Thursday, March 7, 2019

e.E. Charlton-Trujillo Author Interview


Photo Content from e.E. Charlton-Trujillo

Deemed a “force of nature” by Kirkus reviews, Mexican American author, filmmaker, playwright and poet e.E. Charlton-Trujillo grew up in small-town Mathis, Texas.

As an author, she is the recipient of the Delacorte Dell Yearling Award for her first novel, Prizefighter En Mi Casa. What followed was: the Parents’ Choice Silver Honor, a Flamingnet Top Choice Award,a National Council for the Social Studies Notable Book and made the NYC PublicLibrary Teenage List. Check out the Reviews on Amazon.com

Her second novel Feels Like Home released to critical praise and award nominations.

It was her third novel, Fat Angie that garnered the American Library Association’s Stonewall Award, was a Lambda Literary Finalist and a Choose to Read Ohio book. Fat Angie was also the foundation for a unique book tour to empower at-risk youth via writing and discussion and the catalyst for the feature documentary At-Risk Summer. From that experience, she co-founded a non-profit to bridge the gap between at-risk youth and artists called Never Counted Out.

Currently, she is completing the feature documentary, A Cultural of Silence for GLSEN Cincinnati, writing two novels and Fat Angie: Rebel Girl Revolution in early 2019.

Click the highlighted links for Meet At Human or The Pirate Tree’s interview about e.


        



Series: Fat Angie
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Candlewick (March 5, 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0763693456
ISBN-13: 978-0763693459


Praise for FAT ANGIE: REBEL GIRL REVOLUTION

Fortunately and refreshingly, the text gives Angie no weight-loss arc...A welcomingly awkward, offbeat journey for a "gay-girl gay" girl with many heartaches. ―Kirkus Reviews

In this companion to the Stonewall Award–winning Fat Angie, Angie’s girlfriend has moved away, Angie is constantly bullied as she starts as a sophomore after repeating her freshman year, her mother still can’t stand her, and her former best friend, Jamboree, is back in town...it’s still good to see Angie, a very human combination of neuroses, fears, truths, and desires, break through some of her defenses and take risks, from singing to loving. ―Publishers Weekly
  


What are two things that readers would be surprised to find out about you?
I have a not-so-clever YouTube show called The Taste Buds, and I read magazines back to front.

When/how did you realize you had a creative dream or calling to fulfill?
Growing up in one of the poorest towns in south Texas, I didn’t have a lot of access to books or people saying I could be a writer or a filmmaker. Just before the age of five, I started scribbling on scraps of paper or on the back of discarded envelopes – writing stories and poems. When I was a thirteen, I borrowed a friend’s camcorder and made one of the longest and most terrible music videos in my hometown’s history. It was like fifty-four minutes of graveyards, dance sequences in dark fields – everything you might see in Me, Earl and the Dying Girl. But that experience ignited a want to take my stories and make movies in a way that almost seemed achievable.

If you could be a character in any novel you’ve ever read, who would you be and why?
That’s hard because I’ve read so many great novels. Maybe Ponyboy from The Outsiders. Growing up, I really identified with his love of poetry, sunsets and sunrises. His connection with his friends, and how they represented an extended family was reflective of my own experience in a lot of ways. I felt on the outside but unlike the class issues he faced, mine was about orientation, ethnicity and challenges of being neurodiverse.

Can you tell us when you started FAT ANGIE: REBEL GIRL REVOLUTION, how that came about?
I started Fat Angie: Rebel Girl Revolution before I finished Fat Angie. Then I was on the road a lot, traveling for book related stuff, and kind of forgot about it. One day, my friend, New York Times Best Selling author Pat Zietlow Miller who is a rock star of a human said, “Wait. There was supposed to be another Fat Angie? Have you told Erin (my agent, Erin Murphy)?”

Of course, I hadn’t, so unbeknownst to me, Pat told Erin who asked to see what I had and like lightning it sold. While I knew it was such an important story, I was reluctant to write it because sequels can fall into the trappings of retelling the same story. I didn’t want to let Fat Angie fans down. Ultimately, this was exactly the book I needed to write. It’s not always a comfortable book, but there are so many kids who are experiencing variations of this story. I’ve met them and been them. The time for this kind of story is now.

What part of Angie did you enjoy writing the most?
There were sooooooo many things I enjoyed about writing this book! The music, the road trip, the hard conversations, the funny conversations, the landmarks and landscapes of Ohio and the relationships between familiar characters and new ones. I loved that I got to go deeper into Angie’s world. To not just retell that first book, but continue with the life of a very different kind of rebel girl. Plus sized, fully awkward and absolutely capable of growing.

What was the most surprising thing you learned in creating your characters?
Every book teaches you something you don’t expect. Without a doubt what I learned writing about a girl named Chula and a one-eyed, illegal prizefighter from Mexico in my first book is vastly different from this one. With Fat Angie: Rebel Girl Revolution, I was surprised to learn how brave each of them had to learn to be, and how brave looks like a lot of different things depending on the person. In real life with real consequences, standing up for the right thing can be so absolutely hard.

In your novel; FAT ANGIE: REBEL GIRL REVOLUTION, can you tell my Nerd community a little about it?
Nerd community, welcome to the world of Angie. So . . . sophomore year has just begun, and Angie’s miserable. Her girlfriend, KC, has moved away; her best friend, Jake, is keeping his distance; and the resident bully has ramped up a hateful campaign to humiliate her. An over-the-top statue dedication planned for her sister, who died in Iraq, is almost too much to bear, and it doesn't help that her mother has placed a symbolic empty urn on their mantel. At the ceremony, a soldier hands Angie a final letter from her sister, including a postcard with a list of places she wanted the two of them to visit when she returned from the war.

With her mother threatening to send Angie to a “treatment center” and the situation at school becoming violent, Angie enlists the help of her estranged childhood friend, Jamboree. Along with a few other outsiders, they pack into an RV and head across Ohio on the road trip Angie's sister did not live to take with her. Prepare for a trip with unusual stops, humor and revolution!

You have the chance to give one piece of advice to your readers. What would it be?
What you think and feel matters. You have a voice and a story and the value of that far exceeds all the people who may say you don’t. Pick up a pen or a camera or a paint brush – whatever medium speaks to you, and be heard!

What are you most passionate about today?
I’m passionate about the Creative Revolution. It’s a revolution that I talk about when I spend time in classrooms, after school programs, libraries and juvenile detention centers. A revolution to excite young people to tell their stories – to be heard. Because I didn’t have a lot of people fostering that in me, I do whatever I can to inspire that in the kids I meet. Part of this Creative Revolution is encouraging young people not to veer from challenging conversations regarding racism, classism, orientation, identity, neurodiversity, ability and mental health. It makes our personal and creative stories more nuanced and powerful.

If you could go back in time to one point in your life, where would you go?
I’d go back to my first weeks interning at Killer Films in New York City. I was camped out at director Lucy Walker’s six flight walk-up in Chinatown, waiting for an apartment to open up in one stop off the Q train in Brooklyn. I’d never been to New York City – to any city of that size. It was so intimidating. Every day I’d come into the office, it was a ride or die moment in my mind. There was no room for mistakes or to get distracted. Because I’d wanted to be a filmmaker for so long, I didn’t want to blow it.

If I could go back to those first few weeks, I’d enjoy it more. The intern pit. The runs for the producers and chatting with my supervisor Megan. I was so afraid of possibly failing that I couldn’t fully savor the moments. That’s the take away. Savor it. All of it. Whatever that special is for you.

If you had to go back in time and change one thing, if you HAD to, even if you had “no regrets” what would it be?
To change one thing risks changing everything that comes after. It’s that whole butterfly effect. But if I HAD to go back in time to change one thing, I wouldn’t have gotten out of bed early on Christmas morning only to face off with a rattlesnake under my Christmas tree. #AlwaysCloseTheBackDoor

What decade during the last century would you have chosen to be a teenager?
Right now is a pretty amazing time to be a teen. The access to books, movies and television that represent diverse experiences is expanding, though there is significant room to grow. The awareness that young people crave books that reflect their experiences – based on topics such as race, class, orientation, identity, ability, neurodiversity and so on is something that just wasn’t real even ten years ago. I would have given anything to have access to books such as: They Call Me G├╝ero, Juliet Takes A Breath, The Prince and The Dressmaker, I’m Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter, New Kid, Heavy Vinyl, Genesis Begins Again, It’s Kind of A Funny Story, On A Sunbeam, Ash or The Poet X.

TEN REASONS TO READ FAT ANGIE: REBEL GIRL REVOLUTION
  • Stories about personal revolutions rock!
  • Yes, to books featuring all kinds of body shapes and types!
  • Diverse characters via ethnicity, orientation and identity are amazing.
  • Full of retro pop culture references regarding music, movies, TV and more.
  • Doesn’t shy from realistic and sometimes difficult family relationships.
  • Addresses homophobia, bullying and violence against women.
  • It’s an anti-romantic, romantic story full of surprises.
  • There are so many funny, corky moments.
  • It’s a book likely to make you cheer, dance, cry, scream, dance again and feel inspired.
  • Road trip!!!!

More trouble at school and at home — and the discovery of a missive from her late soldier sister — send Angie and a long-ago friend on an RV road trip across Ohio.

Sophomore year has just begun, and Angie is miserable. Her girlfriend, KC, has moved away; her good friend, Jake, is keeping his distance; and the resident bully has ramped up an increasingly vicious and targeted campaign to humiliate her. An over-the-top statue dedication planned for her sister, who died in Iraq, is almost too much to bear, and it doesn't help that her mother has placed a symbolic empty urn on their mantel. At the ceremony, a soldier hands Angie a final letter from her sister, including a list of places she wanted the two of them to visit when she got home from the war. With her mother threatening to send Angie to a “treatment center” and the situation at school becoming violent, Angie enlists the help of her estranged childhood friend, Jamboree. Along with a few other outsiders, they pack into an RV and head across the state on the road trip Angie's sister did not live to take. It might be just what Angie needs to find a way to let her sister go, and find herself in the process.


You can purchase Fat Angie: Rebel Girl Revolution at the following Retailers:
        

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you E.E. CHARLTON-TRUJILLO for making this giveaway possible.
3 Winners will receive a Copy of FAT ANGIE: REBEL GIRL REVOLUTION by e.E. Charlton-Trujillo.. 
PART ONE
MARCH 4th MONDAY A Dream Within A Dream EXCERPT
MARCH 5th TUESDAY A Court of Coffee and Books REVIEW
MARCH 5th TUESDAY Two Points of Interest REVIEW
MARCH 6th WEDNESDAY Movies, Shows, & Books EXCERPT
MARCH 7th THURSDAY Bookriot REVIEW 
MARCH 7th THURSDAY JeanBookNerd INTERVIEW
MARCH 8th FRIDAY BookHounds YA INTERVIEW 

PART TWO
MARCH 9th SATURDAY Crossroad Reviews REVIEW 
MARCH 9th SATURDAY Sabrina's Paranormal Palace REVIEW &TENS LIST
MARCH 9th SATURDAY Kelly P's Blog EXCERPT
MARCH 10th SUNDAY TTC Books and More TENS LIST
MARCH 10th SUNDAY Bookish Kali REVIEW
MARCH 10th SUNDAY The Avid Reader REVIEW & TENS LIST

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