HAPPY THURSDAY, GUYS!
Today, I'm proud to be on the blog tour for Bruce Coville's Diary of a Mad Brownie!
Not only is the book hilarious and entertaining - it's something I would have adored when I was in elementary school - it's also a sign of Bruce's enduring legacy as a MG/YA writer.
So read on for answers on who he would have tea with, his best advice for burgeoning young writers and more!
A Q&A with Bruce Coville:
Author of The Enchanted Files: Diary of a Mad Brownie
June 2015, Random House BFYR
Q: Could you please summarize The Enchanted Files: Diary of a Mad Brownie in ten words or less?
Q: What inspired the idea for The Enchanted Files?
This is actually the second time I've turned one of my short stories into a novel, and in both cases I learned (somewhat painfully) that doing so requires letting go of a lot of what you liked about the piece in the first place, and coming up with a fresh vision. It's a process – lose the old to replace with something better. This time, part of the "freshening" was the idea of adding "supporting documents." If I could tell you exactly where that idea came from I would be happy to, but as near as I can remember it was just one of those lucky times when my brain did me a favor!
I can't take full credit for The Enchanted Files as a series, though. That goes to my original editor for the books, Mallory Loehr. When my agent sent the proposal, Mal immediately saw the potential for the format, and responded with the idea that we do multiple diaries. So a definite tip of the hat goes to editorial acumen!
One other aspect of putting this together is a lifetime of reading myth, legend, fairy tales, and folklore. Decades of absorbing that material has built a vision of the Enchanted Realm in my subconscious, and I have been drawing on it as I write these books.
Q: You’ve had such a diverse writing career over the years. Do you think your creativity/knack for creating worlds like the one in The Enchanted files, has been influenced more by your experiences with previous careers, or your evolving writing career?
Q: And in either case, could you attribute one specific instance or person who has been instrumental in helping you evolve your writing?
That promise was one a significant factor in propelling me to finish the first full draft of that story.
Later, doing post graduate work, I had the opportunity to take writing classes with Helen, who continued to encourage and support me. She validated me when I most needed it, and helped keepmy dream of writing for kids alive.
Happily, as the years went by we became fast friends, and even appeared together on the cover of the alumni magazine.
Q: If you could have tea with any of your characters from The Enchanted Files, who would you choose and why?
On the other hand, I'd need to be careful not to anger him. He's a bit of a pepperpot, and cultural misunderstandings happen fairly easily with him.
Q: As one of the writers who really helped lead the wave of MG/YA writing that has brought us into the popularity of the genres today, what’s one piece of advice that you would give for up-and-coming young writers?
Disclaimer: I serve as a volunteer on the Board of Advisors because I believe so deeply in the organization's work and positive impact.