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Thursday, March 21, 2013

Interview and Giveaway: Sally Harris

Today Sally Harris is stopping by the March MG Madness to talk about her hilarious book Diary of a Penguin-napper. And you can win an ebook copy!

Diary of a Penguin-napper
Sally Harris
Frankly Books
Purchase: Amazon / Smashwords

3 weeks ...

2 boys ...
1 little penguin ...What could possibly go wrong?
When 11 (and a half) year old Marty is partnered up with Jessica on the overnight science trip, he thinks all of this dreams are about to come true. It's his big chance to impress the most beautiful girl in Year 7 (and probably the world) and he wouldn't miss it for anything.
Only problem is: Marty can't afford to go on the overnight trip. 
Inspired by the urban myth that it is possible to steal a penguin from the zoo on a school visit, Diary of a Penguin-napper is a hilarious tale of growing up, bending the rules and how one big fuss can be caused by stealing just one little penguin.

What three words best describe DIARY OF A PENGUIN-NAPPER?
FunnyGiggleworthy. Hilarious! Page-turner. Penguin-thievery.
Can you give us your best one sentence pitch to convince readers (especially reluctant readers) why they should give DIARY OF A PENGUIN-NAPPER a try?
There are short chapters, laughes, cartoon pictures and lots of elephant poo - Diary of a Penguin-napper is totally for you!
Grab a copy of DIARY OF A PENGUIN-NAPPER and answer the following:
Favorite chapter?
That would have to be Chapter 17.  Let’s just say there is a great moment involving a pygmy hippopotamus!  How many authors can say that about their book?
Favorite page?
The first one! (I’ve read it so much that I think I know it off by heart!)
Favorite character?
That’s a tough one.  I’d probably have to say Marty.  I love his single-minded focus, creative attempts to problem solve and his perseverance. He keeps on going long after the rest of us would probably have given up!
Flip to a random page and give us 1-2 sentence teaser:
Penguin poop. Almost every surface of the bathroom was covered in penguin poop.
Why did you decide to write a middle-grade book? What do you love about writing middle-grade?
As a teacher, I’ve found that students often become disengaged with reading in the middle years, particularly if they find reading difficult.  They want to be reading what they see as ‘proper novels’ but there aren’t many books that cater for the reluctant reader AND look like books that other kids of that age would be reading.  That really inspired me to write Diary of a Penguin-napper. I really wanted to cater for that group of readers.I love writing for middle grade readers because they like to laugh and be entertained.  And I like to laugh and be entertained. So it is pretty much a perfect match!
Why do you think middle-grade is such a popular and important category of books?
Middle grade is such an important and popular category of books because it is, in my opinion, where readers really become readers.  It is that step between being a confident young adult reader and learning to read as a child.  It is where independent reading really takes off and readers begin to form opinions about which authors and books they really like.  It is so important that books aimed at middle grade readers really capture their imagination and inspires them to keep reading into adulthood.
What is your all time favorite middle-grade book?
Right now, I’ve just fallen back in love with Roald Dahl’s Matilda.  It’s my absolute favourite.  Although it is hard to pick just one Roald Dahl book!
Who is your favorite middle-grade hero and heroine?
I adore Hermione Granger as a heroine in this age group.  She is so well developed as a character and really represents bright girls so beautifully.  I love dressing up as her during Book Week celebrations at school.  As for a hero, I’m loving August Pullman in Wonder. He is so entirely unique that he has stayed with me long after I finished the book.
Your characters commit a bit of penguin-napping, so I gotta ask: if you could get away with it, what kind of animal would you kidnap from the zoo?
If I knew that I could get away with it, I think I’d probably go for an elephant.  A small one, because I live on the third floor of an apartment block, and I wouldn’t want to disturb the neighbours..
Fill in the blanks:
I'm really awesome at
cutting and pasting. As a teacher that is very important!
I'm really embarrassed to admit that 
I can’t whistle. I’ve been trying to learn for about 20 years and still can’t do it.
If I could be best friends with any book character it would be 
Andy in the ‘Just’ series by Andy Griffiths. Life would never be dull with him around!
My favorite middle-grade curse word or expletive is 
Far out Brussels sprout!
The last great book I read was 
The One and Only Ivan.
If you were to create and bake a cupcake inspired by DIARY OF A PENGUIN-NAPPER, what would it look and taste like, and what would you call it?
It would be a vanilla cupcake with sea-salted caramel pieces, peaks of blue icing and a bemused fondant penguin on each one.

Sally Harris
Site / Goodreads / Twitter / Facebook
Sally Harris is a 28-year-old teacher and author of Diary of a Penguin-napper. She lives in Melbourne and when she’s not writing, you can find her blogging, dancing, drinking chai lattes, reading children's books and scouring the paper for unlikely news articles to turn into exciting fiction. Sally loves animals, including penguins, and if she can't have one of those as a pet, a dog would be the next best thing. 

Win an ebook copy of
Diary of a Penguin-napper!
Sally Harris has generously offered up one ebook copy of her funny book.
-will end 3/31
-one main entry per person, must be 13+
-winner will be emailed and must claim prize within 48 hours
Fill out Rafflecopter form


Brenda said...

I love the description about why middle grade is such an important category of readers. Diary of a Penguin Knapper looks like it will be a humorous read.

Mary Preston said...

This looks like a book my daughter & I can enjoy together.