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Wednesday, March 20, 2019

7th MMGM: The Bigfoot Files by Lindsay Eagar (interview & giveaway)

Welcome to Day 15 of the 7th Annual March MG Madness! Click here to see the full schedule and links to other days.

The Bigfoot Files 
By Lindsay Eagar 
September 19, 2018 
Candlewick Press 

From the author of Hour of the Bees comes another captivating story that deftly blurs the line between reality and magic -- and will leave you wondering What if? 

The Loch Ness Monster. The Frogman. Bigfoot. Twelve-year-old Miranda Cho used to believe in it all, used to love poring over every strange footprint, every stray hair, everything that proved that the world was full of wonders. But that was before her mother's obsession with monsters cost Miranda her friends and her perfect school record, before Miranda found the stack of unopened bills and notices of foreclosure in the silverware drawer. Now the fact that her mom's a cryptozoologist doesn't seem wonderful -- it's embarrassing and irresponsible, and it could cost them everything. So Miranda agrees to go on one last creature hunt, determined to use all her scientific know-how to prove to her mother, once and for all, that Bigfoot isn't real. Then her mom will have no choice but to grow up and get a real job -- one that will pay the mortgage and allow Miranda to attend the leadership camp of her dreams. But when the trip goes horribly awry, will it be Miranda who's forced to question everything she believes? 

Q1. What three words best describe your book The Bigfoot Files? 

Strange, sad, science-y. 

Q2.  Grab a copy of The Bigfoot Files and answer the following 

Favorite chapter? My favorite chapter is one about two thirds of the way through the book when Miranda sees fairies changing the forest from late summer to autumn. It comes at a pivotal time in her journey—she really needs something to believe in, and when I was a kid, I was desperate to believe that fairies were real.  

Favorite page? I really love the last sentence. It sums up the entire book. 

Favorite setting? There’s a moment when Miranda and her mother are floating down a river on the back of a giant river fish made of garbage and they go through a mountain—the cavern inside is huge and sparkling with lots of colors as the sun hits the rocks. Magical! 

Flip to a random page and give us a 1-2 sentences teaser: 
Kat reached behind her seat for a purse Miranda hadn’t seen before, a huge carpetbag printed with cats flying in outer space. 
Miranda stared. “What is that?” 
Kat ran a hand over it. “My cat bag.” 

Q3. What inspired The Bigfoot Files? How did the story come to be? 
I knew I wanted to write about mothers and daughters, because it’s such a beautiful, complicated relationship, but I didn’t know what to hook it onto—until I looked to my own daughter, who was obsessed with Bigfoot from ages one to age six. She loved to look out the back window with binoculars and her explorer vest and hunt for footprints in the woods. Eventually the book became about a mother who acts more like a daughter and a daughter who feels like she’s the mother, and about belief and trust and growing up.  

It came to be with a lot of hard work! I had to rewrite the book almost from scratch when we were really close to a deadline—so I had to really dig in deep and think about the story. What was I really trying to say? As soon as I figured that out, I could write it the right way. 

Q4. Tell us a bit about your character Miranda. What makes her special? What do you love about her? 

Oh, my dear, sweet Miranda! I simultaneously want to shake her and hug her. That’s probably because she’s the most like me, out of all the characters I’ve written. 
She’s a know-it-all. She’s highly anxious. She works hard and hates when things don’t go according to her plans, and she’s easily scared. But she’s also caught in a battle between the end of her childhood and the years that follow, and that’s a difficult time for kids, especially young girls.  

I really admire the place she comes into by the end of the book. The whole book is about her struggle to believe in lots of different things, and in the end, Miranda realizes that some things are true, whether you believe in them or not.  

Q5. What do you love about writing and reading middle-grade lit? 

I think it’s the place, out of all the genres and categories of literature, where you can really, truly write about anything. And I love how all good middle grade books are, at their hearts, really good stories first and foremost.  

Q6. What is your all-time favorite middle-grade book? 

Danny, the Champion of the World by Roald Dahl. It’s quieter than most of Dahl’s middle grade books, and less zany—but no less magical. I’ve always wanted to write a book that makes me feel the way that book makes me feel. 

Q7. Fill in the blanks: 

I’m really awesome at Baking cookies! I can have two dozen chocolate chip cookies on the cooling rack in about twenty minutes. 

I’m really embarrassed to admit That I throw a dance party for myself about once a week. I’m not a great dancer, but I am committed, and that’s the most important thing. 

The last great book I read was TWO DOGS IN A TRENCH COAT START A CLUB BY ACCIDENT by Julie Falatko. Honestly, laugh out loud funny stuff. 

Q8. If you were to create and bake a cupcake inspired by The Bigfoot Files what would it look and taste like? What would you call it? 

Ooooh, I would make a s’mores cupcake! Graham cracker batter, chocolate center, and marshmallow icing—and I would call it “the Believer.”  

Lindsay Eagar is the author of critically acclaimed books: HOUR OF THE BEES, RACE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA, and THE BIGFOOT FILES, out now. A Utah native, she lives in Salt Lake Valley with her husband and two daughters. 

Win 1 of 5 copies of The Bigfoot Files!
Candlewick has generously offered five copies for five winners.
-no po boxes
-must be 18+
-ends 4/5/19
-winners will be emailed and must claim prize within 48 hours
-Word Spelunking is not responsible for lost, damaged, stolen prizes

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John Smith said...

This will be the perfect read for any cryptozoologist!

Danielle H. said...

I love the premise of this book and the POV character sounds fun being someone who loves science and uses it in the real world.

Slowsly said...

I was hooked on Bigfoot when I was a kid. I still believe they exist. Really enjoyed your comments about MG literature. So true....

Dan Denman said...

Miranda sounds like a great character. I want to read her story and see exactly what she discovers.