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We’re moving along in our MuseItUp MG/YA Blog-a-thon. What great interviews, authors and stories. Today I’m happy to introduce Barbara Bockman, author of the tween novel Wounds. Welcome Barbara. I’m so glad you’re here. You have a very special Book Birthday coming up…

Hi Charlie,

It’s a delight to be the guest on your blog today. Our Blog Blitz is now half way through the month of September and everyone has shared new information about themselves and their books. We are twelve of MuseItUp Publishing’s young adult and middle grade authors. I, for one, am very excited about my novel, Wounds, being born in two days.

And… I will give away a PDF copy of Wounds at the end of the blog tour. So please leave a comment!

I’ve been writing for children’s magazines for seven years and now to have a novel published is overwhelming. Here’s a piece of good news I would like to share. A story I published in Hopscotch for Girls in 2009, “Rocks in My Pocket,” has been slated for re-print.

Can you tell your readers something interesting about yourself AND/OR your favorite character.

I suppose the most interesting thing about me is my hobby, raising butterflies. Butterflies are particular about the plants they lay their eggs on; most are plant specific. So I plant the kinds of plants that will attract the butterflies that live in my area, which is north central Florida. I’m particularly attached to Monarch butterflies. My fence is covered with purple passion vine, the plant on which Gulf Fritillaries and Zebra Long Wings lay their eggs. But we had a long freeze two winters ago and there have not been any zebras since then. That makes me sad.

That is sad. I love butterflies. Now share your favorite book as a teen? Tell us about it and how it affected you as a person.

I loved all the books by Janet Lambert. If I recall correctly, one of the best was titled Friday’s Child. The main character, a teen-age girl, was cute and charming and full of mischief. I did not identify with her. I wanted to emulate her. In general, I think YA authors want readers to identify with their main character. But I suppose, if one can’t identify, then emulation is a good second best.

Tell us about your new book. How did it come about and share your favorite excerpt/scene.

Wounds follows the main character, Craig, through almost an entire school year, from fall to spring. Craig keeps running away, or trying to run away from his problems. The first time is when his dad beats him up; Craig is fed up and is determined to get away. (His dad is also suffering from the death of Craig’s mom). When Craig tries to cut down a huge tree, the owners unexpectedly take him in. Craig resents everything and everybody, including the group of students who want to raise money for the care of the tree. In this excerpt we see the group planning for the fundraiser (Siegfried is the dog):

            Craig clicked off the television and got up to leave with Siegfried following.

            “Why don’t you stay and help us, Craig?” said Carson. “We could use some more brain power.” She looked at Mark and Norma Faith and Chan as if to dare them to dispute her.

            They didn’t. They nodded and mumbled, “Yeah, stay, Craig.”

            He hesitated then decided to stay. He wanted to be a part of the group and Carson was reaching out a hand in friendship. “Okay,” he said. Since Craig returned to his seat, Siegfried returned also, with his front half sitting beside Craig and his back half standing up.

“You’re ridiculous, Siegfried,” said Carson. Everyone laughed and the atmosphere in the room seemed friendly.

            “Whatever we come up with,” said Carson, slipping smoothly into the role of team leader, “had better be big. We can ask other people for help. I know for certain my mother’s business will pitch in.”

            “My dad’s Sunday school class will help, I bet,” said Mark. Mark was a muscular boy with a shock of red hair who was never without a basketball. He twirled one on his finger during the meeting.

            Norma Faith was the first with a suggestion. Twisting her hair around a scrunchy, she said, “Okay. I was thinking about a dog show. We take our poodle to dog shows, and it’s expensive to enter. We could charge a lot. Everybody has a dog.”

            “Not everybody,” said Chan. “But lots of people have pets. It doesn’t have to be just dogs. James has rabbits and Nelson has Siegfried. I have a guinea pig. Her name is Tundra.”

            “A pet show is not big enough,” said Carson. “But, it’s a good suggestion,” she added, when Norma Faith’s face turned red. “I’ll write that down. It’s a good start.”

            “The weather’s too cold for a dog wash or a car wash,” said Mark. “They’re always fun.”

            Craig cleared his throat, “Huh.” He was going to jump in. “How about a bake sale?” he

ventured. He had seen bake sales in front of the Food Lion.

            Carson smiled at him across the coffee table and across the gulf of exclusion.

****

Great excerpt! How has writing affected your life? And what’s your favorite part of being a writer?

I had dabbled in writing since college, but after my husband died in 2001, I took it up seriously. Nothing can replace the void left by my husband’s death, but writing takes up my time and gives me a goal in life. I love inventing characters and situations and the solitude of sitting at my computer composing.

How can your fans find, follow or friend you?

My blog, Stories a la Mode, is at
http://barbarabockman.wordpress.com

My twitter name is babs22582

My email is
bbockman@bellsouth.net

Wounds, an ebook and Kindle, will be available beginning September 16 at: MuseItUp Publishing:  http://tinyurl.com/Wounds-MuseItUp

Charlie, I’ve enjoyed answering your questions. Thanks a lot for having me on your blog today. And thanks for helping to get this blogathon onto the internet.

Thank you for joining me Barbara. It’s been a joy to get to know you better. I hope everyone checks out your new book when it makes its debut on Friday, September 16! Yay.  And please remember Barbara's contest. One lucky commenter will receive a PDF version of Wounds! So jot Barbara a note…

C.K. Volnek