Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Susan Hill Long is in the House!

It's a book birthday!!

 I'm thrilled to have my pal, Susan Hill Long, stop by to talk to
us about her new middle grade novel, JOSIE BLOOM AND THE EMERGENCY OF LIFE, which Kirkus calls "entertaining and emotionally resonant. 

Publishers Weekly said, "Long nails the voice of a kid trying as hard as she can to tackle adult problems on her own when the adults in her life fall short." 

What's the story about?

Josie Bloom discovers the first wad of money stuffed inside a packet of bologna, and the second hidden between the trash can and the bin liner. That money comes in handy when she finds the PAST DUE  notice from the heating company. 

Seems like Grandpa has been spending more time feeding squirrels than paying the bills. But when a bill arrives that's too big to handle, Josie's going to need a plan to get more money - while keeping Grandpa's odd behavior a secret.

And here's a link to the first page. I always open a book and read the first paragraph before I commit to pulling it from the bookshelf. Do you? 

That's a terrific cover. What's with the squirrels in your books?

I love it, too. The art is by Sara Mulvanny. Thank you and ah, yes. There are squirrels on the cover of this new book and there was a squirrel on the cover of my last book, THE MAGIC MIRROR: Concerning a Lonely Princess, a Foundling Girl, a Scheming King and a Pickpocket Squirrel. [Note from O'Connor: I ADORE this book!!!]

Where I live, the squirrels are bigger than my dog. It's true
Susan's dog, Pippin
my dog is small, but these are some big squirrels. I'm telling you. I don't even like squirrels.

Then why do you put them in your books?

Good question. They just appear. As in real life, Squirrels Are Everywhere. In the case of JOSIE BLOOM, Grandpa starts feeding the squirrels to an extreme degree, yet another item on his list of odd behaviors.

What is Stargardt Disease?

Stargardt is a disease of the eye. Josie's best friend, Winky, is losing his vision to it, and with that his ability to play baseball, the game of his heart. There is a lot of marvelous research being done using stem cells to cure this disease.

Thanks so much for stopping by, Susan! I love this book.

Thank you for having me! I'm excited to have his book out in the world. I hope your readers will enjoy JOSIE, and if they do, that they'll write me at my website, www.susanhilllong.com. (I will gladly write back!) 

Susan Hill Long's books include JOSIE BLOOM AND THE
EMERGENCY OF LIFE, THE MAGIC MIRROR: CONCERNING A LONELY PRINCESS, A FOUNDLING GIRL, A SCHEMING KING, AND A PICKPOCKET SQUIRREL, and, WHISTLE IN THE DARK. Special recognition for her work includes a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year; Bank Street Best Books; Oregon Book Award and the Katherine Paterson Prize. She lives in Oregon with her husband, two daughters, and their dog, Pippin.