Friday, August 3, 2012

Author Interview with Polly Shulman

The DMS was lucky enough to interview Polly Shulman, author of the middle grade novel The Grimm Legacy Lizzy recently reviewed this fascinating book, and it was great to share our thoughts about it and hear yours! We are excited to learn a little bit more about the story behind the story. So, without further ado... take it away, Polly! 


What inspired you to write The Grimm Legacy


I worked as a page at the New York Public Library’s grand research library when I was in high school. It was a magical place and I always thought it would make a great setting for a novel. I always loved fairy tales, too—as a child I spent a lot of time imagining what I would do if I found a magical object like the ones in the stories. The Grimm Legacy combines those two ideas.

I just finished writing The Wells Bequest, the next Repository novel. It has the same setting as The Grimm Legacy, but it involves objects from science fiction instead of fairy tales, and most of the characters are new. It will be published next summer (2013).

How long did it take you to write The Grimm Legacy?

About two years, from the time I started until the time I finished, but I wasn’t working on it that whole time. I spent some time writing part of another book that I ended up abandoning, and I also work as an editor at a science magazine.

What are some of your favorite books from childhood? Were there any specific authors who inspired you?

I was a voracious reader as a child—still am. I especially loved books about magic: C.S. Lewis’s Narnia books, novels by E. Nesbit and Edward Eager, Ursula K. Le Guin’s Earthsea trilogy, George Macdonald’s The Princess and the Goblin and The Princess and Curdie, and any fairy tales I could find. Diana Wynne Jones’s books came out when I was a little past childhood, but they’re among my favorites.

My ambition is to write stories that give readers the kind of intense pleasure those books gave me—books that make you stay up too late reading under the covers with a flashlight and miss your bus stop.

If you could possess a magical item, what would it be? Why?

Winged sandals and an invisibility cloak. Flying would be so much fun! But I would hate to be mistaken for an enemy aircraft, so I would need the invisibility cloak too. I’d like the invisibility cloak for its own sake, too, since I can be pretty shy. But don’t worry, I won’t use it to spy on you.


If you could befriend a character from any of your books, who would you befriend? Why?


Julie from Enthusiasm. She’s a kind, loyal friend and we have a lot in common—we’re both crazy about Jane Austen.

What is your favorite fairy tale?


Does The Princess and the Goblin count? It’s a novel, but it has a fairy-godmother figure, a magic ball of thread, and a hero who saves a princess. If not, maybe “The Twelve Dancing Princesses,” because I always loved the idea of going through a trap door in your bedroom and finding an enchanted palace at the other end. Or maybe “The Ugly Duckling,” which is about finding your true self. It’s so hard to choose!


If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be? Why?

I love New York City, where I live. I love being just a subway ride or a fascinating walk away from a zillion different activities and cultures. I love being surrounded by friends and neighbors and yet being able to lose myself in a crowd. I love the variety of buildings and parks, the many great museums and libraries, the layers of history, and all the delicious food. I spend hours every day walking around the city. 


Where can we purchase your books?

I love independent bookstores, so that’s what I would try first. If your local independent bookstore doesn’t have my books, you can ask them to order them for you. If you don’t have an independent bookstore nearby, you can try a chain store like Barnes & Noble. Or you can order my books online from a bookstore or from Amazon.com.


 Author WebsiteRead the first chapter ☞ Scholastic Book Club Video 



Read the Reviews! 


28 comments:

  1. What a great author interview, my thanks to both yourself and Polly. A book I've heard quite a lot about, I'm away to add it to my wish list.

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    1. Petty- Thanks for stopping by! Glad you enjoyed the interview. It is a fun book. :) ~L

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  2. I read this book over the summer! It's AWSOME!
    SE

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    1. SE- How cool that you have read this one! I loved it, too. Can't wait for the next book in the series. :) ~L

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  3. That is such a cool cover! I love it. And you had real life experience to use as research. Very nice!

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    1. Kelly- I LOVE this cover! It is so beautiful. I loved hearing about Polly's experiences that helped her come up with the ideas for this book. ~L

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  4. I have this...I have to read it now!!! It looks so good!!!

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    1. Patty- Happy reading! Can't wait to hear your thoughts. :) ~L

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  5. It must have been amazing working at the library in NYC. I loved going there when I lived in those parts.

    Love the way you thought of modern days and the need for an invisibility cloak to fly. Clever.

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    1. M. Pax- I agree with you that it must have been amazing to work at the library in NYC. Thanks for stopping by. :) ~L

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  6. Very cool story premise! And title. And cover! And book video, too! :)

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  7. I've heard great things about this one and even more in the comments here! Obviously, I must read this.

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    1. Cleemckenzie- Thanks for stopping by and checking out the post and comments. The Grimm Legacy is a great read. :) ~L

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  8. I love the cover of this one and fairy tale type stories are some of my favorite. I think I am with Polly in that The Ugly Duckling has always been a favorite of mine as well!

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    1. Heidi- I am right there with you. Fairy tales are such fun. I still can't get over the beautiful cover. :) ~L

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  9. so interesting! I so enjoy these interviews...

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    1. Annmarie- Thanks so much! Glad that you enjoy them. It is always lots of fun to learn more about authors. :) ~L

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  10. It would be a dream come true to work as a page at the NYC library. Wow, no wonder you have such an imagination. I probably would have been dismissed for reading!

    Heather

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    1. Heather- I am right there with you. What an awesome job and I would have been in trouble for reading. :) ~L

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  11. lol - I so love her magical possessions. Clever. The book sounds amazing.
    C.S. Lewis Narnia is one of my favorite reads.

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    1. Donna- Her magical possessions are well thought out. It is a great book. I love Narnia, too! I may reread the series before school starts. :) ~L

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  12. Love that trailer!!! Polly sounds like a sweetie, and I can't wait to read The Grimm Legacy :D

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    1. M.A.D.- The trailer is fantastic! I hope you enjoy The Grimm Legacy when you get a chance to read it. :) ~L

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  13. The Grimm Legacy sounds like a fascinating read! Excellent trailer!

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    1. Hi Karen- Thanks so much for stopping by. The Grimm Legacy is a terrific book. I love the trailer, too! ~L

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  14. The NYC library is such a cool inspiration. The thoughts that must have swirled around in your head in a place like that. It's so cool that fairy tale influences are bringing forth such wonderful new stories.

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    1. Leslie- I couldn't agree more! Such a fabulous place to draw inspiration from. :) ~F

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