I have to admit that as an adult, I have read and loved only a few middle grade novels, and fewer still that I’ve read in one day. Possum Summer is one such novel.
Jen K. Blom delivers up a tight story with a rocking protagonist and in order to promote her up-coming release of her debut novel, she is making her rounds on her most excellent POSSUMS ARE AWESOME blog tour.
Without further ado, my good friend, Jen K. Blom:
Welcome to the POSSUMS ARE AWESOME blog tour for the middle-grade book, POSSUM SUMMER, coming out in March! (Have you preordered yet?)
You know people still use ‘howdy’ as a greeting where I grew up? For realz. And I’m using it here today on Teresa’s lovely blog, as she’s such a word connoisseur and deserves only my best. Now, as for P’s best, I don’t know if we can really go there.
So I’ll just go ahead and begin.
First off, a little about the book:
a lonely kid.
an orphaned baby possum.
a dad that says no way.
how do you keep that kind of secret?
and what happens when you’re found out?
TF: I love Princess, because she reminds me of me when I was a girl. She is a child that keeps getting up no matter how many times she’s knocked down; she is wonderful. Possum Summer is a fast-paced and tightly woven story. You did not waste a word or (more importantly) an event. How did you construct such a tight story?
JKB: I don’t think I’d manage to create such a story again! I’d had this story in my head for a long time, from the time I first thought I’d actually try and write a ‘real’ story. I kept adding little bits as I lived along, taking other little parts out (Fun fact: P was once named Wally, but I changed her name after my own Gran died to my Gran’s name, Princess, in tribute) until I finally thought ‘well h*ll, I ought to just go ahead and do it.’ So I did.
Also? My crit buds are a-maz-ing.
TF: Currently, you live in Germany in the beautiful city of Berlin. I know you love Berlin, but do you ever get homesick for the U.S.?
JKB: Hm. That’s a good question. I get food-sick for things, if that makes sense . . . Germans are pretty healthy and generally frown on such succulent goodness as Cheetos, or Powdered donuts, or Oreos (but we finally got Oreos a couple years ago!). I miss people on and off, and places (like where I grew up, our old farm), but I wouldn’t define it as a particular all in one encompassing feeling, if that makes sense.
I get asked that question a lot here too, and here’s what I say to the curious Germans: Every place, every place, has its good and bad points. Your duty is to dwell on the good and try to make the best of the bad.
TF: Princess makes the best of a bad lot quite often in Possum Summer. As I read Possum Summer, I thought of The Yearling, which was a boy and his deer. Of course, a deer would have been much too tame for Princess. But a possum? Why did you give Princess a possum?
JKB: Possums are strong, sweet little creatures that really get a bum rap. They aren’t necessarily as charming as a raccoon, or as personable as a horse, but they have their sweet points. I am firmly Team Possum.
Princess: YOU wrote a HORROR BOOK! That would make me stay up at NIGHT! I know all about YOU!
JKB: Oh Teresa. I’m so sorry.
TF: It’s cool, Jen.
P: ‘Bout what? There really ain’t nothin’ to be sorry about, Miss Jen! Unless you count what you fed your kid last night! Real kids eat beef and potatoes! Right, Miss Teresa? Right? What’s your favrite food?
TF: You got it, P. My favorite food is Texas fajitas.
P: Well, that’s practic’ly meat – I think, except it’s foreign two times: both the Texas thing and however you say that other word. What’s your favrite activities?
TF: I love reading and writing. Or do you mean like actually, physically doing something like jogging?
P: It’s whatever you want, but frankly all you writer types do too much readin’. I like it too, but really there’s a lot more in life. Like playing in creeks, or doing chores. I got to do a lot of chores. *sighs* What do you like best about yourself, huh, Miss Teresa?
TF: My wild looking hair!!
P: It is purely a bane of my life, as my Gran says, to have wild hair too. It never stays put! I cut it all off once and let me tell you I heard about that from ever-y-body! I know since you asked about wolverines (I had to look those up) I drew you as the next best thing to a wolverine:
P: A badger, huh? You ever seen one? Man oh man, my dad’s dog got in a fight with a badger and did he ever get the short end of the stick! Badgers are tough, I reckon almost as tough as wolverines ever would be —
JKB: Thanks so much for the drive-by, Teresa! I apologize for the devil I brought!
TF: No problem at all, Jen! Thanks for stopping by!
Have you seen the book trailer yet?
Wanna read more entries in the POSSUMS ARE AWESOME World Tour 2011? Go here and knock yourself out! [Hint: where you can also find information on how to win cool prizes!]