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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

(M MG M) Interview and Giveaway- Joanne Levy

I want to thank Joanne Levy for being a part of the March MG Madness and for stopping by to answer a few of my questions. Joanne is the author of the upcoming MG book Small Medium at Large, which will be coming out this summer from Bloomsbury!

After she’s hit by lightning at a wedding, twelve-year-old Lilah Bloom develops a new talent: she can hear dead people. Among them, there’s her overopinionated Bubby Dora; a prissy fashion designer; and an approval-seeking clown who livens up a séance. With Bubby Dora leading the way, these and other sweetly imperfect ghosts haunt Lilah through seventh grade, and help her face her one big fear: talking to—and possibly going to the seventh-grade dance with—her crush, Andrew Finkel. 


Q. What three words best describe your MG novel Small Medium at Large?
 Ghosts, Bras, Boys

Q. In one sentence, tell readers why they should read your book…c’mon, really sell it!
SMALL MEDIUM AT LARGE isn’t just another ghost story, it’s a HILARIOUS ghost story, complete with lightning strikes, rock stars, boys, mean girls, dances, boys (oh, did I mention that?) fashion shows, meddling dead grandmothers and, yep, you know it: boys.

Q. Now, using as many sentences as you’d like, could you tell us a bit more about Small Medium at Large?
 Here’s the official blurb and I’m not sure I can do much better myself:After she’s hit by lightning at a wedding, twelve-year-old Lilah Bloom develops a new talent: she can hear dead people. Among them, there’s her over-opinionated Bubby Dora; a prissy fashion designer; and an approval-seeking clown who livens up a séance. With Bubby Dora leading the way, these and other sweetly imperfect ghosts haunt Lilah through seventh grade, and help her face her one big fear: talking to—and possibly going to the seventh-grade dance with—her crush, Andrew Finkel

Q. Why Middle Grade Fiction…why did you choose to write MG fiction and what do you love best about reading and writing MG?
 I actually didn’t choose MG! This book was originally written as a YA, but a very wise editor thought my voice would work well for a younger audience. I guess she was right. ;-D
As for what I love about MG now that I’m reading and writing it - it’s SO fun to write. There are no limits to kids’ imaginations at this age and I love just letting my brain loose and writing stuff that, as an adult, I kind of think is crazy, but really works in this genre.  And I also am very much in awe at the diversity of the books in this genre – from novels in verse like Caroline Starr Rose’s MAY B. to Tess Hilmo’s beautiful WITH A NAME LIKE LOVE, to funny and adventurous books like Sarvenaz Tash’s THE MAPMAKER AND THE GHOST, which releases in April – so much great stuff out there!

Q. Why do you think MG appeals to such a wide audience, from very young readers to adults like you and I?
 Like I said above, I think it’s the limitless possibilities within the genre. And aren’t we all are looking for stories about people finding their way in the world, even if it means their world is different than ours? It’s that basic human need of seeing where you fit in and finding out who you are, that is the hallmark of middle grade fiction. And no one ever quite outgrows those feelings, do they?

Q. What’s your current favorite MG book? Your favorite MG book of all time?
 Lynne Kelly’s upcoming CHAINED is a beautiful book about a young elephant keeper and the elephant he trains. This book busted up my heart and then put it back together again. I can’t wait until it releases in May so the world can enjoy it! My favorite MG of all time...hmmm. That’s tough, but as a nice Canadian girl, I think I have to say ANNE OF GREEN GABLES. I re-read it as an adult recently as research for a blog post I wrote ( – if you’re interested) and I got so much out of reading it again; it’s SO heart-warming and the humor in it is even funnier as a grown-up. I think that’s why it stands the test of time – readers of ALL ages find great stuff to appreciate in a book like that.

Q. If you could be BFF's with any MG character, who would it be? 
See above – Anne Shirley for sure. We would write things together and act out our stories. But I’m totally going to steal Gilbert from her. I mean, I know he’s already into redheads...

Q. Who’s your favorite MG villain…who do you just love to hate or hate to love? 
Oh, probably the witch from The Chronicles of Narnia – plying poor vulnerable (if spoiled and self-indulgent) boys with sweets and empty promises. She was pure evil.

Q. In Small Medium at Large your character Lilah can hear dead people...what dead person would you love to be able to hear or communicate with?
 My great-grandmother. I knew her (she was 102 or so when she died – she came over from ‘the old country’ without a birth certificate, so no one knew for sure how old she was) but not well enough and never sat down and really talked with her about her life. From all the stories I hear about her, she was an amazing woman, although she never did learn to read English, something I find so hard to wrap my brain around and makes me really think about literacy in a new light. If she was alive now, I would sit and listen to her stories, and then I would read her mine.

Q. If you were to create/bake a Small Medium at Large cupcake, what flavor would it be, or what would it taste like, and what would you call your tasty masterpiece? 
Okay, this is my favorite question! I don’t really want to go the way of thinking about dead people cupcakes, so I’m going to focus on Lilah for this one. Lilah is a very spunky girl, but not in a mean way at all. She just kind of, er...knows a lot. So I think the cupcake flavor would be lemon, not tart lemon, but a refreshing lemon. And the icing would be cream cheese, but not too much, just enough for the richness to complement the lemon (can you tell I’ve given this A LOT of thought?). And I would call it: SASSY PSYCHIC* CITRON! (what do you think? Sound delicious?).

*The psychic part is a misnomer, because Lilah isn’t actually a psychic, but a medium. That said, I didn’t want to have to call it a Sassy Smedium Citron cupcake, because that would be weird.

Be sure to stop by the March MG Madness home post and enter the big month long giveaway to win a box of MG books and swag! You can earn extra entries in the big giveaway by answering a question whose answer can be found in the interview above...go HERE to enter

Find the author: Website / Goodreads / Twitter / Facebook

Purchase: Amazon / B&N / Book Dep

Joanne Levy’s love of books began at a very early age. Being the youngest and the only female among four children, she was often left to her own devices and could frequently be found sitting in a quiet corner with her nose in a book. After much teenage misadventure, Joanne eventually graduated from university and now spends her weekdays as an executive assistant at one of Canada’s big banks planning meetings and thwarting coffee emergencies. When Joanne isn’t working, she can usually be found at her computer, channeling her younger self into books. Joanne still lives in Ontario with her husband and kids of the furred and feathered variety. You can follow Joanne on Twitter or find her on Facebook.

Win a signed Small Medium at Large ARC & bracelets!!!
Joanne Levy has generously offered one (1) ARC and four bracelets to one lucky winner
Giveaway will from from 3/27 -  4/1
There will be one winner
Open to US/CAN only
Fill out the Rafflecopter form to enter
  • Must be 13+ to enter
  • One main entry per person
  • Winner will be emailed and must claim prize within 48 hours
  • I am NOT responsible for lost, stolen or damaged prizes in the mail

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Jess Keating said...

Great interview! Not only do I want to check out your book, the cupcakes sound awesome too! :)

Christina said...

Anne Shirley is definitely a kindred spirit.

Also, I am now hungry. I want one of those cupcakes!

Evie said...

Fabulous interview post! Thanks so much for interviewing Joanne - she's such a doll (and a rock star!) and I can't believe I missed her at the Launch Party for Above (we were supposed to meet and chat, but it was dark and crowded.. and I. Missed. Her T__T booohoooo! Joanne, come back!).

I especially loved her answer to "who would you like to communicate with as a medium" - I love my grandmother and I feel that I don't talk to her nearly as much as I should. Joanne's answer made me realize that and I'm going to change that TODAY. Thanks!
I am looking forward to reading Small Medium at Large! <3

Evie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joanne Levy said...

Thanks for having me today, Aeicha! And Evie - we were like strangers in the night, weren't we? We will meet, for real and I will shower you with gifts because you called me a rock star. ;-) Now go call your grandmother!

Thanks everyone, for your nice words about SMALL MEDIUM AT LARGE - I can't wait to share it with the world!!!

Alicia said...

Great Interview!! Joanne, cannot wait for this book to come out!! YEAH!!

Unknown said...

What a cute book! I would love this for my kids!

Amy said...

Small Medium at Large has been on my TBR list since I first heard about it. It sounds like a very fun book. As for that cupcake, yum!! I love lemon anything so that totally sounds like a cupcake I would devour.

Lolawid said...

Great interview! I hope that it's not the boy ghosts that are wearing the bras... ;o). I, too, love the Anne of Green Gables series and have started sharing them with my girls. Small Medium at Large looks like another book I can share with them! Thanks! (Oh, yes, the cupcake sounds divine. But, then again, I have never met a cupcake I didn't like.)

Unknown said...

I'm really excited to read this. The title is so hilarious and cute, it's easily the first thing that make me curious :D

Oh, the White Witch. Excellent choice. I loved her in the movie adaptation as well. The actress was just perfect for the part :)

Caroline Starr Rose said...

Thanks for the love! Can't wait to read your book. xo

Mandee said...

Can't wait to read Small Medium at Large & cupcakes are NEVER a bad thing!

Joanne Levy said...

Thanks to everyone for your nice words about SMALL MEDIUM AT LARGE-I'm so honored that people are excited to read it.

And an extra special thanks to Aeicha for hosting!

Unknown said...

Love this interview Joanne! I have loved seances and spiritualism and ghosts wince I read this awesome MG book, The Ghost Next Door, way back when I was a kid! I would love to share this w/ my son, and your cupcake sounds delish. Oh, and I recently lost my 94 yr. old grandmother so this line:

"If she was alive now, I would sit and listen to her stories, and then I would read her mine."

really made me smile:) Can't wait to read your book!