Welcome to my fine friend and brilliant writer, N. Griffin, a member of the illustrious class of January '06 (The Class With No Name) She was named one of Publishers Weekly’s Flying Start Authors of 2013 and her first novel, THE WHOLE STUPID WAY WE ARE was a lyrical, sharp edged realistic YA. But Ms. Griffin's latest book is a book of a different...er... type. This time around we get a hilarious, smart mystery with an oh-so-age-appropriate problem--what happened to the class hamster????? Early middle grade readers will flip over SMASHIE McPERTER AND THE MYSTERY OF ROOM 11!
When Room 11’s beloved pet hamster, Patches, goes missing, Smashie McPerter has a feeling that something isn’t quite right. She suspects Patches didn’t slip away on his own but was stolen! Everyone in Smashie’s class starts pointing fingers at one another---and some even believe that Smashie was in on the heist!
Smashie and her best friend, Dontel, launch an investigation to bring the thief to justice. Bust as they start digging, they discover that there is more than one mystery afoot.
Smashie, outfitted in a specially crafted Investigation Suit with plenty of room for clues, know that the truth must be revealed. Eve as the suspect list dwindles and the motives become murkier, Smashie and Dontel are determined to restore peace in Room 11—and will stop at nothing to get to the bottom of mounting mysteries before it’s too late.
Welcome to the LaunchPad!
Who was your favorite character to write and why?
Oh, my lord, I enjoyed writing them all but the foul, narcissistic Mr. Carper was the best fun to write because he is SO AWFUL as a human.
Tell us about how you sold this book. What was it like when you found out? Do you have an agent? Were there a lot of revisions along the way?
It was glorious to find out! I did revise, which was good, because the book needed it and I enjoyed doing it. I like it when I can name concrete, fixable things that will strengthen a story or a piece of writing. So that was good. And guess what? I just sold the sequel to this book and that was maybe even more exciting because I was in England having tea with my editor when she told me! I don’t think I will beat that one. J
What authors do you love for their sentences? How about plot? Character?
Jane Gardam. Jane Gardam. And Jane Gardam. For “Gardam” you could read “Toni Morrison” for any of those as well. I love them both to distraction.
Do you write in silence? If not, what’s your soundtrack?
Total silence. I am the most distractible person on the planet and have the short-term memory of a pickle (can’t speak to their long-term memory and mine is pretty okay, anyway) I have to have quiet to write or I forget what I am typing in the middle of a sentence. Kind of like right now, as an energetic dog is playing with a squeaky toy in the background. Buying him that toy was a real mistake. Writing is very hard with squeaks!
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever Googled as research for your writing?
I would love to answer this question but I can’t because I googled something that turned out to be a Terrible Thing. I want no one else to have that experience.
(one hopes this did not involve missing hamsters...) Moving on, how did attending VCFA affect your writing life?
In every way. I made friends for life. I learned how to write. I became part of a community that I still love to this day.
What advice would you give to a prospective VCFA student?
GO! You will not regret it. You will change and become more of who you were meant to be.
Hooray! Everyone should also go out and buy Smashie's book right now. I've loved Smashie since she was a mere scrawl of lead on paper and I could not be more delighted that she's now a real, hardbound, ink-printed book! Thanks for dropping by the LaunchPad, N. Griffin!!
SMASHIE McPERTER AND THE MYSTERY OF ROOM 11 is a middle grade novel, published by Candlewick and available at a bookstore near you right NOW!