Thursday, February 21, 2013

Joyce Magnin Author Interview

Book Nerd Interview

Joyce Magnin is the author of the popular and quirky Bright's Pond novels. She is a frequent conference speaker and writing instructor. When she's not writing or reading Joyce enjoys baseball, needle arts, video games and cream soda but not elevators--especially glass ones. She listens to many kinds of music, shamelessly confesses to enjoying American Idol, has never eaten a scallop or sky dived. Joyce has three children, Rebekah, Emily and Adam and three grandsons, Lemuel, Cedar and Soren and one son-in-law, Joshua. Joyce lives in Havertown, Pennsylvania with her son, Adam and their crazy cat, Mango, where she cares for an eighty-year-old onion plant.
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Why is storytelling so important for all of us?

Stories help us learn about who we are, and where we stand in the universe. Stories are able to seek the truth on the slant, without coming full force right at you. Stories fill the voids.

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

I own my own xbox 360 and play RPG video games, and I’ve never eaten a scallop.

What was the greatest thing you learned at school?

Don’t quit. Life is hard but you have to keep moving.

How would you describe yourself in three words?

Funny, Compassionate, Tolerant

In your new book; Cake: Love, Chickens, and a Taste of Peculiar, can you tell my Book Nerd Kids Community a little about it and why they should read your novel?

I love the lesson Wilma Sue learns. She learns that she is eminently worthy to receive love and to give love away. A good lesson for us all. We are all eminently worthy of love. And she makes some great cakes and the book has chickens in it. Chickens are always fun.

For those who are unfamiliar with Wilma Sue, how would you introduce her?

She is smart, sassy, spunk. Wilma Sue love life even though hers has been rough. She ahs freckles and blondish hair. She’s small like a wren but can stand her own ground when needed.

If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why?

Ha! Great question. I think it would be fun if Naomi (one of the sisters in Cake) got a chance to me Charlotte Figg. They’re similar in ways but I think they could have some lovely discussions. Naomi bakes cakes. Charlotte bakes pies.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

I suppose I would need to build a kind of Frankenstein Creation. Part Emily Dickinson, part Norman Rockwell (even though he was a painter) part Ernest Hemingway and Dickens, some Katherine Paterson and a touch of Flannery O’Connor with maybe a smidgen of Fannie Flagg and a dusting of Walace Stegner.

You have the chance to give one piece of advice to your readers. What would it be?

Read. Read. Read. And when you’ve finished read some more. Be kind to everyone. Look for ways to be a blessing and don’t sweat the small stuff too much.

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

I babysat a lot. But I remember when horrifying night when I was watching two little kids when the boy, he was probably six, locked himself in the bathroom and told me he was going to “shave like Daddy.” I was so scared I had to call my Dad who took the door off the hinges. Fortunately the kid was okay. Phew!

What scares you the most and why?

Wow, lots of things scare me. Elevators for one thing, I don’t like close places. I’m afraid of kangaroos and spiders because kangaroos are unruly, they hop and kick and spiders are small and uncaring.

What is your greatest adventure?

My greatest adventure right now is raising my teenage son. I love him to pieces. Oh, and being a grand mom to my three little grand sons, and writing books, each book is an adventure.

when was the last time you told someone you loved them?

Five minutes ago.

Who is the first person you call when you have a bad day?

God. And then sometimes my daughter, Rebekah, or my other daughter Emily, could be my husband but a lot of the times I write in my journal first. I write letters to dead authors. Crazy, huh. Usually Emily Dickinson—I figure she understands pretty well.

When was the last time you cried?

This morning.

Where can readers stalk you?

I can be found on Facebook, Twitter, and at my blog Also look for me at conferences and book signings and other events. I’m around and I love, love , love to hear from readers.

More than frosting filled those cakes... Wilma Sue seems destined to go from one foster home to the next---until she is sent to live with sisters and missionaries, Ruth and Naomi. Do they really care about Wilma Sue, or are they just looking for a Cinderella-style farmhand to help raise chickens and bake cakes? As Wilma Sue adjusts to her new surroundings and helps deliver 'special' cakes, Wilma Sue realizes there's something strange going on. She starts looking for secret ingredients, and along the way she makes a new friend, Penny. When Penny and her mother hit a rough patch, Naomi decides to make her own version of cake---with disastrous results. Then tragedy strikes the chickens, and all fingers point to Wilma Sue---just when she was starting to believe she could at last find a permanent home with Ruth and Naomi. Will the sisters turn her out, or will she discover what it feels like to be truly loved?

You can purchase Cake: Love, Chickens, and a Taste of Peculiar at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you Joyce for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a copy of Cake: Love, Chickens, and a Taste of Peculiar by Joyce Magnin.
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