Friday, November 23, 2012

Author Interview with Jerry Spinelli

The DMS was lucky enough to interview Jerry Spinelli, author of the middle grade novel Loser. Lizzy recently reviewed this wonderful story, 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, Jerry! 




What inspired you to write Loser?

For years I'd been giving talks on the value of failure. Loser is my fictional take on that idea.

How long did it take you to write Loser?

About a year, which is typical for me.

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

Hah. This is a writer who didn't read much as a kid (which may be why I have Maniac Magee carry a book everywhere he goes). In sixth grade I had a subscription to Bugs Bunny comic books. My reading devotions centered mostly on the sports pages of the Norristown (PA) Times Herald. My favorite writer was the sports editor, Red McCarthy.


Where did you come up with the character Zinkoff?

From looking at the one kid who is running south while the other 99 are running north.
 
Authors Stephanie Robinson & Jerry Spinelli
2012 UCONN Children's Book Fair


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

I would say Amanda Beale from Maniac Magee. My kind of kid.




Where do you like to write? Do you listen to music while you are writing?

I write (when I'm not on a long-distance train) in my office at home. No music.

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

Right where I am, a few miles from where I was born in southeastern PA. I will always be, in part, the place where I began, so I can travel the world, as I have, and always return to myself.     

Zinkoff really enjoys school and learning. Do you have a favorite teacher or memory of school that stands out to you?

I fondly recall many teachers, more so than subjects. I dedicated Fourth Grade Rats to Miss Coleman, my fourth-grade teacher.     

Where can we purchase your books?





✭ Enter the giveaway for a chance to win a signed copy of Loser!         
  
Giveaway ends Sunday, December 2nd! 
Open to US and International : ) 





a Rafflecopter giveaway

34 comments:

  1. Interesting interview - I especially loved the question about which of his book characters Jerry would befriend.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Petty! I always enjoy hearing from the author. :) ~L

      Delete
  2. First, let me say Lucky Duck, to score an interview with Jerry Spinelli. He has been a favorite in this house since my Kidddo was young. And second, very nice interview. So were all the posts about the UConn Children's Book Fair. Thanks for sharing it with your readers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Alex- We were so excited to get the chance to interview Jerry Spinelli! Thanks for all the compliments. :) We are so happy you enjoyed the posts and the interview. Have a great day! ~Stephanie and Jess

      Delete
  3. I loved the reply to the “where did you come up with the character” question. What a great answer! In fact, I loved the entire interview, thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Barbara- So happy you liked the interview. It was awesome to learn more about Jerry and his ideas. :) ~L

      Delete
  4. Lovely interview! I have loved him for years!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Patty! I have loved him for years, too! ~Stephanie

      Delete
  5. So jealous right now! I love Jerry Spinelli's books and you got to interview him. Fan girl moment here. I've read Loser but I'm entering because I'd love a signed copy. Can I cop out on the question and just say I love underdogs in general? I mean it's so much fun to cheer them on.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Kelly- Jerry Spinelli is such a talented writer- we were over the moon excited about interviewing him. Good luck winning the signed copy! I agree with you- underdogs are awesome. :) ~Stephanie

      Delete
  6. +JMJ+

    I love Jerry Spinelli!!! Maniac Magee, as everyone who has read it knows, is truly magical . . . but I actually think I like Crash more. Whenever a teenage athlete enters a story I'm reading or watching, I hold him up against Crash Coogan and always find the other guy wanting. And then there's The Library Card. I should reread those four novellas as soon as I get home! Don't get me started on Star Girl!!!

    My favourite tidbit from this interview is Spinelli saying that he didn't actually read much as a kid. Red McCarthy must be some influence, though! I should dig up some of his old sports articles. ;-)

    My favourite underdog is Neville Longbottom from the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. =) Thanks for the giveaway and the interview!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. JMJ- Maniac Magee is another favorite of mine by Mr. Spinelli. Star Girl is also fabulous. I haven't read Crash yet- but after reading what you posted I will have to read it asap.

      It was fascinating to find out the Jerry didn't read much as a kid. It made me curious about Red McCarthy's writing, too!

      Oh- and I LOVE Neville. :) ~Stephanie

      Delete
  7. Love this interview. I've been excited to read this post since you returned from the UCONN book fair. Thanks so much for sharing :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Angela- Thanks for stopping back to read the interview. :) ~L

      Delete
  8. I ADORE Jerry Spinelli's books. I read Maniac Magee to every class I have. He's such a great story teller.

    My favourite underdogs are always the kids I teach who don't have a lot to start with, but who have the best of attitudes! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jemi- How cool that you read Maniac Magee to each of your classes. It is an excellent book! I love your favorite underdogs. :) ~L

      Delete
  9. What a GREAT interview! Love his answers! Thank you so much for sharing and for the giveaway :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Cheles- Thanks! Good luck in the giveaway. :) ~L

      Delete
  10. Lovely interview. I have wanted to read this myself and share it with my son. :) My favorite underdog character is Ponyboy Curtis from The Outsiders. I follow via GFC Kelly Blackwell.

    Thank you

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Kelly- Thanks! Good luck winning the signed copy of Loser! Then you can share it with your son. I love Ponyboy! :) ~Stephanie

      Delete
  11. I am a HUGE fan of Mr. Spinelli's - Fourth Grade Rats, Maniac Magee, Jake and Lily...so many awesome books! I want to win Loser, that is one I haven't read!
    My favorite underdog is all of the Looney Tunes characters, but especially Daffy Duck (They have the funniest/worst things happen to them!). :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Kid Reviews Books- I really want to read Jake and Lily. The cover is awesome and the story sounds great. It is on my TBR list! Good luck in the giveaway! Being such a big fan of Mr. Spinelli's books- I am sure you will love Loser!

      Awesome pick for favorite underdog/s. :) ~Stephanie

      Delete
  12. Fun interview! And even the cover of LOSER is awesome!

    :0)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. M. Christine- So happy you enjoyed the interview! The cover of Loser is very cool. ;)~L

      Delete
  13. What a fun writer. I've never run any of his works but I do like what he says in the interview.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Stop what you are doing. Go to the library and pick up Maniac Magee. You will not regret it.

      Delete
  14. My most favoritest author. How great to read what he had to say here! Love that he doesn't write with music either. Now I can say, "I write like Jerry Spenilli!"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lee- So glad you enjoyed hearing what Jerry Spinelli had to say and that he is one of your favorite authors. :) I loved your comment and you are right- you do write like him! ~L

      Delete
  15. So lucky. So very very lucky. I read Loser and thought it was okay compared to the genius of Maniac Magee and Wringer which are two of my favorite books. Eggs was wonderful too.
    Underdog? Hmm... there are a lot of them out there. Maybe Percy Jackson? In the first book especially the odds are very much against him and he always prevails.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Adriana- We were so excited to get to interview Jerry Spinelli. I haven't read Wringer yet, but I will have to do that soon! I agree with you that Maniac Magee is a must read! You picked an excellent underdog. :) Thanks for stopping by! ~Jess and Stephanie

      Delete
  16. I love the 'value of failure' bit, and I enjoy championing the underdogs. (Matilda, perhaps? Or Barnaby Rudge, the village fool in a Dickens novel.) Great interview, ladies!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Claudine! Underdogs are awesome! Glad you enjoyed the interview. :) ~L

      Delete

Thank you for stopping by and commenting. We love to hear your thoughts! Fairday's Blog is no longer accepting awards. We appreciate all the nominations that we have received and are honored to have been mentioned! Happy Reading!

Twitter Bird Gadget Twitter Bird Gadget