Thursday, February 21, 2013

Hélène Boudreau Author Interview


Book Nerd Interview

Hélène Boudreau grew up on an island surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean but now writes fiction and non-fiction for kids from her land-locked home in Ontario, Canada.

She has never time-travelled or saved an endangered bird, nor has she ever spotted a mermaid in the wild, but she believes mermaids are just as plausible as sea horses, flying fish, or electric eels.

Her tween novel, Real Mermaids Don’t Wear Toe Rings is a 2011 Crystal Kite Member Choice Award Finalist.


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Series: Real Mermaids
Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky (February 1, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1402264585
ISBN-13: 978-1402264580



What’s one thing that readers would be surprised to find out about you?

I am intensely creeped out by the cotton ball at the top of pill bottles. Just thinking about the squeaky sound the cotton makes while trying to get it out gives me the willies!

What was the greatest thing you learned at school?

I love being able to spell super-long words out loud. When I was in first grade I wanted to learn the longest word in the Encyclopaedia Britannica. I got up to the Cs and found Czechoslovakia so I practiced until I could spell it out loud without looking. I’ve since moved on to Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.

What is the best piece of advice you ever received from another author? 

I love this quote from Annie Dillard and try to remember it anytime I’m drafting a new book.


“One of the things I know about writing is this: spend it all, shoot it, play it, lose it, all, right away, every time. Do not hoard what seems good for a later place in the book or for another book; give it, give it all, give it now. The impulse to save something good for a better place later is the signal to spend it now. Something more will arise for later, something better.”

For those who are unfamiliar with your novel; Real Mermaids Don’t Need High Heels, how would you introduce it?

Just Your Average Teenage Mer-Girl

The only thing that terrifies Jade more than the ocean is dancing at the Fall Formal. Because Jade has two left feet—er, flippers. Who knew being a high school freshman is even more awkward than being a plus-size aqua-phobic mer-girl? At least her only drama is of the human variety...

Or not.

The Mermish Council has just declared that all land-dwelling mers but return to the ocean. Pronto. But there's no way Jade is going to let her mom, or Luke, her...boyfriend? mer-guy-friend?, disappear into the deep, dark ocean. Again. After all, a girl's got to have a date to her first dance.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating Jade?

I didn’t realize how loyal she was. Like, fiercely loyal, which is sometimes to her detriment. I admire that but I also see how loyalty can have its pitfalls.

Why do you feel you had to tell this story?

Jade’s not so different from other girls her age. She’s wondering about boys, trying to figure out friendships, and seeing changes in her body. Though, in Jade’s case, make that BIG changes!

My own daughter is almost twelve and is at the precipice of entering those uncertain years of raging hormones and topsy-turvy emotions. I really wanted to write a fun story for her (and girls like her) to ease her into the land of zits, training bras and smelly armpits. The upside being that—no matter how hard puberty might get—at least she doesn’t have a TAIL!

What are some of your current and future projects that you can share with us?

2013 is a busy year for me with the release of this book plus the fourth book in the Real Mermaids series called REAL MERMAIDS DON’T SELL SEA SHELLS coming out in the fall. I also have a picture book called I DARE YOU NOT TO YAWN coming out in March, and an adaptation of Longfellow’s epic 18th century poem EVANGELINE for Young Readers coming out in April.

What’s the best advice you can give writers to help them develop their own unique voice and style?

Experiment and don’t be afraid to make mistakes! Voice and style are things that develop over time so the most important thing to do is write and write and write and not to filter. Let it come out as honestly and organically as possible on the first go—you can refine things when you revise.

Where is the best place in the world you’ve been?

Cape Breton, Nova Scotia! It’s my second home.

What book are you reading now?

Two for the Dough by Janet Evanovich but my daughter thinks I should read The Alchemyst by Michael Scott.

When asked, what’s the one question you always answer with a lie?

Who ate all the chocolate chips?

What's the memorable summer job you've ever had?

Outward bound instructor. I took groups of teens on back country canoe trips.

What did the last text message on your phone say?

A message to my friend about our daughters: “Cuteness J”

When was the last time you cried?

I’m a big softie so it happens quit a lot but I basically cry anytime I see a flashmob video on YouTube. I’m a sucker for those things.

Where can readers stalk you?

Connect with me @: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads



The only thing that terrifies Jade more than the ocean is dancing at the Fall Formal. Because Jade has two left feet—er, flippers. Who knew being a high school freshman is even more awkward than being a plus-size aqua-phobic mer-girl? At least her only drama is of the human variety...

Or not.

The Mermish Council has just declared that all land-dwelling mers but return to the ocean. Pronto. But there's no way Jade is going to let her mom, or Luke, her...boyfriend? mer-guy-friend?, disappear into the deep, dark ocean. Again. After all, a girl's got to have a date to her first dance.

If Jade can stop mer-mageddon, finding a plus-size dress that doesn't look like a shower curtain should be a piece of cake.


You can purchase Real Mermaids Don't Need High Heels at the following Retailers:
        
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