September 30th, 2009

book magic

Blog Tour: Sydney Salter and JUNGLE CROSSING

Please welcome backSydney Salter, whose second book, the MG novel JUNGLE CROSSING, was just released.

About the book:

Thirteen-year-old Kat can think of dozens of good reasons not to go on a boring family vacation to hot, grungy Mexico. Number one: missing her friend Fiona's minicamp. If she's not there, she'll begin eighth grade as a social reject. And it looks like she's the odd girl out on vacation, too. When Kat's parents arrange for her and her younger sister, Barb, to go on a teen adventure tour, Barb makes more friends than she does. The only person who will talk to Kat is Nando, a young Mayan guide (who happens to be quite a cutie). Each day as they travel to different Mayan ruins, Nando tells Kat and Barb another installment in the original legend of Muluc, a girl who lived in the time of the Ancient Maya. The dangerous, dramatic world in which Muluc lives is as full of rivalry, betrayal, jealousy, and sacrifice as Kat's world at school. And as she makes new friends and discovers new treasures in Mexico, Kat begins to wonder: Is she willing to keep sacrificing her self in exchange for popularity?

An Interview with Sydney Salter:

Me: Your first novel was YA, this one is MG. What differences did you notice in writing and publishing for a younger age group?
Sydney: I don't think there's too much difference between writing middle-grade and young adult; I try to make each character unique and complex no matter what. I am discovering that publishing middle-grade is different. Elementary school kids are definitely Internet savvy, but they don't go online to read blogs or book reviews--they play games. My middle-grade book also has to appeal to parents, teachers, and librarians in a way that my teen novel didn't. I do feel more relaxed this time around--although that might just be exhaustion!

Me: What was your favorite part of writing JUNGLE CROSSING, and what was the hardest?
Sydney: I loved researching Mayan culture by reading and traveling. I had so many wonderful details to include in the book. The hardest part was leaving out sections that didn't move the story along (no matter how fascinating they were--to me).

Me: Did you draw on any people/places/experiences from your life while writing?
Sydney: I brought a notebook along with me to Mexico and almost all of my notes ended up in the novel--like my experience swimming in an underground river. Oh, and holding a monkey!

Me: What was the most exciting moment during the publishing process? The scariest?
Sydney: I'll never forget standing in my kitchen when my agent called to say that my editor for My Big Nose And Other Natural Disasters also wanted to acquire Jungle Crossing. So thrilling! Jungle Crossing is the story that finally got me to accomplish my life-long dream of writing a novel--so it will always hold a special place in my heart. What's scary? Hoping readers love it as much as I do. Oh, and those reviewers too!

Me: What are you working on now?
Sydney: I have another YA called SWOON AT YOUR OWN RISK coming out in April 2010. And, of course, I'm always cooking up something new!

Hope you enjoyed getting to know Sydney even more! More interviews to come next month. :)
vmars happy

Flashback: Flirting

April 26, 1997 (Megan is 16)

It’s funny how everything seems different at night. People are different, act differently than they usually would, at least in school. Perhaps that is why so many people like to go out to parties in the hopes of “meeting someone.”

What I am getting at is having to do with the play (THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST) which L and I went to see at the school yesterday night. The play itself was quite good, well acted and humorous, but that is not what I want to talk about. What I do want to talk about is a certain guy (names will be omitted for reasons for uncertainty of affections)* whom I talked to there.

Now, I should mention that I have noticed this particular gentleman previous to this occasion. I can’t remember why exactly, but a couple of times in the last few weeks, he talked to me in a way I interpreted as, possibly, somewhat flirtatious. Of course, I did not and am not considering this idea particularly seriously, as I am rather prone to noticing these kinds of things for no reason except my sadly deluded brain.

In any case, I arrived at the school early and was waiting for L. He and X (who L and I used to eat lunch with) were selling tickets nearby. X saw me and waved and he looked over and probably said hello or something and was telling me how the stage crew (which they’re part of) was the best part of the show, and we (L and I) should watch for him, and stuff like that. During the play, between the scenes, we did see him the one time, and he was looking at us, so I grinned and L waved.

After the play, L and I were sitting in the atrium, waiting for her father. He (not her father, but the guy) came over, sat down next to me, and was talking to us a bit. Then he got up and was kicking this bottle cap around, which soon evolved into a game of cap hockey between him and L & me. This went on for several minutes until L and I had to leave. It all seemed rather weird, because I was a little tired and a little hyper, and otherwise I likely would have been more restrained–which is not a good thing.

I know this is not to be taken seriously. The only reason I noticed was because until a few weeks ago I can’t remember when he’d spoken to me, let alone in a particularly friendly way. I don’t even know if I like him at all; I’ve never really talked to him.

*This was the person referred to in The Cast as J; I refrained from naming him in my journal for a while but in all other entries after this that I post that mention him I’ll just use J, for reasons of avoiding confusion. :)

An Introduction to Flashbacks
The Flashback Cast
The Flashback Timeline

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Originally published at Megan Crewe - another world, not quite ours. You can comment here or there.