Thursday, August 23, 2012

Piper Reed Forever Friend--Author Interview & GIVEAWAY

New book: Piper Reed, Forever Friend

Series: Piper Reed

Author Q & A:
1. Please give us a little background on the Piper Reed series.

Piper Reed is a the daughter of a Navy Chief.  My dad was a Navy Chief. And like Piper, I'm one of three girls. My dad's career meant we moved a lot. I decided to write the Piper Reed series back in 2005 when I realized it could be a fun way to write about my military childhood. I chose Pensacola as the setting of the first books because that was the base I was born on. They move to Norfolk because I lived there, too.

2. Who is Piper Reed based on? I wish I could say, "me," but my sister Alicia (the middle child) is the inspiration for Piper. I'm the serious bossy oldest sister (Tori) and my baby sister Angela inspired much-adored Sam.

3. What age group will enjoy this book series the most?

I think 7-11 years of age is the right target audience, however younger kids might enjoy hearing the series read to them. Some people may assume it's a series for girls, but I have a lot of boy readers in the second-fourth grade. Probably because of the boy characters in the story. And that it's a story about friendship.

4. What is the most important lesson that readers can learn from "Forever Friend"?

That although moving is hard, it's also an opportunity to meet new people and make new friends.

5. When is the next Piper Reed book coming out? I'm sad to say, this is the final book. That could change though if the series becomes more popular with readers. The first book has done very well and has been on several state lists. However a lot of readers don't realize it's a series so they never discover the new stories. I receive mail that confirms this. They ask me to write more than one. I write back and them there are six. I've always been told it takes four books in paperback to come establish a series. My fourth book went into paperback a year ago. So....

6. Who is your favorite character (besides Piper) and why? I love Stanley. He didn't come into the series until the fourth book.  I love how he's  gaining some confidence. Some of that, of course, is because Piper has made Stanley her project.

7. How long have you been writing stories? I loved writing stories since second grade, but I became a serious writer on June 15, 1994.

8. How did you meet up with your illustrator and convey to her how you wanted Piper and her friends to look?

This is probably the answer that surprises people the most. My editor chose the illustrator. She showed me Christine Davenier's work before she asked her to illustrate for the series. I agreed. I love what Christine does to the stories. Interestingly, she always picks the moments that I think are special, too. I have her met though. She's French and we finally met when I was visiting Paris a couple of years ago. She said she related most to Piper. Oh, well. Someone has to relate to the bossy big sister.

Giveaways: 1 signed hardback copy of PIPER REED, FOREVER FRIEND
1 signed paperback copy of PIPER REED, NAVY BRAT
1 signed paperback copy of PIPER REED, RODEO STAR

Rules: Leave me a message here on Blogger in the comment section and let me know which book you'd like to win and who will be reading it. The contest winners will be announced Monday, Aug. 27, 2012, at noon (EST) and will be chosen via random drawings. Winners must live in the United States (sorry to all my foreign readers!); the books will be mailed directly from the author's assistant. You need to leave me your email address or a way to contact you so that I can forward your mailing address.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                                         Author:  Kimberly Willis Holt; Illustrator: Christine Davenier