My first introduction to David Anderson was his book, Sidekicked. His storytelling had me and my 3 oldest children laughing and crying and wishing for more. I've enjoyed every one of David's books. His newest book, Posted, is another compelling read, with powerful lines like: "Words accumulate. And once they're free, there's no taking them back." When David agreed to answer a few questions for me, I was thrilled!
Kirsti Call: My kids and I adore Posted. Your characters are authentic and definitely resonated with the tweens/teens in my home. What was your inspiration?
David Anderson: Emotionally, the novel draws much of its inspiration from my own memories of middle school. We didn't have a Gauntlet and there was no Post-it note war (of course we didn't have cell phones either), but there was plenty of nudging and name-calling going around. Moreover there was the struggle to find that core group of friends and to keep it together at all cost. The loss of friendship at that age and in that often antagonistic environment can be heartbreaking. That's what I set out to capture, but in a way that reflected on some of the current difficulties that adolescents face--namely the constant barrage of messages, both positive and negative--that assail them every minute of their lives.
DA: I feel it's necessary. Sometimes the drama gets ridiculous--ridiculously awful, but still ridiculous. J. K. Rowling was dead-on when she described how to deal with all the boggarts in your life. You have to laugh. It keeps you sane. It helps to put everything in perspective. It helps you to catch your breath. There isn't much between a punch in the gut and punchline (just a fine line). I try to keep that in mind whenever I'm writing. When I feel the weight of the world crushing down on my characters to the point that I'm not having any fun telling the story, I know it's time for a bit of parody, or a goofy moment, or just a good fart joke.
KC: What is your favorite book that you've written?
DA: I get this question a lot, and after some twenty books (counting ones I've written but haven't been published), I still have to say The Dungeoneers. It was simply the most fun I've ever had writing a book, and it brought back so many memories of a childhood spent reading fantasy stories. That said, every book gets its own little chamber in my heart. (Book lovers are born with more than four--we have thousands. That's why our hearts are so big.)
KC: What new projects are you working on?
DA: Honestly I need to reorganize the garage and probably lay new tile on the kitchen floor. But I will probably put both of those off so I can keep writing books (and being a smart aleck). I'm currently in the editing process with a novel called Granted that comes out in December, which is about a fairy agent charged with going out into the human world and granting a wish. Except, of course, a million things go wrong and much peril and hilarity ensues. Plus there's a talking dog.
KC: What advice would you give to aspiring kidlit authors?
Talking dogs are funny. Superheroes are still cool. And kids have giant, hungry imaginations that demand to be fed on something besides YouTube videos and standardized test questions. There is no journey too fantastic or heartfelt or hilarious that a young reader won't embark on. Just channel your inner eleven year old and remember what it was like to believe in the impossible. At the same time, I think kidlit authors should always be cognizant of their power, not just to encourage kids to keep reading, but to get them to engage with the world around them, to open their eyes to new experiences, and to help those kids turn into superheroes of their own.
Thanks for sharing your insights, John! Read my full review of Posted, here.
John David Anderson is the author of Ms. Bixby’s Last Day, Sidekicked, Minion, and The Dungeoneers. A dedicated root beer connoisseur and chocolate fiend, he lives with his wife, two kids, and perpetually whiny cat in Indianapolis, Indiana. You can visit him online at www.johndavidanderson.org
Check out other blogs from the tour here:
|Walden Media Tumblr|
|18-Apr||Nerdy Book Club|
|19-Apr||For Those About to Mock|
|20-Apr||Teach Mentor Texts|
|22-Apr||Next Best Book|
|Read, Write, Reflect|
|27-Apr||The Haunting of Orchid Forsythia|
|Ms Yingling Reads|
|29-Apr||The Hiding Spot|
|30-Apr||This Kid Reviews Books|