I'm very excited to have Sarvenaz Tash stopping by to celebrate the paperback release of her fantabulous middle-grade read The Mapmaker and the Ghost. This was one of my favorite books I read last year (check out my 5 cupcakes review). Sarvenaz talks about why she writes and loves middle-grade, plus you can win a signed copy of the newly released paperback...
The Mapmaker and the Ghost
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Goldenrod Moram loves nothing better than a good quest, so she decides to start her own exploring team fashioned after her idols, the explorers Lewis and Clark. Setting out to map the forest right behind her home, her task is derailed when the team encounters a mysterious old lady, who has them search for a legendary blue rose. And when she stumbles upon none other than the ghost of Meriwether Lewis himself, Goldenrod knows this will be anything but an ordinary summer . . . or an ordinary quest.
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Why I Write (and Love) Middle Grade
In honor of Word Spelunking’s March MG Madness Month, I thought I’d explain why exactly I love to write and love to love middle grade books.
The most obvious reason is that I first fell in love with books when I started reading middle grade. Roald Dahl, Beverly Cleary, Ellen Raskin. Louis Sachar, and Ann M. Martin come clearly to mind whenever I stop and reminisce about my childhood. You know how they say you never get over your first love? I believe that to be true of many things. For me, that includes reading.
I adore writing from the point-of-view of kids, especially kids that are anywhere from 7 to 13 years old. I think it's a magical time, but one that is also rife with conflicts: conflicts that can seem thoroughly epic to someone with limited life experience (and sometimes even thoroughly epic to anybody).
Speaking of magic...ah, magic. I really enjoy writing about fantastical things. The Mapmaker and the Ghost has touches of fantasy but the latest book I'm working on takes place in a whole fantastical world. And let me tell you: it's been SO fun to write. I'm pretty sure I'm going to try writing contemporary MGs at some point too, but--for me--MG lends itself to fantasy so wonderfully. I think it's because the MG audience still believes in bits of magic. The secret is...I do too. I think there are touches of magic all around us and being able to expand upon that in a story...well, I'm not sure how many other audiences will give you the same leeway to do so.
Humor. I love writing it and I never laughed harder as a child than I did when reading a really funny book. I'm not sure I ever lost that silly/slightly mischievous sense of humor. In other words, the average 8-year-old will probably find me funnier than the average 38-year-old. I have accepted this to be true.
The great Madeleine L'Engle once said, "You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children."
And I love writing for children. I really do.
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Sarvenaz Tash was born in Tehran, Iran and grew up on Long Island, NY. She received her BFA in Film and Television from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. This means she got to spend most of college running around and making movies (it was a lot of fun). She has dabbled in all sorts of writing including screenwriting, copywriting, and professional tweeting. THE MAPMAKER AND THE GHOST is her debut novel.
Win a signed, personalized paperback copy of The Mapmaker and the Ghost!
Sarvenaz has generously offered one signed paperback copy of her book to give away.
-will end 3/31
-must be 13+, one free entry per person, winner will be emailed and must claim prize within 48 hours
-Word Spelunking is NOT responsible for lost, damaged, or stolen prizes in the mail
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