the MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults Author Blog

Kate Hosford and HOW THE QUEEN FOUND THE PERFECT CUP OF TEA!

Posted by Adi Rule on Thu, Apr 27, 2017 @ 08:04 AM

Sound the fanfare! Today we toast Kate Hosford and her new picture book, How the Queen Found the Perfect Cup of Tea, illustrated by Gabi Swiatkowska, out now from Carolrhoda books!

queencover.jpgActivities that the Queen most certainly does not do: strenuous kitty snuggling, vigorous soccer dribbling, spirited dancing, and making tea. Until one day, she grows dissatisfied with the tea her butler has prepared, and a culinary and cross-cultural hot air balloon adventure begins…

Welcome, Kate! So, tell us . . .

What was the spark that ignited the book?

I began this book during my picture book semester with Uma Krishnaswami. At first, the story was about a Queen who becomes humanized by going around the world and having tea parties with children. In the early drafts, the children were behaving deferentially and giving the Queen little gifts. Uma really encouraged me to turn colonialism on its ear and create child characters that are thoroughly unimpressed with royalty. Thank goodness she did. At that point the story became more meaningful, and also funnier. In subsequent drafts, I also tried to tune in to the Queen’s isolation; the real reason that her tea starts to taste horrible is because she is profoundly lonely.

tea1.jpg

tea2.jpgtea3.jpg

Who was your favorite character to write and why?

My favorite character to write was the Queen. She is haughty, vulnerable, ridiculous, lonely, and hopefully in the end, lovable. I was lucky enough to work with my friend and collaborator Gabi Swiatkowska, who also illustrated my third picture book, Infinity and Me. The Queen goes through a whole myriad of emotions every time she visits a child in a new country and is asked to do something for the first time, like snuggle a kitty:

Image 2.jpegI liked making the Queen bewildered in the kitchen. It’s as if she is exploring a strange new planet, and she must proceed with caution. In Japan, all she dares to do is turn on the faucet. In India, she can only turn on the faucet and fill the kettle. By the time she gets to Turkey she can even boil water!

PastedGraphic-17.jpgDo you write in silence?

I’m very easily distracted. In fact, if I try to listen to music, I start typing those words into my own writing. I even find classical music distracting, and opt instead for silence, which you can actually find in New York, minus the occasional bird or airplane. I know some people need noise to write, which is fascinating to me.

What nugget of craft advice has been the most helpful to you?

I think one of the most helpful pieces of advice is to read my work out loud repeatedly. I think this is true regardless of the genre, but it’s absolutely essential for picture books, which will be read out loud almost exclusively once they are out in the world. The cadences and rhythms of the language are not obvious to the writer until one can hear them.

Great advice! What fun swag items do you wish you could make for this book?

I do have a few fun swag items already. Lerner always makes me beautiful bookmarks, and I also made personalized tea bags, and paper tea cups.

bookmarks.jpgteacups.jpg

tea packets.jpgBut if I could have any swag items, I would probably have actual tea cups, and tea cozies with images from the book, as well as tea pots, and matching dishtowels. Of course, we’d have to do this for every culture the Queen visits: Japan, India, Turkey and England. Maybe we could have a variety tea pack with tea bags from each of these cultures. Because the Queen and her butler James travel around the world in a hot air balloon, it might be nice to have hot air balloon ornaments, with the name of the book on them…it’s fun to dream about swag.

I’d also like to mention two other book-related items that make me very happy:

A curriculum, created by Blue Slip Media: http://khosford.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/How-the-Queen-Found-the-Perfect-Cup-of-Tea-Curriculum-Guide.pdf

And a book trailer by BoTra Productions: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-XMkNDXtl5A

book launch.jpgWho were your advisors at VCFA?

Four of the most wonderful teachers ever: Uma Krishnaswami, Sarah Ellis, Cynthia Leitich Smith and Julie Larios. I wish school could have lasted four years!

How did attending VCFA affect your writing life?

I think hardly a day goes by when I am not in touch with one of my classmates. I know that they are there for encouragement, advice, inspiration, feedback, and reality checks. I love hearing about their lives, reading their work and doing whatever I can to support them. Several of them have become some of my closest friends. VCFA grads are not just an important part of my writing life, they are an important part of my life, period.

katehosford.jpgThanks for stopping by, Kate! We're ready for our tea party! Welcome to the world, How the Queen Found the Perfect Cup of Tea.

Kate Hosford is a picture book author and poet who graduated with the Bat Poets in Winter 2011. Visit her online at Khosford.com.

Topics: Carolrhoda Books, picture book, Lerner Publishing Group, Lerner, 2017 release, Kate Hosford, Gabi Swiatkowska

Anne Bustard and ANYWHERE BUT PARADISE!

Posted by Adi Rule on Wed, Apr 22, 2015 @ 11:04 AM

Aloha, friends! We're in middle grade paradise with the release of Anne Bustard's Anywhere But Paradise, out now from Egmont/Lerner Publishing Group! 

ABP jkt final resized 600

It’s 1960, and Peggy Sue’s move from Texas to Hawaii, the newest state, sounds like a dream—palm trees, blue skies, big waves. But her cat has to be put in quarantine like he’s a criminal, and Peggy Sue is worriedly counting the days until Howdy will be released—if he can survive. Then her first encounter with a girl at Hanu Intermediate School is shocking. Kiki, an older student, takes an instant dislike to Peggy Sue, warning her that the last day of school is “kill haole day.” Peggy Sue’s only hope of being spared is to help Kiki with her home ec sewing project.

Things get better when she meets neighbor Malina and starts hula lessons, but it takes a tsunami, a missing dog, and an intervention from the vision of Pele herself to help Peggy Sue understand that even though her new home in paradise isn’t perfect, she’d rather be in Hawaii with her family and new friends than anywhere else. 

Welcome, Anne! So, tell us . . .

What was the spark that ignited this book?

Simply put, Hawaii itself. Peggy Sue’s story is not my personal story, but it was informed by it. If I close my eyes and imagine a beautiful, serene place, the same image always comes to mind—Kailua Beach. I was born in Hawaii, moved to California when I was two, and returned for sixth grade. Hawaii was and is my paradise. Conversely, if I close my eyes and recall a pivotal and painful childhood experience, I return to my first day of seventh grade. So, I wondered, what if . . . 

Hilton Hawaiian Village boardwalk 2 Oahu Hawaii Photo D Ramey LoganWhat’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever Googled as research for your writing?

Probably all of my research questions are weird. Only not to me. Though I’ve found that Google cannot answer many of them, that’s never stopped me from asking. Here’s one that stumped Google: Did the Honolulu Zoo house a snake in 1960?

When I couldn’t unearth the answer, I turned to a staff member at the Zoo. Yay, email! Then when she couldn’t verify a snake’s presence one way or another, she took the next step and called the retired zoo director! The generosity of strangers is amazingly fabulous!

Oh, and in case you’d like to know the answer: no snake. 

A great reminder that Google is not all-powerful -- and that it can be fun to talk to strangers about things they love!

What other middle grade authors do you love? Any favorite books of theirs?

Rita Williams-Garcia. One Crazy Summer. I cannot wait until Gone Crazy in Alabama comes out later this month! [Update: It's here!]

Jeanne Birdsall. The Penderwicks in Spring

Jacqueline Woodson. Brown Girl Dreaming. 

Arothron hispidus is kissing my camera at Big Island of HawaiiWho were your advisors at VCFA and how did they affect your writing life?

I am thankful every day for Ellen Howard, Sharon Darrow, Martine Leavitt and Shelley Tanaka. I will forever apply their wisdom to my work.

From Ellen, I learned the importance of starting-from-the-very-beginning-over. It’s what she challenged me to do with a draft she’d read of Anywhere but Paradise. It’s what I did then, and again a few years ago. And no, it wasn’t easy.

From Sharon, I discovered the unbridled joy of a first draft and the fun of immersion into all things French for the sake of research, including croissants and language lessons. I realized the importance of always knowing what your characters are thinking and feeling.

From Martine, I learned that anything is possible. Plucking a character out of a fantasy story and setting her in a historical fiction novel? Why not? And sometimes, the end of story is the beginning.

Shelley Tanaka taught me to trust the reader and the delete key. Less is more. Always. 

Great advice; thanks for sharing. And thank you for stopping by! Welcome to the world, Anywhere But Paradise!

Learn more about Anne and all her books at her website, www.annebustard.com.

Topics: 2015 release, Egmont, Lerner Publishing Group, Anne Bustard, middle grade

Lisa Doan and JACK AT THE HELM

Posted by Sarah Johnson on Tue, Mar 03, 2015 @ 03:03 AM

The third book in the Berenson Schemes, starring kid adventurer Jack, is now available. Hurray! Lisa Doan visits us today to discuss Jack at the Helm, The Berenson Schemes #3. It is published by Lerner/Darby Creek

Jack + parents + he fell for it again! = Jack must find his way out of a remote region of Nepal.

Who was your favorite character to write and why?Jack at the Helm by Lisa Doan

I always love writing Jack and his hapless sense of outrage over the adults in his life, but this time around I also had fun writing his new friend Harry from Connecticut. Though Harry is older, he is in so many ways an innocent. He’s traveling around the world to find himself without much luck. Jack, having been marooned on a deserted island and lost on the Masai Mara, gets to feel like a seasoned traveler.  (He’s not, but at least he feels like it.)

What authors do you love for their sentences? How about character? 

Dickens and Dickens. I love Dickens’ rambling and expansive descriptions – especially descriptions of ridiculous people. One of those ridiculous people, Mr. Wilkins Micawber, is one of the most hilarious characters of all time.  What linguistical heights couldn’t Wilkins Micawber  ascend to? (FYI - Mr. Micawber would be perfectly comfortable with me making up the word linguistical and could readily use it in a sentence that was extremely long.)

What nugget of craft advice has been especially helpful to you?

One of the things I’ve been working on is comedic timing, and I’ve noticed that adequate lead up or set up or whatever you want to call it, has to be present for a joke to be successful. The reader has to have time to process everything, and if they don’t have enough time they sail by the joke. They read it, they even get it, but it’s just not as funny. It also ends up feeling like trying, which is the kiss of death in humor.  This is particularly hard for a writer to pace, since the writer already knows what’s coming and it’s hard to define the comprehension moments of someone who doesn’t know what’s coming. (Wow, so obviously I take humor pretty seriously! )

Do you write in silence? If not, what’s your soundtrack?

I try to write in silence, and I would write in silence if the world would cooperate and stop making noise! Sometimes I go somewhere that has a lot of background sound like the grocery store café or the park – yes, people are talking, but they’re not talking to me and I don’t find it distracting. I’ve tried to write with NPR in the background but that doesn’t work – I end up half-listening to the disturbing plight of somebody somewhere in the world and then get riled up about the injustice of it all. Injustice and comedy don’t go together that well.

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever Googled as research for your writing?

Sometimes, it’s not so much what you’re looking for, but what you end up finding. For Jack at the Helm, I was googling the crocodiles of Nepal when I ran across a rather horrifying creature. It’s called a Goonch – and it’s a giant man-eating catfish.  Yikes.

Tell us about your writing community. Are you in a critique group?

I am a loner when it comes to writing. I write on the weekends until I think something is done, then I send it to my agent. After I hit send, I enjoy a pleasant interlude feeling pleased that I’ve finished a manuscript. Then my agent gets in touch to say that it’s actually not done. Then I start revising the next weekend. Rinse and repeat! I’ve heard about a writer’s group that meets in a bar down the street from me and I’m going to check it out. It could be that if I hang out and drink with other writers I might stop sending my agent manuscripts that aren’t done. Fingers crossed!

Who were your advisors at VCFA?

I lucked out there – I had Ellen Howard, Brent Hartinger, David Gifaldi and Martine Leavitt.

 

Lisa is part of our Launch Pad team. It's fun to highlight her book today. 

To read about Jack's adventures, visit your favorite bookstore. You can find Lisa at her website: lisadoan.org 

Topics: Lisa Doan, 2015 release, Lerner Publishing Group, middle grade

Barbara Krasner and GOLDIE TAKES A STAND!

Posted by Tami Brown on Thu, Sep 04, 2014 @ 10:09 AM

Welcome Barbara Krasner and Goldie Takes A Stand! Like me, Barbara is a member of the class of January '06 (Go class with no name!)  She teaches creative writing and children's lit at William Paterson University. Although she's written hundreds of articles for children's magazines, and has published about local history and genealogy, this is her first full length book for children. Congratulations Barbara and welcome to The Launch Pad!

Goldie Takes a Stand (2)Even at the age of nine, little Golda Meir was known for being a leader. As the president of the American Young Sisters Society, she organizes her friends to raise money to buy textbooks for immigrant classmates. A glimpse at the early life of Israel’s first female prime minister, who was born in Russia and grew up in Milwaukee, this story is based on a true episode in the early life of Golda Meir.

What was the spark that ignited this book? 

The spark that ignited this book happened between two Highlights Foundation retreats, I needed something to read. I was heading to Rhode Island and the annual reading of the Moses Seixas and George Washington letters of religious tolerance at Touro Synagogue in Newport. I thumbed the books on the shelves in the farmhouse and came across Golda Meir's autobiography. In my flea-bitten motel that night in Narragansett, I read about Golda's efforts to raise money to buy schoolbooks for her classmates. I knew I had my story. Her voice was so strong, I made the decision to use first person. 

What was the most difficult element to cut/change during the revision process and why? 

The most difficult element to change during the revision process with the editor was cutting Golda's sister and her father from the narrative. But that was okay, because my manuscript was way too long.

What nugget of craft advice has been especially helpful to you? 

Here is the nugget of craft advice that I've found especially helpful: You have to have the courage to admit what's not working in your manuscript. You don't really need other people to tell you. (You just hope no one else notices!)

Do you write in silence? If not, what’s your soundtrack? 

I do not write in silence. I tend to write with the television tuned into contemporary jazz - no words.

How did attending VCFA affect your writing life?

Attending VCFA affected my writing life in the following way: I came into the program as a lion and left with my tail wagging as a lamb. I didn't write for a full year after graduation. I continued to volunteer my services to the annual Jewish Children's Book Writers & Illustrators annual conference, though, and that kept me connected. Eventually, I began to write again--a complete revision of a historical novel I put under the bed before entering VCFA, which I'm shopping around at the moment.

Bkrasnerkhait p 210 exp

What advice would you give to a prospective VCFA student? 

The advice I would give to a prospective VCFA student is the following: Come in ready to roll up your sleeves and set your current works-in-progress aside. This is your time to experiment. I never for a moment thought my first children's book would be a picture book. But during my second semester, while my adviser read my novel-in-progress, that's what I wrote.

You can find out more about Barbara and her books at  www.barbarakrasner.com  or her blog http://thewholemegillah.wordpress.com/  

Goldie Takes a Stand! Golda Meir's First Crusade was published by Kar-Ben, an imprint of Lerner Publishing Group. It's available now at a bookstore near you.

Topics: nonfiction, 2014 release, picture book, Lerner Publishing Group, Barbara Krasner, picture book biography, Kar-Ben

Lisa Doan and JACK AND THE WILD LIFE!

Posted by Tami Brown on Wed, Sep 03, 2014 @ 07:09 AM

We welcome Lisa Doan back to the Launch Pad with the next book in her Berenson Schemes series. (Oh how we love these prolific alums!!!)

cover Jack and the WildlifeAfter a wild plan by his parents left Jack stranded on a deserted island in the Caribbean, the Berenson family decided to lay out some rules. But then Jack’s parents thought up another get-rich-quick scheme. Now the family is driving around the Masai Mara of Kenya and Jack is about to end up in a tree – alone. As Jack attempts to outsmart the wild animals of the savannah, he’ll have plenty of time to wonder if the Berenson Family Decision-Making rules did enough to keep him out of trouble.

Lisa Doan writes middle grade stories and is either childless or has accidently left her children somewhere. (Hopefully not on an African savannah.)

Who was your favorite character to write and why?

 I have a real fondness for Richard and Claire Berenson. Yes, they are completely irresponsible parents, but they are irresponsible in such a big, grand way that I find it a little inspiring. They represent the ultimate ‘go big or go home’ kind of bad parenting. After all, if you’re going to keep losing your son after you have sworn you will never, ever do it again, then you should lose him in the wilds of Kenya – not the local mall. Also, despite failing at everything they do, they are cheerful and happy-go-lucky souls. Of course, I also have a soft spot for Jack, particularly for his own brand of quiet outrage directed at the adults in his life, which totally cracks me up.

What was the spark that ignited this book?

I had already written Jack the Castaway as a stand-alone book, so when it turned into a series I revisited my years as a backpacker. I once spent a year backpacking alone from Morocco to Kenya. (Tip on traveling in West Africa: get on a plane and fly to East Africa.) In Kenya, I went on one particularly ridiculous excursion – a lone walking safari through a small game park. After I had lost my way, couldn't figure out where the ranger hut was, ran out of water, had a jeep swing by and ask me if I had “seen the leopard” and then speed away without giving me a ride…I began to panic. I will never forget that feeling - a deep wave of recognition of my own stupidity. Obviously, I made it out alive, though extremely sunburned. Also obviously, I drank a lot of Tusker beer that night. Perhaps less obviously is the real lesson here: just because a Lonely Planet guidebook tells you to do something, doesn't mean you should actually do it. So, it was a harrowing experience that showed me how fast things can go wrong in the bush and I had a real empathy for Jack as he realizes he is alone with a couple of rolls of duct tape and bags of Chips Ahoy cookies.   

What nugget of craft advice has been especially helpful to you?

Well, I’m not sure this is actually craft advice, but let’s call it my “fun way in” theory. (FYI – I have a lot of theories, make no guarantees on the efficacy of any of them and routinely change my mind about them) I thought of this one when I began to notice a lot of writer talk about how writing or revision or selling or whatever is HARD. This is a mistake. Not a mistake in the perception of reality, but a mistake in self-talk. It completely robs you of the one absolutely crucial component – you started to write because it was fun. (At least, I hope that’s why you started!) You will never be productive, or like what you produce, if your thinking is that it’s hard.

A lot of writers struggle so much, and then are surprised when they have a writing day that really flows. Then they search for a connection – maybe it was the special pen they used, or the music they played. But it was just that they accidentally didn't obsess on the hardness of it. (Rituals like special pens don’t do anything except remind the brain about the past positive experiences associated with them.)

So, the problem is how to reclaim the fun. This is individual, but a starting place is realizing that your brain is just playing a soundtrack you told it to play, and you can tell it something else. Stop saying things like “I am going to force myself to write” and start saying things like, “If I get all my work around the house done, I will treat myself by sitting down to write.” (If you are me, this will inspire you to do a haphazard and shoddy job at housework and immediately go to the treat part.) 

All craft advice ever does is present a way in to writing, and all the various ways into writing start with your brain. Create a bubble around you and your computer that excludes your agent, editor, writing group – everybody. Then write what you really want to write, not what you think you should be writing. Period. Because that is what you were doing when you first started to write and that is why it was fun and that is how to end up with a completed manuscript.

The sticking point for a lot of writers is that they remember those early days so well and now know that what they wrote was crap, so they associate being overly optimistic and having too much fun with ending up with crap. The mortification of that first experience of going from “I wonder if I’ll win a Newbery” to the realization that the work is in fact un-publishable, is burned into a writer’s soul. With experience under their belt, they are determined to be realistic and keep one eye out for problems. But there was never anything realistic about writing fiction. Now go barely clean your house and reward yourself by writing that Newbery winner!

What’s the weirdest thing you've ever Googled as research for your writing?

A YouTube video about a Honey Badger. Warning – naughty honey badger and even naughtier narrator! 

What advice would you give to a prospective VCFA student?

I can put a prospective student’s mind at ease about a number of concerns. 1. A Vermont winter will not actually kill you. It will just make you wish to be killed and that is survivable. 2. If you are prone to guarding your personal space, wear some sort of armor. The huggers will creep up on you when you least expect it. 3. Get used to the idea that you will know your VCFA peeps forever. It will not help to change your name and move to a remote Fijian island. You will never shake those people. 4. After you've graduated, they don’t actually make you leave. There is an alumni gathering ever summer (Yes – thank the universe it’s in the summer) and all faculty lectures for every year are free to download. And 5. You will cut about ten years off your learning curve so that you can write the kind of books you want to write before dying of old age. So what are you waiting for? Buy a good coat and get going!


You can visit Lisa Doan at lisadoan.org

The Berenson Schemes #2 – Jack and the Wildlife was published by Lerner Publishing and hit bookstores on September 1st!

Topics: Lisa Doan, 2014 release, Lerner Publishing Group, middle grade, humor

Lisa Doan and THE BERENSON SCHEMES #01 - JACK THE CASTAWAY

Posted by Adi Rule on Tue, Apr 01, 2014 @ 08:04 AM

We love middle grade, especially when it's by writers as smart and funny as Lisa Doan! That's why we're super excited for Lisa's new series from Lerner Publishing Group, which kicks off TODAY with The Berenson Schemes #01 - Jack the Castaway.

cover Castaway JPGJack's parents have been chased out of Tokyo, gone broke in Greece, and hosted Nairobi's least successful safari. Next they're taking Jack to the Caribbean, whether Jack wants to go or not. The Berensons have devised their latest get-rich-quick scheme - a new sport called 'drift-snorkeling.' With these experienced world travelers at the helm, what could go wrong? 

Jack's used to staying indoors and not taking chances. When his parents take him out on the water, he ends up shipwrecked. Now Jack has to survive on a tropical island...and avoid a whale shark that's cruising along his beach.

Lisa was kind enough to stop by for a chat. Welcome! 

Who was your favorite character to write and why? 

I have a natural affinity for Jack’s parents – Richard and Claire Berenson. They are backpackers at heart, and so am I. They are not naturals at parenting, and if* I had children, I wouldn’t have been either. One of the things I like the most about them is that they never acquired the adult habit of being afraid to look stupid. They dive into each new scheme with every confidence in the world that it will be a roaring success – despite vast evidence to the contrary.

*on the off chance that I did have children and have left them somewhere and you are one of them – call me! I’ll come pick you up!

mangrove bight houseWhat was the spark that ignited this book?  

I lived in the Caribbean for eight years and spent a couple of years traveling around Africa and Asia. You meet a lot of very interesting expatriates along the way. I knew I would set a book in a foreign location at some point; I was just waiting for the right story. Then I heard about ‘helicopter parents,’ which I thought was fascinating in a ‘I’m-so-happy-that-didn’t-happen-to-me’ kind of way. I just couldn’t resist writing the anti-helicopter parents. Then, of course, they could have lost Jack in the mall. But it seemed like it would be more fun if they lost him in a foreign country while in pursuit of a doomed get-rich-quick scheme.

Do you write in silence? If not, what’s your soundtrack?

I write in a house, so the soundtrack is slamming door, barking dog, ringing phone, washing machine, vacuum cleaner, UPS guy banging on the door, so more barking dog. Sometimes, when all that fails to inspire me, I put on headphones and listen to Binaural Beats – it’s just a tone that goes on and on, blocking out the rest of your life.

img001 1 2What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever Googled as research for your writing?

I can’t say what is the strangest thing I asked Google for, but the strangest thing Google ever gave me was a YouTube video called Honey Badger Don’t Care. I was working on the second Berenson Scheme book, Jack and the Wild Life, in which a honey badger makes an appearance, and ran into this gem. If you have not seen this, you have not lived a full life. (Warning: naughty language!)

What is your favorite VCFA memory? 

Waiting to find out which advisor I would get for the next semester. I approached filling out the advisor preference list as I would a high stakes card game in Vegas – ear to the ground, taking note of how many people put down which faculty member and using popular choices as red herrings on my list. It was gratifying to see the assignments and know that all my calculations paid off! (PS – the majority of my classmates were mature individuals who approached this process as adults who were at a master’s residency, not a high stakes card game in Vegas.)

What do you wish you had known before you first set foot on the VCFA campus? 

Anything! I really knew nothing at all. I had written a book while I was living in the Caribbean, (a rambling 300 page tome featuring French-speaking rats). Then I returned to the states, but the book didn’t sell. (I can’t imagine why!). Then a second book didn’t sell, so I asked my agent if he thought going back to school was worthwhile. He said, “Well, if you go – go to Vermont.” When I arrived in January, I slogged through the snow in leaky Timberlake boots from the Goodwill and had never heard of the term “workshop.” (I had a vague idea we were going to sit around and congratulate each other on our work while sipping coffee.) Once, I remember sitting in Noble Hall, listening to a lecturer and thinking, “She’s so famous I had assumed she was dead.” It was all new to me.

We can't think of a better or creepier compliment!

Thanks so much for popping by, Lisa! Welcome, Jack!

Lisa says: I am a middle grade writer, Dickens lover (Mr. Micawber, anybody?), ex-Scuba diving instructor and ex-restaurant owner who would rather own a Tardis than a Mercedes.

Visit Lisa's website, like her on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter.

Topics: Lisa Doan, 2014 release, Lerner Publishing Group, middle grade

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