Friday, January 11, 2013

Splashing about new books...

Bees love flowers, and I love books! In 2012, I buzzed about new books and authors to celebrate my picture book THESE BEES COUNT! This year my new picture book out in March is all about caring for our seas and oceans: THESE SEAS COUNT! illustrated by Sarah Snow and published by Albert Whitman & Company.

It's January and it may be cold where you live, but it's always nice to spend time at the beach. And it's always time for a great new book, or two, or three... 

Today's splash is all about author Anna Staniszewski and her humorous middle grade fantasy series. Her new book is My Epic Fairy Tale Fail (Book 2 in the My Very Unfairy Tale Life series). Such a fun cover!

The first book in the series is one you don't want to skip. It you haven't read it yet, check out MY VERY UNFAIRY TALE LIFE.

The splash on the author...Anna Staniszewski was born in Poland and raised in the United States and grew up loving stories in both Polish and English. She was named the 2006-2007 Writer-in-Residence at the Boston Public Library and a winner of the 2009 PEN New England Susan P. Bloom Discovery Award. Currently, Anna lives outside of Boston, Mass. with her husband and their adopted black Labrador, Emma. When she's not writing, Anna spends her time teaching, reading, and challenging unicorns to games of hopscotch. 

The splash on Anna and her new book, 

Can you share a favorite beach memory?
Last year, my husband and I went on a cruise that stopped in Cozumel, Mexico for a day. We did a tour that brought us to a gorgeous beach where we donned flippers and snorkels and swam right out to a reef. It was amazing to swim through the warmest ocean water I'd ever been in (while our tour guide complained about how cold it was--he'd clearly never been to New England!) and be surrounded by such breathtaking marine life. The afternoon was relaxing and just perfect.

If you were an ocean creature, what would you be and why?
I think I'd like to be a sea anemone, partly because they look like underwater flowers, and partly because "anemone" is such a fun word to say.

Are seas or oceans part of your new book in any way?
Yes! The opening scene of My Epic Fairy Tale Fail takes place on a tiny island, right in the middle of a mermaid battle. The main character, Jenny, finds herself surrounded by angry mermaids who catapult sea sponges and starfish at each other. Here's a tip for you: Stay upwind of mermaids. They smell like a bucket of old fish.

Does your main character enjoy, live near, or visit the ocean? 
I must say that after her encounter with the mermaids, Jenny isn't a huge fan of hanging out near the ocean anymore. 

Would Jenny be adventurous enough to do a deep sea dive?
Absolutely. Jenny is an adventurer which means she goes off on daring missions all the time. If there was a magical crisis deep in the ocean, she'd sigh, make a snarky comment, and dive right in.

Taking care of our seas is important to me and the students in my book, THESE SEAS COUNT! What causes are important to you besides writing for children and or young adults?
I'm kind of a nut when it comes to animals. My family adopted a retired racing greyhound when I was in high school (he was the sweetest creature) and now my husband and I have an adopted black Lab. I know puppies and kittens are adorable, but I wish more people adopted adult animals. They are fantastic pets and really need homes.

If you could create a spectacular sand sculpture on a beach, what would you build?
Well, I'm a total Star Wars nerd, so probably a star destroyer. Maybe a life-sized one. :-)

Time to catch a wave...
Thanks, Anna!


Anna Staniszewski said...

Thank you so much for having me, Alison!

Tom Franklin said...

Anna -- someone is building a life-sized replica of the Millennium Falcon! Have you seen this?

The builder has been interviewed on NPR and a friend of mine who has a drive-time radio show in Indy interviewed him as well. It's quite the project.

-- Tom

Alison Ashley Formento said...

Wow! Thanks for sharing that link, Tom. A full-size sand sculpted Millennium Falcon would be cool to see, too.

Anna Staniszewski said...

Wowza. Tom, that is incredible!

Jody said...

Great interview, Alison and Anna. Congratulations to both of you on your successes!