Saturday, 30 July 2011
Author Interview: Dalya Moon
Charlie Woodchuck is the most minor of niners. She’s the youngest girl at Snowy Cove High School, and so clueless, she wore leg warmers and acid-wash jeans on her first day. Big mistake! Almost as big a mistake as signing up for a boys-only shop class.
Just when she thinks the first week of high school can't get any weirder, Charlie discovers she may be adopted. According to the genetics section in her Science textbook, her eyes should be blue, not brown.
Before she graduates from the ninth grade, the girl with the boy's name and the wrong eye color will have to use her detective skills to discover her true identity. She'll use power tools to build fantastical wood creations, and before the year ends, she'll have to face down the biggest bullies of all: the all-powerful members of Snowy Cove’s School Board.
Q) What made you want to set Charlie Woodchuck is a Minor Niner in the '80s?
A) The simple answer is I grew u8p in the '80s, and when I started writing the story, I decided to literally "write what I know." It also helped that everywhere I look today, the '80s are back. I go into clothing stores and see all the wonderful striped t-shirts I would have swooned over as a teen.
Some people suggested I move the story up to contemporary times, but I felt some of the larger issues wouldn't have worked. The times are always changing. When I was in high school, girls weren't permitted to take shop class. By the time my sister went through, they were. She made some lovely little salt and pepper shakers, and I was always a little envious I never had the chance. Who knows, maybe I'd be a furniture designer today!
Q) Is Charlie Woodchuck based on you in anyway?
A) Not really. The big issues Charlie faces are not from my own life at all. However, some of the little details are, like for example, staying over at a friend's house and having some small fight over breakfast cereal and then wanting to return home early.
Q) Who was your favourite character to write?
A) I love them all, of course, but Stacy Milani is very special to me. There's a scene were she mispronounces the word bedraggled as "bed-raggled" and that just cracks me up. I have to credit to my friend Jared, who actually made that mistake in real life and was sweet enough to let me make fun of him.
Q) What made you want to write for Middle-grade and Young-adult age group?
A) I didn't set out specifically to write for any market; this book was just the story that came to me. I'm now on my third novel, and they've all been about teens. Maybe this means I'm young at heart!
Q) When you write is there something you have to have near you? For example a cup of coffee or a dictionary.
A) Why, are you offering? I'll have a big coffee, with cream, thanks. :-)
But seriously, I like to have a clean, uncluttered space when I'm writing, so my desk is basically the worst place. I do, however, have an inspiration wall next to me, filled with beautiful postcards and notes to myself. When I hear or read something inspiring, or a great writing tip, I write it on an index card and add it to the wall. Once, when I wasn't looking, my friend stuck up a card reading "Adverbs are o.k."
Q) For you what is the most rewarding aspect of writing?
A) It's hard to pick just one thing. I love to flip back and forth through my hand-written first drafts, admiring all those hours converted to pages. I love that I'm never bored, because even if I'm waiting in a line somewhere, I can think about my current novel plot and characters. Most of all, I'm grateful for the new friends I've made at conferences and workshops. Most other writers are sensitive, interesting, and more than happy to provide a little encouragement.
Being a new author, I've not yet done a book signing or met my readers, but I can imagine what a thrill that would be. I suppose if someone told me he or she was moved or inspired by my work, or even laughed a few times, my heart would explode with happiness.
Thank you so much Dalya for taking time to answer my questions and be a guest here on the blog.