April 26, 2012

Interview: Sue Cowing - You Will Call Me Drog +GIVEAWAY

Today I welcome Sue Cowing author of You Will Call Me Drog!

Bold, crazy and a little bit creepy, Call Me Drog is an unforgettable coming of age story. 
Parker is a quiet, introverted eleven-year-old boy, coming to terms with his parents' divorce, when he stumbles upon Drog, an ugly green puppet left in the rubbish. But Drog is no ordinary puppet; he’s a sarcastic, obnoxious talking puppet ... who won’t let go of Parker’s hand! Worst of all, no one believes that Drog – not Parker – is saying all of the outrageous things that get Parker into trouble.
Welcome Sue!!!

Let's start with the easy questions. Point of View: 1st or 3rd 1st
Boy or Girl main character: Boy, but there’s also an important girl.
Genre:  Magical realism (everything realistic except for one magical element).
Middle Grade or Young Adult: Upper Middle Grade
More boy or girl book (stereotypically): Both,.with an edge toward boy

The Serious Questions! 
What part/character/event are you most excited/proud about In You Will Call Me Drog? 
I’m amazed by Drog, the puppet you hate to love. He’s bossy and funny and drives the book. While I was writing, I made the puppet and wore it so I could hear Drog’s voice, and right away he started saying things I would never say to anyone. I really don’t know quite where he came from! I had a lot of fun in the scene where Drog tries out for Preposterous Puppets of Peoria by being as insulting as possible. Drog is Drog, but Parker is my hero. He has to believe in himself when no one else believes in him and solve his awful puppet problem alone. In the end, he has figured out some things many adults never learn. Wren gets some hero points too, because she’s so determined to save her best-friendship with Parker.

Tell about your writing process. I get up at 4:30 AM seven days a week and work until breakfast, about 7. Of course that means I have to go to bed really early, unless I take a nap in the afternoon! Then on Wednesdays, I also work from 8-4 with a break for lunch, and I don’t talk to anyone or answer the phone or read email on that day, I need a lot of uninterrupted quiet time to have ideas and write. How long did it take you to write You Will Call Me Drog from idea to finish? New writers, please don’t be discouraged; it took me seven years. The first draft was done in two years, so most of that was rewriting. Please tell about revision if you can! Even after I got an agent, she had me do two complete revisions. Then I did another two major revisions for my editor Andrew Karre. I used to dread revising, but now I look forward to it because I know the book is only going to get better. I realized very late that there was a scene I was leaving out of this book—a face-to-face between Parker’s Dad and Drog. I didn’t want to write it because I thought it would be too painful for Parker, and I wanted to protect him. Drog wouldn’t let me. So I finally wrote that scene, and now it’s one of my favorites in the book.

When you were in middle school kind of student were you? Did you write then? 
I have to admit I was only a good student in classes I liked, like chorus and art and sometimes English. I nearly flunked Algebra, and I was a phonetic speller, which won’t win you any spelling bees! I always, always, liked to write poems and stories, but I didn’t really think about being a writer until long after I was out of school.

And because it's the owl my standard question always is: WHOOO do you admire when it comes to writing? OR WHOOO do you like to read or really enjoyed in HS or middle school? 
You might not have room to print all the writers I like to read, so let me just name a few of the ones who write for middle grade and young adult readers I’ll read anything by Katherine Patterson, Gary Schmidt, John H. Ritter, Graham Salisbury, Kate DeCamillo, Richard Peck, Gary Paulson, Phillip Pullman, Kathleen Duey, Christopher Paul Curtis, Markus Zusak, Grace Lin, and Tom Angleberger, the Orgiami Yoda guy. Tom and I have agreed by email that Drog and Darth Paper should probably meet someday!

The Fun Questions! (based on what 7th graders do!) Do you chew gum? Yes or No If yes favorite kind? Not anymore, thanks to Miss Weinberg. I used to like Dentyne best.

Do you text? Nope. .

Was school lunch just as yucky then as it is now?! If it was, we could only blame ourselves, because we brought our own lunch to school! So I never got to taste mystery meat—did I miss something?

Now for the giveaway!
Sue has offered up a copy of her book to one lucky reader.

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1 comment:

  1. I haven't heard about this book, so thank you so much for sharing about (and offering the giveaway)! The idea of a talking puppet who is real -- so different and so, so intriguing.

    Thank you for sharing about your writing process and specifics to this book, Sue.