Who is Sue and what is Suelandia?

Friday, February 11, 2011

Playing Possum

Hey people.  (If you missed the fancy frenchy coat scroll down to the next post).  

Today is a first here-- I have a guest in Suelandia (on the blog anyway).  My friend Jen's book is coming out and she's on "cyber-tour" right now, and this is one of her stops.  (!) 

Her "middle grade" (appropriate for grade school aged kids), (but I think  even older kids would like this one) is called "Possum Summer".  I know, I know.  Possums?  Those disgusting ratty things?  (Sorry Jen!)  But seriously-- look-- this thing is pretty danged cute.

Now really, if you were an eleven year old girl, and one of these was in mortal danger, you'd save it wouldn't you?  What if it was an orphan?  You'd find a way to take care of it wouldn't you?

That is Where possum summer begins.  Now let's hear more about it from Jen herself-- Hey Jen!

Welcome to the POSSUMS ARE AWESOME world blog tour for the middle-grade book, POSSUM SUMMER, coming out in March! (Have you preordered yet?)

I'm here at Suelandia today sparring with Her Radness, and P decided of course to take part too. It seems I can't do this tour without her butting in ... it's the most attention she's ever had, I think.

First off, 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?

Here we go! Wheee!!!

So Jen, I know in writing P's story it was important for you to stay true to the grittier tone and not shy away from some of the grittier parts of the story involving, well, heartache and family turmoil, etc. Why did you feel so strongly that your readers would be served by your unflinching style?

(Jen)--  P doesn't go through more than your average kid. Her dad's away at war, technically she *knows* what she should do but does the empathetic, loving thing anyway. Our kids are tougher than we give them credit for. And sometimes you just want a book that punches you a little harder in the gut than necessary. (Or I do, anyway). It's how we grow.

I know you've led a rather adventurous life all over the world doing rather daring things. Were you as feisty as P (the main character) when you were a kid or did you get progressively more daring as you *grew up*?

Jen-- HM. I would say yep, I was pretty crazy when I was a kid. And through the teens, and whatnot. But unfortunately (other than this entire crazy publishing process!) I think I've gotten a lot more careful.

Most of that has to do with my little girl, Loki*. I'm a lot more careful of what I'm doing because when you come right down to it, a kid has one birth mother. And I'd like to be around to see her grow up. Sometimes I wonder how I survived my childhood, so ...

* name changed to protect the innocent

Do you feel P's story was concluded in this book or are you considering a sequel? If not, can you tell us about any other projects in the works?

Jen-- Well! Um! I can say nope, I do not believe P's story is finished, but it is up to my editor and publisher to make the final decision on that! *is mysterious* I've got another little book preparing to make its way out in the world, also set in Oklahoma, but with a monster Alligator Gar.

Princess: MISS SUE!

JKB: Sue, P. P, Sue. She's --

P: I know who she is! She's the bicycle artist SUE! Hey Miss Sue, how are you? Did you know that your name rhymes with a LOT of stuff? Oh and what's your favrite food?

Me-- Oh good lord-- just one?? At the moment, something bubbling with melted cheese, preferably with some browned crusty bits, some kind of bread involved, garlic, (okay, am now fixating on garlic cheese bread with marinara dipping sauce), maybe some kind of amazing fish, capped off with ice cream sandwiches made from pb cookies, and filled with coffee & chocolate ice cream. (am literally drooling now, thanks)

P: *pauses* W-o-w. *pauses* That sounds ... really good. And I just thought about fried chicken! I didn't even consider dessert!! *ponders* Well, what do you like to do for fun? What thing do you like to do?

Me: Again- I have to pick ONE??? I suppose mountain biking, in some kind of cool costume, exploring some mysterious mossy wonderland with a bunch of fun lunatics sounds pretty fun just now. Maybe there would be water balloons or super-soakers involved?

P: I want to be a lunatic too!

JKB: Oh you are, believe me. You are.

P: SHHHH! I'm innerviewin' here! Miss Sue, water balloons? Really? Could you tell me how to get one full all the way? *JKB frowns* *P sees her* *huffs* FINE. Fine. What do you think is the neatest thing about yourself then?

Me: Hmmm. A friend once gave me a card that said, "Well, one thing-- with that hair no one will ever notice your fat ankles..." so, that would be a toss-up I suppose. ;)

P: Huh. You don't got fat ankles! And I like your hair just fine! I want to be like you when I grow up! And I drawed you too:

P: I saw a Mountain Lion once down in the canyon. It was the most adventurous animal I ever did see. And I know you are adventurous too, so I thought hey, why not go ahead and make Miss Sue a lion too! Fer some reason Jen said not to call it a cougar? Do you know why?

JKB: -- *cough* Well that's enough of that! We'll be heading out now, it's the weekend and P has some CHORES to catch up on! *P groans* Thanks for having us, darling Sue!

Me-- LOL!!! Yes, Let's stick with mountain lion!  And P you draw way too well for a little kid-- seriously.  Amazing!  Thanks for stopping by guys.  :)

Jen K. Blom writes about animals, the land, and kids, not necessarily in that order. Her debut, POSSUM SUMMER, is available March 2011.

Just the thing to give to a kid to start their summer of reading off right! (Available from your local indie, Amazon,Barnes & Noble, Borders, or Book Depository!)

Check out the book trailer here !


JKB said...


Thanks Sue! I ADORE that little possum with the pink bow! ADORE!

(And they're not ugly!)


Linda G. said...

Aww. Baby possums are so cute!

Fun interview! Jen, I wish you much success with Possum Summer. :)

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I grew up on a farm and sometimes possums would come into the barn and eat the cow feed. I was afraid of them but they were full grown and would hiss at you before dropping over and playing dead.
My dad didn't have the heart to do away with them and would take the tractor and drive them out to the woods.
I never saw a little one but they look really cute in your pictures.

JKB said...

Thanks, Linda, so much! I really appreciate it!

Susan, they are ADORABLE. :-D