Fuse #8

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Blog Tour '07: Tracie Zimmer

I don't go about participating in blog tours for just any old author, y'know. In the case of Tracie Zimmer, however, I'm happy to do what I can. Having read her newest creation Reaching for Sun (review pending) I felt mighty obliged to help her out when she told me she'd be engaging in a blog tour of her own particular stripe. Monday it was Jo Knowles doing the honors. Tuesday was MotherReader, of course. March 6th was Little Willow's Slayground (no one ever said a blogtour had to be linear, after all). Wednesday was with Newbery Honor-winner (and recent Central Children's Room visitee) Cynthia Lord. And today? Today is with moi. Here's the quick and dirty low down.

F#8: I confess that I've a penchant for covers and it seems to me that Bloomsbury pulled out all the stops with your book. Did you have any say-so? Did other covers come up?

TZ: We all knew this was it as soon as we saw it- everybody in the office felt the same way about it. No hesitation. I love her.

F#8: Your previous work was a book of poetry. Poetry also crops up
nicely in "Reaching for Sun". Any particular poets you admire? Why the connection to the artform?

TZ: My first literary kiss was poetry. I have always, always loved it best. Lately I feel like I've been cheating on her while I work in prose for the first time.

F#8: The main character in your book has cerebral palsy. You, meanwhile, have worked with kids with developmental disabilities in the past. Obviously this would have helped you write the book to some degree, but was there any way in which your connection to these kids
made the book difficult to write?

TZ: I wanted to protect her just like I did my students from bullies and misunderstandings and from her own mistakes. My editor really nudged (shoved?) me into writing the winter section so we could see Josie's life before Jordan enters.

F#8: So when future generations discuss your book, who would you love to find yourself mentioned in the same breath with? Which is to say, who are some of the authors you particularly admire?

TZ: Katherine Paterson, Cynthia Rylant, Karen Hesse, Linda Sue Park, Valerie Worth, Marilyn Nelson, Ralph Fletcher, Shannon Hale... I could go on forever.

F#8: Good old land development usually stands in for a book's villain 9
times out of 10. I found "Reaching for Sun" was one of the few books where something good comes out of the bad. Have you had any particular connections to developments of this kind in the past?

TZ: Where I used to live, in Tidewater, Virginia, I saw lots of these little post WWII homes being dwarfed by McMansions. It really makes me think a lot about why my generation doesn't ever seem to be satisfied with what we have like our grandparents seemed to be.

F#8: What are you reading right now?

TZ: Hattie Big Sky, Today at the Bluebird Café and over spring break- A Drowned Maiden's Hair (a splurge based on blog recommendations!) I have ten ARC's piled up awaiting teacher guides too...

F#8: I've discovered that many people seriously dislike being asked this, but I'm going through with it anyway. What are you working on right now?

TZ: I just sent off an historical fiction novel (in prose) to Melanie Cecka. I'm trying not to make my fingertips too bloody waiting for the revision letter. I've also been revising poetry manuscripts for Clarion that come out next year. Squabbling over words at this point, which is always fun!!

F#8: And just out of my own curiosity, what questions do you find the most difficult to answer in interviews?

TZ: Ones about individual threads in the book but it has been interesting to dissect my own process and visit with these characters who mean so much to me.

Beautiful. Be sure to visit Tracie at her website and blog to say nothing of her upcoming book, if'n you happen to get a chance.

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At 8:07 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great interview questions (and interesting answers, too!).

At 10:13 AM , Blogger Little Willow said...

Great interview, great interviewee, and agreed, great cover. SO fitting.

At 7:24 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for participating in Tracie's blog tour. She's one hot ticket - a voice that will endure.

-Kyra Teis


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