Friday, January 20, 2017

Interview With Wendy McLeod MacKnight!

Today I'm happy to present an interview with Wendy McLeod MacKnight! Ms. MacKnight is the author of the MG novel It's a Mystery, Pig Face!, which releases February 7th! :)

Here's the interview!

The bold font is the questions I asked, the regular font are her answers, and the bold italic font are my comments about her answers.

Would you please describe your book, It's a Mystery, Pig Face!, in seven words?

Mystery solving is not easy, Pig Face!


Did you always want to be a MG author?

Between the ages of three and nine years old I wanted to be in the movies and be Fred Astaire, but by the time I was in grade five and had devoured the entire Anne of Green Gables series, I knew I wanted to be an author of middle grade books. It took me a while to get around to being published, but if you’d asked me from age nine onwards what my dream job was the answer was always the same: children’s book author.

Random question! What's your favorite mystery book and/or movie?

Oh I love this question!  There are so many, but I’m going to go old school here. When I was in grade three I discovered Enid Blyton’s Adventure series at the library.  The characters – Philip, Diana, Lucy, and Jack – were always ditching the grownups and solving amazing mysteries, which in turn started me searching for adventures everywhere in my neighbourhood and led, ultimately to It’s a Mystery, Pig Face!

As for my favorite mystery movie, there is a fabulous older movie starring Kenneth Branagh and Emma Thompson called Dead Again that I just adore. And if I’m clicking the channel and see a British mystery series, well – I’m in!

What's one piece of advice you would give to aspiring authors?

One piece of advice is so hard. But if I had to, I think I’d boil it down to two words: Be Tenacious. Tenacious about learning to write well;  tenacious about learning how to query well and when you should begin; tenacious about not letting the rejection (and there will be some) get you down; and Tenacious about excellence.  I am increasingly convinced that in many cases, the only thing that separates the unpublished from the published is their willingness to try, try, again.

Excellent advice!

What are some MG and YA books you're looking forward to in 2017? And if you've already read some '17 books, which books have you loved?

Okay, I seriously CANNOT wait until 2017! What I’ve already read and loved: Caravel by Stephanie Garber, The Edge of Everything by Jeff Giles, Stef Soto, Taco Queen by Jennifer Torres, Someday Birds by Sally Pla, Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones (her Goblin King has a restraining order out against me!), Vilonia Beebe Takes Charge by Kristin L. Gray, Dana Langer’s Siren Sisters, The Quartz Creek Ranch Series by Kiersi Burkhart and Amber Keyser, A Rambler Steals Home by Carter Higgins, The Ethan I was Before by Ali Standish, Almost Paradise by Corabel Shofner. There are so many I’m excited to read: American Street by Ibi Zoboi, Dear Martin by Nic Stone, The Hate U Give by A.C. Thomas, Kat Green Comes Clean by Melissa Roske, Forget Me Not by Elly Terry, Braced by Alyson Gerver, Family Game Night and Other Catastrophes by Mary E. Lambert, V.V. Mont’s The Elementist, Lindsey Becker’s The Star Thief, How to Stage a Catastrophe by Rebecca Donnelly, One Shadow on the Wall by Leah Henderson, Girl out of Water by Laura Silverman, Night of the Living Cuddle Bunnies by Jonathan Rosen, Susan Tan’s Cilla-Lee Jenkins: Future Author Extraordinaire, The Vanderbeeker’s of 141st Street by Karina Glaser, The League of American Traitors by Matt Landis, The Gauntlet by Karuna Riazi, . Really – I plan to read all of the 2017 debut authors if I can, as well as many of my fave 2016 debut authors who have new books coming out in 2017. Honestly, it’s an embarrassment of riches!

I'm looking forward to so many of the books you listed! And yes, 2017 looks to be an amazing reading year! 

Thank you so much to Ms. MacKnight for participating in this event! :)

Author Bio: Wendy McLeod MacKnight grew up in a magical small town with a library card as her prized possession. Over the course of her professional life, she’s been responsible for early childhood and child welfare programming, and ended her public service career as Deputy head of the Government of New Brunswick’s Department of Education. Then one day she woke up and decided it was time to pursue her life-long dream of writing books for children. It’s a Mystery, Pig Face! is her debut novel and any resemblance to the author is purely intentional. Wendy lives in New Brunswick, Canada with her family, her garden, and a ne’er-do-well groundhog. 

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