’s relationship with them.
I love Bean too! Yes, he’s a lot like my old leader, Apollo. In real life – I got turned around one day in a
For the rest of the dogs in the story, I borrowed different personality quirks from the dogs I’ve known over the years. In the story, Dorset loves her straw. In real life, one of my dogs had a party in her doghouse every time it was Fresh Straw Day, tossing straw in the air and rolling in it, grunting with pleasure.
It was important to me to show the close relationship between a musher and her dogs in the story, so I’m thrilled with this question. Thank you!
3. You did a really good job of showing the sweet relationship Vicky has with her dogs. Vicky’s dad had a huge influence on her. And you did a great job weaving what happened to him into the story vs. just telling us at beginning of the story. It is a great example of showing vs. telling. Do you have any tips on weaving things like that into our stories?
I never feel qualified to give writing tips because each book I write differently and I’m always amazed I finished it. But one thing I do each time is try to keep questions in the readers mind. Adding answers slowly throughout the story is one way of rewarding a reader.
4. That’s a great tip. I loved the natural development of Vicky’s and Chris’ relationship through their ordeal of being lost. Share a bit how you developed their relationship and any challenges you faced in writing it.
That was the fun part to write because their characters played against each other so well. Vicky was a little rougher in my first draft, and that was a challenge to try and address my crit partner’s concerns but still keep her true nature. But the biggest challenge came at the end of the story. What kind of relationship do they have? What do they each get out of it? What happens next? These are the questions I struggled to get right.
5. It seems like quite a while since I first heard that you sold ICE DOGS. What’s been the timeline since the sale of the book?
It sold in fall 2011, and it was slated for release fall 2013. Normally it’s about two years from contract to release. The publisher has Ice Dogs in their fall 2013 catalogue. It was explained to me that it’s still considered a fall release, but just at the end of their season.
6. Yes, I guess it’s a typical publication schedule. It just feels long when you’re waiting to read a book. Vicky is 14. It’s an age we don’t see that often in books maybe because it’s hard to classify as MG or YA. But I think it’s a major year for kids that there should be stories about. Are you and your publisher marketing this as a MG or YA book and why?
You ask the most thoughtful questions that get straight to the core of things! I agree, that seems to be a tough age for the industry to know what to do with. Vicky’s age changed a few times in the revision process with my agent and then with my editor just for that reason. I seem to write along that tricky line between the two. The publisher decided it was upper MG, and to be honest, I didn’t hear why exactly. I do think my writing style has something to do with it. I think not just the age, but the tone of the story dictates the category.
7. I never thought about the tone also guiding the age range a book is marketed to, but that makes sense. How are you spreading the word about ICE DOGS? Has your approach to marketing changed at all since your debut and if so, how?
I hired Blue Slip Media and they’ve been fantastic. Since I work full time, I didn’t have much time to spend on researching where to promote. They work with my publicist at HMH who has also been super supportive. They’re a great team for the book. The only thing I did that I also did for my first book was contact dogsled race organizers and offer a copy of the book to the race. That’s a niche market that I know.
8. I think it’s a great idea to hire a company or book blog reviewer to set up a blog schedule. What are you working on now?
I’ve just started a fun MG tentatively called Sled Dog School which follows three friends on their adventures.
Thanks for sharing all your advice, Terry. You can find Terry at:
Terry has generously offered a signed copy of ICE DOGS for a giveaway. To enter, all you need to do is be a follower (just click the follow button if you’re not a follower) and leave a comment through March 1st. I’ll announce the winner on March 3rd. If your e-mail is not on your Google Profile, please leave it in the comments.
If you mention this contest on Twitter, Facebook, or your blog, mention this in the comments and I'll give you an extra entry. You must be 13 or older to enter. This is for US/Canada only.
Marvelous Middle Grade Monday was started by Shannon Messenger. You can find all the participating blogs HERE.
Here’s what’s coming up:
On Wednesday I’m interviewing debut author Gayle Rosengren and giving away a copy of her middle grade historical novel WHAT THE MOON SAID. It’s about a girl moving from Chicago to farmland Wisconsin during the Great Depression.
Next Monday, I’m interviewing a college student who blogs and is an aspiring writer and giving away a copy of PANIC, a YA contemporary, ELUSION, a YA dystopian, or HALF BAD, a YA Urban fantasy, and THE SHADOW THRONE, the final book in THE FALSE PRINCE series by Jennifer Nielsen that I love.
The following Monday I’m interviewing Natalie Lloyd and giving away an ARC of A SNICKER OF MAGIC, a contemporary magical realism MG story I loved. The characters are so well developed and the setting is a vivid, small town set in Tennessee. This is one of my favorite reads of 2014.
And Wednesday that week I’m interviewing follower Kelly Polak and giving away ROCK 'N' ROLL PRINCESSES WEAR BLACK, her new MG contemporary story.
Friday that week I’ll be participating in the Lucky is Reading Giveaway Hop. I’ll have lots of new YA releases to choose from.
And don’t forget Casey’s Agent Spotlights.
Hope to see you on Wednesday!