In the Middle with Lauren Magaziner

I was obsessed with witches and magic as a girl. Kid-me would have read today’s book ragged. Kid-me would have also told adult-me to hurry up and tell you about the book! Today, we are in the middle with Lauren Magaziner and her magical debut, The Only Thing Worse than Witches:

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Roald Dahl meets Eva Ibbotson in this hilarious middle grade debut perfect for reading aloud!

Rupert Campbell is fascinated by the witches who live nearby. He dreams of broomstick tours and souvenir potions, but Rupert’s mother forbids him from even looking at that part of town. The closest he can get to a witchy experience is sitting in class with his awful teacher Mrs. Frabbleknacker, who smells like bellybutton lint and forbids Rupert’s classmates from talking to each other before, during, and after class. So when he sees an ad to become a witch’s apprentice, Rupert simply can’t resist applying.

But Witchling Two isn’t exactly what Rupert expected. With a hankering for lollipops and the magical aptitude of a toad, she needs all the help she can get to pass her exams and become a full-fledged witch. She’s determined to help Rupert stand up to dreadful Mrs. Frabbleknacker too, but the witchling’s magic will be as useful as a clump of seaweed unless Rupert can figure out a way to help her improve her spellcasting—and fast!

The Only Thing Worse than Witches is available on IndieBound, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Book Depository, Books A Million, and in bookstores near you.

Q&A with Lauren

What draws you into writing for a middle grade audience?

Laughter, laughter, laughter. Jokes and joy. Guffaws and giggles. Chortles and snortles. My humor skews more toward silly and absurd, which is a perfect fit for middle grade stories, where funny and fantastical things often happen! I feel very lucky to write for middle grade readers, who love humor, adventure, magic, and silliness as much as I do!

Middle Grade Me

If you had a time machine and could visit middle-grade you, what would you tell her?

Oh, I wouldn’t tell her ANYTHING. The repercussions of tampering with the laws of time are rather immense. Just by giving Little Lauren advice or a warning, I could unravel the very fabric of our existence! Create some sort of paradox! Get us both stuck in a time loop! Break off into alternate parallel universes in which Little Lauren never ends up becoming an author, thus the Lauren that’s sitting here answering this question doesn’t exist, thus this blog post never gets written.

And you would be very sad about that, I know.

Besides, fourth-grade Lauren doesn’t need my help. In some ways, she has a lot of things figured out: like being able to proudly and confidently dress up as one of her favorite book characters in public. (Some things will never change for her.)

Choose your own adventure: Is there an interview question you’d love to answer, but haven’t been asked?

After passing the witch Bar Exam, which witch name would you choose, and why?

The Collywobbles Witch

Why? Because collywobbles (which means stomach pain or queasiness) is the singularly most amazing sounding word in the history of time. And because I’d hope to be a fearsome enough witch to induce collywobbles in humans. *cackles*  (Though in honesty, it would probably be one of those names that’s ironic, as I’m very friendly.)

I love the word collywobbles! Thanks for stopping in today, Lauren, and congratulations on your debut!

Lauren Magaziner recently graduated from Hamilton College. She lives in Brooklyn, New York and works in children’s magazine publishing (her coworkers still think her last name is a hoax). Her debut novel, The Only Thing Worse Than Witches, has been called “a fun, frothy story” by Publishers Weekly, and Kirkus Reviews says, “Readers will banish themselves from the real world to finish this book in a flash.” Lauren continues to write humorous, whimsical, wonky children’s books. To learn more about current and upcoming projects, visit her at laurenmagaziner.com.

Book Things and My Face in a Shark

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Hook’s Revenge is out in less than a month! This is your last chance to read it early and lord it over all your friends and loved ones. Disney•Hyperion is giving away ten advance copies on Goodreads. Enter below or click here.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Hook's Revenge, Book 1 Hook's Revenge by Heidi Schulz

Hook’s Revenge, Book 1 Hook’s Revenge

by Heidi Schulz

Giveaway ends September 04, 2014. See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter to win

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If you prefer a free hardcover (or you are hoping to win everything, and why not, don’t you deserve it?), go sign up for my newsletter, here or on the right sidebar. One person who signs up in August will win a signed hardcover and a $25 Powells.com gift card.

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A few words I think should be compound words:

  • Giftcard
  • Nevermind (Thanks to Nirvana)
  • Everytime (I have no excuse for this one. But I do it almost everytime every time.

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Let’s Take This Show on the Road

Hook’s Revenge comes out in little more than a month! Can you believe it?

I’d love to celebrate with you. Here is a listing of where you can find me. (Additional details on my events page.)

If you are local to me (or in the mood to travel), please consider coming to one of my launch parties:

Cedar Hills Powell’s in Beaverton, September 19 (International Talk Like a Pirate Day), 7:00 pm

Salem Oregon Public Library, September 20, 3:00 pm

In early October I’m going on tour with my lovely friend Emma Trevayne, author of one of my favorite middle grade books ever, Flights, Chimes, and Mysterious Times!

Heidi Emma Collage

Along the way, we’ll be meeting up with some other fantastic writers and celebrating all things middle grade. Come see us in:

Seattle with Kevin Emerson, Wednesday, October 1 (Panel moderated by Martha Brockenbrough) Details

Salt Lake City with Matthew J. Kirby and Jennifer Nielsen, Friday, October 3 Details

Denver with Lindsay Eland, Sunday, October 5 Details

Portland with Shelby Bach, Tuesday, October 7 (Panel moderated by Kari Luna) Details

And in November, some of my favorite local writers and I will be taking a road trip to:

Boise with Miriam Forster, April Tucholke, and Robin Herrera, Friday, November 14th Details

I have a couple other appearances in the works. I’ll be sure to update you as soon as I can!

Hope to see you soon!
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On My Mind: August 11, 2014 (and a giveaway)

If you are impatient super excited for the giveaway, scroll down to the bonus item.

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Road trip! My family and I just got home from an awesome summer road trip. Here are a few photos:
road tripWe drove about a thousand miles and had about a thousand little adventures. Ocean, mountains, caves, a jet boat ride up a river, ATVs, and yes, I fed a giraffe. (It was scary.) We had a really lovely time.

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My debut book comes out next month! Last week, I got my first copies. You guys, they are so beautiful. Look!

Hook's Revenge

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Want to see more? Hook’s Revenge has an amazingly good illustrator, John Hendrix. He just posted pictures of the interior art. Here’s one:

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Isn’t it gorgeous?! The rest can be seen here, on his tumblr.

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You all know my history with terrible selfies, right? Well, I accidentally took a good one. How did this happen?
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Mind if I talk about my book some more? Because it really is on my mind.

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School Library Journal gave Hook’s Revenge a starred review!

Among other really nice things, they said, “The evocative language moves beyond simple description and engages the audience’s imagination. Most notable, however, is the wickedly funny narrator who doesn’t hesitate to add his amusing commentary and pointed dislike for the audience to the narrative.”

Read the full review here.

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I was also just interviewed on Riffle. Swing by to hear about books kid-me would have loved and why I am over the moon for Atticus Finch.

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Pie. I’m thinking about pie.

Bonus Item
Want to be among the first to hear about events, giveaways, and book news?

No? Okay.

Well, do you want to win stuff?

Yes? Good!

I’m giving away a signed hardcover of Hook’s Revenge and a $25 Powells.com gift card (maybe to you?)! Enter by signing up for my newsletter in the month of August. I promise not to email you too often and to always try to be entertaining.

Sign up in my sidebar, over there on the right, under where it says “I also have a newsletter,” or sign up on my Facebook page.
Good luck!

#PirateFace

Thank you to everyone who participated in my #PirateFace giveaway! There were entries on tumblr, twitter, Facebook, instagram, and even a blog post. After looking at them all, one thing is clear:

Your pirate faces are amazing!

Here is a sample (unless you want to skip to the winner—in which case, scroll on):

But now for the winning entry! The honor goes to a Facebook entrant, Rachel Maughan, and her adorable daughter terrifying young pirate offspring!

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Rachel and her family win:

  • Peg-leg pirate pencil sharpener
  • Pirate stencil kit
  • Loot (a fun pirate card game)
  • An annotated advance copy of Hook’s Revenge!
  • And signed Hook’s Revenge swag!

A special mention to Stephanie Barth who posed with a chicken, of sorts. I’ll be sending her a signed Hook’s Revenge poster!

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Thanks again for playing along, mateys! Glad to have ye on my crew!

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