Upcoming Agent Spotlight Interviews & Guest Posts

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Happy Wednesday Everyone! Today I’m beyond thrilled to have one of my favorite authors, Lauren Oliver, here to help celebrate the release of THE SCREAMING STATUE, book 2 in her MG The Curiosity House series. And her co-author H.C. Chester is here too! The series sounds fantastic, and I can’t wait to start it.

Here’s a blurb from Goodreads

In this second book in the exceptional Curiosity House series by bestselling author Lauren Oliver and shadowy recluse H. C. Chester, four extraordinary children must avenge their friend’s death, try to save their home, and unravel the secrets of their past . . . before their past unravels them.

Pippa, Sam, Thomas, and Max are happy to be out of harm’s way now that the notorious villain Nicholas Rattigan is halfway across the country in Chicago. But unfortunately their home, Dumfreys’s Dime Museum of Freaks, Oddities, and Wonders, is in danger of closing its doors forever.

But their troubles only get worse. The four friends are shocked when their beloved friend, famous sculptor Siegfried Eckleberger, is murdered. As they investigate, they find clues that his death may be tied to the murder of a rich and powerful New York heiress, as well as to their own pasts.

Hi Lauren and Chester! Thanks so much for joining us. And Lauren, I am so excited and honored that you’re on my blog.

These questions are for Lauren:

1. I read how you got the idea for this series and the challenges of contacting H.C. Chester to collaborate with you. Share about this came about. It’s such an interesting story.

A few years ago, I was in Paris  with my dad when we came upon a set of weird antique postcards
being sold at one of the bouquinistes (book stalls) along the Seine. They all purported to show bizarre exhibits that had once belonged to the same museum: Mr. Dumfrey's Dime Museum of Freaks, Oddities, and Marvels.  I was immediately enthralled. I tracked down information about the long-shuttered museum and found that many of the original collections had gone into private hands, and that a large concentration of the strange antiques were owned by one H.C. Chester. And the rest, as they say, is history. 

2. You’re an incredibly talented writer who has written MG, YA, and adult stories. Share what you find unique about writing for a MG audience and a few tips for aspiring authors.

Thank you! What I love about writing for middle grade is the immense imaginative freedom it affords you as an author. Kids will follow you anywhere, absolutely anywhere, as long as they can be made to believe. And I love being able to be humorous, which is something I don't always get to do in my teen and adult books.

3. You have three main characters—Philippa, Sam, and Thomas—from THE SHRUNKEN HEAD, the first book in the series, and are introducing us to Max in your new book. Is one of them your favorite and why?
Max actually shows up in the first book too! Truthfully, I love them all for different reasons. One of the reasons I was so excited about this series is because it gave me the opportunity to write a true ensemble. 

4. Marketing can be challenging, especially for middle grade books and if the author is not as well-known as you. What advice do you have for newer authors trying to promote their MG books?

Believe me, it's challenging for me too! I do a ton of school visits. Grassroots, boots-on-the-ground, whatever you want to call it: the key is getting to where the kids are.

This question is for H.C. Chester

1. From reading about you, I know you value your privacy and are fairly reclusive. What was it like working with Lauren on this book and why did you feel it was important to share this story with the world?

To address the initial part of your query first: Ms. Oliver proved so delightful to work with that, were it not for my lifelong and instinctive aversion to interacting with other human beings, I might, in the future, be tempted to enter into a collaboration with another writer, though I very much doubt it. 
As for your second interrogatory: I confess that it was Ms. Oliver who persuaded me that the saga of the four extraordinary child performer's of Dumfrey's Dime Museum deserved to be shared with a wider audience. Had it not been for her highly persuasive powers, I would have reserved the story exclusively for the entertainment of my most treasured and appreciative audience. I refer of course to my faithful companion, Trudy. 

I also get to interview one of the characters in Lauren’s series. My character is Thomas, also known as The Rubber Band Boy.

Hi Thomas! Thanks for stopping by!
Thank you for having me.

1. How did you get the name The Rubber Band Boy?

Oh, well, it was Caroline and Quinn--the albino twins--who came up with it, likely because I'm just a little...twistier than other people.

2. Which one of the other kids living with you in the Curiosity House is your best friend and why?

Probably Pippa (but don't tell her I told you). 

3. I’ve read that you love adventure. Share a bit about one of your favorite adventures.

Well, one time one of Mrs. Groenevelt's cats, Barnaby, got stuck in a storm gutter, wedged in one of the smallest pipes. Sam ripped the iron cover right off and I shimmied down and managed to squeeze into the pipe and coax Barnaby out with tuna flakes. That was exciting.

You can find more information about this series at TheCuriosityHouse.com

Yesterday's blog stop was at Kiditerati
Tomorrow's blog stop is MiddleGradeNinja.

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday was started by Shannon Messenger. You can find the participating
blogs on her blog.

Lauren Oliver has generously offered a copy of THE SHRUNKEN HEAD, the first book in this series, and a deck of the Curiosity House card deck 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 April 30thIf your e-mail is not on your Google Profile, you must leave it in the comments to enter the contest.

If you mention this contest on Twitter, Facebook, or your blog, mention this in the comments and I'll give you an extra entry. This giveaway is for U.S.

Here's what's coming up:

Next Monday I have a guest post with debut author Tobie Easton and her agent Jennifer Unter and a critique giveaway by Jennifer and a giveaway of EMERGE, Tobie's YA contemporary fantasy.

On Saturday next week I'm participating in the Children's Book Week Giveaway Hop.

Monday the next week I have a guest post by debut author Janet Taylor and a giveaway of her YA magical realism WANDERING WILD

Wednesday that week editor L. Diane Wolfe from Lemur Press and Freedom Fox Press will be doing a guest post with a five page critique

The following Monday I have an interview with debut author Roshani Chokshi and a giveaway of her YA multicultural fantasy THE STAR-TOUCHED QUEEN

Hope to see you on Monday!


cleemckenzie said...

I love the kids at work to solve a mystery before something "gets" them! Congratulations to Lauren on her book.

Carina Olsen said...

Such a gorgeous post Natalie :D Thank you for sharing. <3 Love the interview. I liked book one, but not sure if I wish to read the sequel or not. Ack. But maybe :D

abnormalalien said...

Hmm, a mysterious and reclusive coauthor adds a bit to the intrigue. The premise and characters sound engaging and unique as well.

abnormalalien said...

Hmm, a mysterious and reclusive coauthor adds a bit to the intrigue. The premise and characters sound engaging and unique as well.

Stephen Tremp said...

You have to have a catchy phrase and I love "unravel the secrets of their past . . . before their past unravels them." Well done!

Kaye Baillie said...

Really enjoyed this interview. I'm off to find this book. And I love the reclusive H.C. I respect the aversion.:)

finnthefearless said...

These books sound awesome! Thanks for another inspiring interview. finnthefearless(at)gmail(dot)com

Danielle H. said...

I love Lauren's writing and can't wait for her middle grade books to read. I shared on tumblr: http://yesreaderwriterpoetmusician.tumblr.com/post/143188772852/literary-rambles-lauren-oliver-interview-and-the

Anonymous said...

The Screaming Statue sound amazing and I love the cover. Fantastic interview.

StacyRenee said...

I recently got my hands on the first book and can't wait to read them both!

Christine Rains said...

Such a fun interview! I love the concept for the books and where Lauren got her inspiration from.

Unknown said...

With a setting name like "Dumfreys’s Dime Museum of Freaks, Oddities, and Wonders," how could the books be anything less than eerily delightful?! Wishing Lauren & HC much success!

Videoclimber said...

Can't wait to start this series. GFC Tia

videoclimber AT yahoo DOT com

Vanessa Morgan said...

I really love the name "The Rubber Band Boy". What an original and striking idea.

jpetroroy said...

I love her books!

DMS said...

What an exciting interview! I especially enjoyed hearing what she likes about writing for the MG crowd. So lucky for us to get a chance to win a copy of the first book in the series! I have read other books by Lauren, but I haven't started this series yet. Thanks so much!

Natasha said...

Great interview!
This series sounds amazing!
Thanks for the chance to win!
natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com