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Sunday, March 2, 2014

(MMGM) Terry Lynn Johnson, author of Ice Dogs {Interview and Giveaway}

I'm so excited to have Terry Lynn Johnson stopping by the March MG Madness today to talk about her new book, Ice Dogs! Plus, you can enter to win a copy...

Ice Dogs
by Terry Lynn Johnson
HMH Books for Young Readers

Victoria Secord, a 14-year-old Alaskan dogsled racer, loses her way on a routine outing with her dogs. With food gone and temperatures dropping, her survival, and that of her dogs and the mysterious boy she meets in the woods, is entirely up to her.

Author Terry Lynn Johnson is a musher herself and her crackling writing puts readers at the reins as Victoria and Chris experience setbacks, mistakes, and small triumphs in their wilderness adventure. 

What three words best describe Ice Dogs?

Frosty, Furry, Friendship

Can you give us your best one sentence pitch to convince readers, especially reluctant readers, to give Ice Dogs a try?

I’ll let someone else do it:
“The high-stakes adventure and episodic nature of the chapters will make this book an easy sell for reluctant readers.” – School Library Journal

Grab a copy of Ice Dogs and answer the following:
favorite chapter? Chapter 13
favorite page? Page 203
flip to a random page and give us a 1-2 sentence teaser?

Page 85
He stands in his boot liners with a purple goose egg on his forehead, crusted blood across his eyebrow, and pink woollies that are four sizes too small.
He scratches his butt.

What inspired Ice Dogs? How did the story come to be?

I got lost one day near Thunder Bay Ontario running my own team in a white out. We came to a fork in the trail and I was pretty sure we were supposed to go left. But my lead dog, Apollo gave me a look that clearly said, “Dude, I think you mean right.” I listened to him, and we made it home. Ice Dogs came to be when I wondered, “what if I didn’t have a really smart leader?”

There are some memorable characters in Ice Dogs, do you have a favorite? What do you love about him/her? Did any of your characters end up surprising even you with the way they turned out?

Well, I’m a musher, so my favourite character is Bean, the lead dog and the face on the cover of the book. Bean was inspired by my real-life lead dog - sort of goofy, loyal, super smart, and keen to run. Always always wanted to run.

What’s the most adventurous thing you’ve ever done?!

That is a tough one. I work outdoors for a living. And I play outdoors in my spare time. I have too many adventures under my belt to count really.
I’ll narrow it down to the most adventurous thing I’ve done with my sled dogs. I once slept outside with them while we were winter camping to protect them from the wolves. My lead dog peed on me in the night and I was frozen to the ground sheet in the morning.

As a middle-grade author, why do you think middle-grade is so important? What do you love about writing and reading middle-grade?

That’s an important reading age because you’re trying to figure things out - about yourself, about how other people live, about friendships and the world around you. I vividly remember the books I read at that age and I read that age still because there is little angst, and lots of truth.

What is your all time favorite middle-grade book, middle-grade hero, and middle-grade heroine?

Fav middle grade book – Island of the Blue Dolphins
Fav middle grade hero – Charlie from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Fav middle grade heroine – Julie in Julie of the Wolves

Fill in the blanks:
I’m really awesome at _catching frogs__.
I’m really embarrassed to admit that _I’m afraid of the dark__.
The last great book I read was ICEFALL by Matthew Kirby___.

If you were to create and bake a cupcake inspired by Ice Dogs, what would it look and taste like, and what would you call it?

Well, it would be very frosted, white icing laced with chocolate nuggets and… oooh, that is so wrong. Forget the nuggets!

White cake, white icing with dog tracks running across the top, and a few sprigs of wintergreen to finish it off. I’d call it Dog Breath Busters

Thank you so much, Terry, for stopping by and telling us all about you and your awesome book, Ice Dogs!

Terry Lynn Johnson writes outdoor adventures. She is represented by Caryn Wiseman of the Andrea Brown Literary Agency.
ICE DOGS, a Junior Library Guild selection, is set for release February 2014, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 
Dogsled Dreams is available now. 
Terry's writing is inspired by her own team of eighteen Alaskan Huskies. Her passion for adventure has provided her with a rich background to write from.
She's a member of the Outdoor Writers of Canada and The Dog Writers Association of America - recently winning the Maxwell Medallion of Excellence.
When she's not writing, Terry enjoys hiking, snowshoeing, kayak expeditioning, and she occasionally tortures herself in a canoe race. Terry lives in Whitefish Falls, Ontario.

Win a hardcover copy of Ice Dogs and a doggie bag of swag!
Terry has generously offered one hardcover copy of her book and some fun swag, for one winner.
-US/CAN only
-ends 3/31
-must be 13+, one main 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
Fill out Rafflecopter form:


Anonymous said...

Love the cupcake inspired question...well, and all the rest. Loved, loved Terry's book and have been sharing the love with my students. So right on why it will appeal to reluctant readers. Thanks!

Brenda said...

Love the real life inspiration for Ice Dogs and can certainly see the appeal for children. Plus, that cupcake had me laughing so hard.

Carl Scott said...

This is just the sort of story I love to have around for the kids to get into. Thanks.
p.s. I used to live in Thunder Bay too, small world.

Marjorie/cenya2 said...

I just love reading stories about dogs and thank you for doing just that.

Unknown said...

I love books about dogs and I haven't read anything quite like this before so I would love the chance to read it. I think it is so cool that the author herself is a musher so the story will be so much more authentic! Thanks for a great interview and giveaway!

Jillyn said...

Oh my gosh, that cupcake bit cracked me up. I can't get over the cover of this book. It's stunning.

Michelle @ In Libris Veritas said...

Fantastic interview! Love the cupcake, lol.

Unknown said...

I am such an avid dog lover. I would love to have 18 dogs. I've said if I weren't married and neither was the Dog Whisperer, he'd be my dream man, since he could correct my delinquent dogs' behaviour AND I could have as many dogs as I want. If you ever make that cupcake, I have a Pommie who could use a bite. My sister has said for years that he needs a Tictac.

Charlotte said...

I'm not so much a dog person, but I do enjoy a good survival story!

Unknown said...

Thanks so much for sharing your love of Alaska Huskies and racing. I think that your cupcake sounds cute, many years ago I gave a friend who was pregnant at her baby shower a potty with baby ruths in it, we still laugh about it..

Jill the OWL said...

One of my students just read this and really liked it!!!

Orchid said...

Love how your experience inspired your book. I'm definitely going to have to get my hands on a copy of Ice Dogs because it sounds like really good.

Jessica said...

I love the cover of it, it's beautiful! And I love the three words used to describe it! I look forward to reading it! :)

anne s. said...

i also loved island of the blue dolphins! thanks for a fantastic giveaway!

Laura F. said...

I would love to read this book and then pass the book on to my students.