Tuesday, May 23, 2017

John David Anderson Author Interview

Photo Content from John David Anderson

John David Anderson is the author of SidekickedMinionStandard Hero Behavior,The DungeoneersMs. Bixby's Last Day and Insert Coin to Continue. He lives with his patient wife and brilliant twins in Indianapolis, Indiana, right next to a State park and a Walmart. He does not wear ties but will wear sandals in the snow. He enjoys hiking, reading, chocolate, spending time with his family, playing the piano, chocolate, putting off the dishes, watching movies, and chocolate. Those aren't his real teeth. Seriously. The middle four on top? Lost 'em in a car accident. It's all right, though, the plastic ones look nice and he can still eat corn on the cob.

There are lots of ways to contact him. Telepathy, for example. Carrier pigeon. Alien distress beacon. Sky writing. Failing those, you can always e-mail him here. Be sure to tell him how his book has revolutionized your life, or, barring that, how you used it to smash a bug or something.


Age Range: 8 - 12 years
Grade Level: 3 - 7
Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Walden Pond Press (May 2, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 006233820X
ISBN-13: 978-0062338204

Praise for POSTED

Kids, and the rest of the world, need more books like this one 
Kirkus Reviews

★ “Written with understated humor and fine-tuned perception, Frost’s first-person narrative offers a riveting story as well as an uncomfortably realistic picture of middle school social dynamics.” 
Booklist (starred review)

★ “Anderson dives into the world of middle school with a clear sense of how it works and what it needs. Kids, and the rest of the world, need more books like this one.” 
Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

★ “Anderson captures the tumultuous joys and pains of middle school with honesty, creating characters with whom readers will find common ground and insight. Words have lingering and persistent power, Anderson makes clear, but so does standing up for others and making one’s voice heard.” Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Acute observations about social media and school life and a smart, engaging narrator make this a journey well worth taking. Readers might even want some Post-it notes to mark the good parts.” The Horn Book

What was your first introduction to literature?
I’ve always loved books, starting with Dr. Seuss and Maurice Sendak, and shooting through Roald Dahl and Douglas Adams to Nabakov and Michael Chabon. I remember reading Where the Red Fern Grows at school and then coming home to Stephen King (and the nightmares that followed; I had only myself to blame). I do know that the first really highfalutin “literary” author I fell in love with was Kurt Vonnegut Jr. To this day I still worship him as a minor deity (see picture below).

Who or what has influenced your writing, and in what way?
Every author I’ve ever read has had some impact. The bad ones (of which there are a couple), made me feel better about my own fledgling abilities (terrible but true). The good ones (of which there are way too many to count) always gave me something to aspire to and taught me everything I know about craft. And the really great ones…oh man…they showed me just how powerful words and stories can be, reminding me that I am forever an apprentice in a trade that takes a lifetime to master.

How would you describe yourself in three words?
Child at heart

Did you learn anything from writing POSTED and what was it?
I learned more writing this book than any other I’ve written so far. I’ll just share one lesson. Rewriting this book taught me the power of small moments. A lot of the revision process was a scaling back, an attempt to tease out the tension in the everyday exchanges that add up to form character and conflict. Honestly, not a lot happens in the book, but so much happens in the book. I also learned that after the sixth pass through a novel, I feel like taking a battleax to my laptop.

For those who are unfamiliar with Frost, how would you introduce him?
A poet in hiding. An observer. A kid with a voice who lacks the confidence to use it. A good friend—most of the time. Insecure. Confused. Inquisitive. Compassionate. In short—me at that age.

What part of Deedee and Rose did you enjoy writing the most?
I’m a geek. Deedee’s a geek. We bond on some molecular, D&D-loving level. I can’t tell you the number of ten-sided dice I have in my house. Rose, on the other hand, is the hero of the story. I admire her confidence, but I think I enjoyed her sense of humor the most. She’s cool in all the ways I wish I was cool.

If you could introduce Wolf and Bench to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
I would introduce Wolf to Willy Wonka. The kid’s kind of having a hard go of it (like Charlie), and I think a trip through the old chocolate factory would cheer him up. Bench needs to meet someone who understands the value of friendships, someone who can give him some perspective on what matters most in a relationship. Maybe Raymie Nightingale could help with that.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
That’s hard. I’m not sure I have a mentor in the Obi-Wan-Kenobi sense, but I definitely have influences: Lloyd Alexander, Twain, Douglas Adams, A.A. Milne. And a bunch of authors that I learn something from every time I read them, such as Kate DiCamillo, Gary Schmidt, Dave Eggers, and hundreds more. Pretty much every book I read teaches me something.

How many books have you written?
A bunch. Twenty? Twenty five? Obviously they weren’t all worth publishing, but they were absolutely all worth writing, if only for the experience and lessons learned.

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

As a reader, be willing to branch out and try new things. Don’t get stuck on one series or author or genre. There’s a lot to discover, and you are allowed to fall in love over and over again. As a writer, learn to read two ways: read for story and read for craft. Learn to appreciate a beautiful turn of phrase just as much as a twist of plot.

When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone on paper?
To my wife. Love letters should not be sent electronically.

Where did you go on your first airplane ride?
Probably Florida. That’s where we always went over the summer to escape from landlocked Indiana. I still sometimes question if man was really meant to fly; such a remarkable and unnerving achievement.

What decade during the last century would you have chosen to be a teenager?
The 1950s. Sure there was the whole simmering Cold War, but have you seen Grease? Those kids knew how to spend their summer days. And summer nights.

What is your greatest adventure?
Parenthood, hands down. You never know what a day is going to bring, but at the end of each one I can point to at least one moment with my kids that’s worth remembering.

Where can readers find you?
In my pajamas at my desk surrounded by Star Wars Lego models, empty cans of Diet Coke, and a never-ending supply of chocolate. Also at these places:


Photo from John David Anderson

A great friend knows your favorite flavor of ice-cream.
A great friend knows how to keep a secret.
A great friend splits the last breadstick and gives you the bigger half.
A great friend lets you have first pick of what course to drive in Mario Kart.
A great friend protects you from the wolves.
A great friend makes getting up and going to school every day not entirely terrible.
A great friend knows exactly when he can give you a hard time without hurting your feelings.
A great friend will insist that you borrow his favorite book.
A great friend will risk her life riding down a giant hill at breakneck speeds for you.
A great friend always accepts your apologies, so long as you really mean them.

From John David Anderson, author of the acclaimed Ms. Bixby’s Last Day, comes a humorous, poignant, and original contemporary story about bullying, broken friendships, and the failures of communication between kids.

In middle school, words aren’t just words. They can be weapons. They can be gifts. The right words can win you friends or make you enemies. They can come back to haunt you. Sometimes they can change things forever.

When cell phones are banned at Branton Middle School, Frost and his friends Deedee, Wolf, and Bench come up with a new way to communicate: leaving sticky notes for each other all around the school. It catches on, and soon all the kids in school are leaving notes—though for every kind and friendly one, there is a cutting and cruel one as well.

In the middle of this, a new girl named Rose arrives at school and sits at Frost’s lunch table. Rose is not like anyone else at Branton Middle School, and it’s clear that the close circle of friends Frost has made for himself won’t easily hold another. As the sticky-note war escalates, and the pressure to choose sides mounts, Frost soon realizes that after this year, nothing will ever be the same.

You can purchase Posted at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you JOHN DAVID ANDERSON for making this giveaway possible.
7 Winners will receive a Copy of POSTED by John David Anderson.
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