I'm thrilled to have Dorothy A. Winsor stopping by today to chat about her exciting new middle-grade,
by Dorothy A. Winsor
September 12, 2015
Twelve-year-old Cade is lucky—or cursed—enough to be a Finder, someone who senses the presence of precious heart stones. When Mum, who's also a Finder, is seized to work in the hellish heart stone mines, Cade's older brother wants him out of the path of anyone who might spot his "talent" and send him too to the mines. But first, they have to search the city to find and free Mum.
Unfortunately odd things are happening in the city as it approaches its big New Year celebration, when the calendar will turn to the year 4000. The old prophets say that on New Year's Eve, the world will descend into fire, earthquake, and plague, with the worst of it in the city, the center of the world.
Cade hides his talent, searches for Mum, and dodges a girl thief, who tells him that disaster can be averted if a dozen heart stones are placed in the temple at the city's center. Won't Cade to help her find and steal them from miners' houses? Danger presses from all sides—miners, the Watch, fever, fire, and possibly the thief herself. And where, oh where, is Mum?
What three words best describe your book, Finders Keepers?
Intense. Quirky. Whole-hearted.
Can you give us your best one sentence pitch to convince readers, especially reluctant readers, to give Finders Keepers a try?
Can I give you a 140-character twitter pitch instead?
Boy senses presence of heart stones. Girl recruits him to steal some. World ends at New Year if they fail. Boy also rescues mother. Tricky.
Grab a copy of Finders Keeper and answer the following:
favorite chapter? #13: For Family (Cade's teenaged brother is sick enough to die.)
favorite page? #16. (Cade's mother is being taken by the City Watch.)
favorite setting? A thief gang's headquarters in the sewers
flip to a random page and give us a 1-2 sentences teaser: "We stopped while Shan ran her gaze over walls, windows, roof, everything. If she looked at my house like that, I'd expect to come home to find even the cobwebs missing."
What inspired Finders Keepers? How did the story come to be?
Believe it or not, I heard a voice in my head saying, "I'm not a thief. Not really. The thing I take doesn't belong to the people I take it from. Of course, it doesn't belong to the people I take it for either."
Can you tell us a bit about your hero, Cade? What makes him special and interesting?
Cade is my favorite kind of character to write about. He's a kid with good intentions and inexperienced judgment, which means he can get into trouble, especially since he has no adult to turn to. For a writer, no trouble means no story. He's small for his age, but he's tougher than he looks, which I'd like to think could be true of a lot of us.
In Finders Keepers, Finders sense heart stones...if you could be a real-life Finder, what would you always want to be able to find?
The people I love.
As a writer of middle-grade fiction, why do you think MG literature is so important and popular?
Kids need stories. They need to be entertained, yes. But more than that, they need stories that help them try out various feelings, actions, and roles in life. They rehearse being the people they want to become. There's some evidence that reading fiction builds empathy. That wouldn't surprise me at all.
What is the BEST thing about being an author?
I never get lonely. I always have my characters to talk to.
Fill in the blanks:
I’m really awesome at making brownies. Seriously. Friends beg me to make them.
I’m really embarrassed to admit that I don't enjoy most music. Apparently, it's a recognized brain condition, called anhedonia, that affects about 2% of the population. Still, it makes me feel weird.
The last great book I read was Stephen King's Misery. Believe it or not, I'd never read this before, and I was so struck not just by the horrifying plot but by what he has to say about writing.
If you were to bake a cupcake inspired by Finders Keepers, what would it look and taste like, and what would you call it?
It would have to be chocolate because that's the only flavor worth eating. It would have a big candy heart buried in the middle because Cade is searching for heart stones. The top would have candy rats prancing all over the frosting to show what Cade has to battle his way through. It would be called The Trickster's Treat.
Thank you so much for stopping by, Dorothy!
Dorothy A. Winsor is originally from Detroit but moved to Iowa in 1995. She still blinks when she sees a cornfield outside her living room window. For about a dozen years, she taught technical writing at Iowa State University and served as the editor of the Journal of Business and Technical Communication. Before that, she taught for ten years at GMI Engineering & Management Institute (now Kettering). She's won six national awards for outstanding research on the communication practices of engineers. She lives with her husband, who engineers tractors, and has one son, the person who first introduced her to the pleasure of reading fantasy. Finders Keepers is her first novel.
Win a copy of Finders Keepers!
Dorothy has generously offered up one paperback or ebook copy of her book.
-winner can choose paperback or ebook
(paperback is US only, ebook is open to anyone)
please read all rules below rafflecopter
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