As you all know, when I LURVE a book, I give it a Gold Star Review here. Well, to liven up the blog a little, I'm going to (try to) interview the author of each book that receives a coveted Gold Star! I hope you'll enjoy these quick, little interviews. :D
Today's guest is the fabulous Jordan Sonnenblick! I'm so excited. I've loved every one of his books so far, and you can find my original Gold Star Review of his newest book, CURVEBALL: The Year I Lost My Grip, here.
Welcome, Jordan! Thank you so much for stopping by to chat with me. I have just a couple of quick questions for you:
1. How long did it take you, from first spark of idea to final proofs, to write Curveball: The Year I Lost My Grip?
Each of my books takes between twelve and eighteen months from the “eureka” moment to the big nap when I am completely done with the project. Curveball was probably right around the eighteen-month mark, only because the deadlines happened to be very relaxed. Publishing is often rush-rush-rush kind of business, but for this particular book, we had about a year between the writing and the publication date. One very happy result of that was that the publisher, Scholastic, really got to lavish a lot of time and energy on the marketing of the book. That meant a great cover design, a lot of sending me to conventions to publicize the book, and even an awesome promotional video. I was thrilled -- writers love it when their publishers do stuff like that for them!
2. If you could write a book under a pseudonym that no one would ever connect to you, are there any genres you would love to secretly explore?
Hmmm ... I would secretly love to write superhero comic books for a year or two. Marvel, are you listening? *LOL, I would vote for that!!*
3. I really loved how you explored Alzheimer ’s disease, which affects so many families, in a touching and informative way, yet without sounding like a medical textbook. Was this based on research or personal experience?
Unfortunately, I didn’t have to do much research. My maternal grandfather, Solomon Feldman (who, incidentally, was also the inspiration for the character of Solomon Lewis in my book Notes from the Midnight Driver) was a dementia patient, and almost everything that happens with the grandfather in Curveball happened with him. Watching a loved one succumb to dementia is an awful, awful thing. Of course, it’s also a source of heightened emotion all around -- lots of laughter and love in with the terror and tears -- which means it’s a great source of literary material. And I suppose I keep coming back to my grandfather’s story because it’s personally cathartic. Dementia is so painful that I am still coming to grips with the slow loss of this man -- who was really my hero and mentor, both in his life before he started losing his mind, and in the courage of his fight right up to the end. *Thank you for sharing such a personal story with us. I'm glad he was able to inspire you!*
4. If you could cross one thing off your bucket list tomorrow, what would it be?
As soon as my first book, Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie was published in 2004, my bucket list became obsolete. My dreams in life were to live abroad, get married, have healthy kids, and write a book. Now everything else is just gravy.
Still, I suppose if some producer felt like making a blockbuster movie based on one of my novels, that would be A-OK with me.
5. Quick picks list:
Favorite vacation destination?
London or San Francisco; I’m a city person.
Favorite childhood book?
The Dark Is Rising, by Susan Cooper.
Favorite writing snack food?
Coffee, although I admit it’s not technically a food -- but it has more calories than most foods by the time I am done dumping cream and sugar in it.
Favorite clothing item?
Well, for writing, I like to wear any one of the dozens of middle-school t-shirts I have been given during school visits. They help me feel connected to my characters.
Thank you so much, Jordan, for letting me interview you. It was a pleasure!
For more information about Jordan and his books, check out his website at http://www.jordansonnenblick.com/