Friday, February 22, 2013

Author Interview with Anne Ursu

The DMS was lucky enough to interview Anne Ursu, author of the middle grade novel Breadcrumbs. Fairday reviewed this heart-warming 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, Anne! 

What inspired you to write Breadcrumbs?

I read Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale "The Snow Queen," which is about a small boy named Kai and girl named Gerda who are best friends until one day Kai gets a shard of magic mirror in his eye, and then he's cruel to Gerda and goes off with The Snow Queen. It struck me that this story was about losing friends as you grow up--except in this case, Gerda fights to get her friend back-- and I wanted to write about that, using contemporary kids. I started making notes as soon as I put the fairy tale down.
 How long did it take you to write Breadcrumbs?
I ended up writing the first draft in kind of a fever--it took me about 6 weeks, and the draft was about 180 pages. It sat for awhile, and then I had a furious bout of revising, and then another one, and the book grew about 80 more pages. All in all the process took about 10 months.
What was your inspiration for the characters Hazel and Jack?



I have a writer friend who once got a report card that read, "She is doing better in class, but still has a tendency to stare out the window and look stupid." That's Hazel--the girl who's looking out the window, thinking great thoughts and imagining wonderful things, and no one around her gets it. I wanted Jack to be imaginative and fun, someone who could bring out the real Hazel in a way no one else could.





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

A great deal of my identity has been shaped by Anne Shirley. I also loved Noel Streatfeild's Shoes books. Of course, I read every Judy Blume book a million times, and I'm sure she's responsible for a good deal of the way I think about middle grade fiction. I also liked stories with a bit of magic to them--contemporary kids with real powers, like Lois Duncan's A Gift of Magic. I probably had that one memorized!

If you could live anyplace real or fictional, where would it be? Why?

Maui, because it's impossible not to be relaxed and happy when everything around you is so beautiful. Then again, I'd probably never write anything again, because I would be too relaxed and happy. 

If you could befriend a character from a fairy tale, who would you befriend? Why?

The Beast, from Beauty and the Beast. Men suffering under the weight of a terrible curse are highly attractive. 

If you could sit down and chat with the Snow Queen, what would you want to talk with her about?

The fairy tale doesn't really make clear why she took Kai in the first place, and I'd be curious. Also, when Gerda arrives at the Snow Queen's palace, the queen has just gone off to vacation in a warmer climate, leaving Kai on his ice floe. This seems a strange choice to me, especially for someone who calls herself, "The Snow Queen." I have questions.

Where can we purchase your books?

Why, at a bookstore near you!

Amazon ☞ Barnes and Noble 

Connect with this author:
Author Website  Facebook Twitter



Read the reviews!



✭ Enter the giveaway for a chance to win a copy of Breadcrumbs, plus a signed bookplate!         
  
Giveaway ends Sunday, March 3rd! 
Open to US and International : )  
a Rafflecopter giveaway

36 comments:

  1. Thanks for the giveaway. My daughter would love this!

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    1. Kelly- You are welcome! Good luck! :) ~L

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  2. Great interview, I'm always fascinated to read the inspiration behind the characters.

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    1. Thanks, Petty! I love hearing about the inspiration behind the characters, too! ~L

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  3. I love finding out the how long and the why!

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  4. I"m kind of fond of men suffering from a terrible curse, too. She was influenced by some wonderful writers, so I imagine her story will be quite exciting to read. Thanks.

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    1. Lee- It is a really exciting read! ~L

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  5. I have wanted to read this one since I read reviews on it last year. I am super excited about the chance to win. I like that is based on a Anderson Fairy Tale and I a haven't read anything on the Snow Queen in awhile. Ten months! THat is impressive! Happy weekend, ladies!

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    1. Heidi- Good luck! The Snow Queen is a great character! :) ~L

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  6. What a great interview. This sounds like a story right up my niece's alley (I get to read it first, though). I hope I win :)

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    1. Angela- I bet your niece would love it (and you, too). Good luck! :) ~L

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  7. Wow- "She is doing better in class, but still has a tendency to stare out the window and look stupid." That's a messed up thing to say. If I was her mother that teacher would have just made an enemy calling my child stupid. It's not a bad quality to be a dreamer and have actual imagination!
    Ha! I'm surprised by Ursa's choice in a friend. I wonder who I would pick? I love Little Red Riding Hood but if I were to choose maybe...Belle. I would to hear what books she recommends (:
    I wish I can enter the giveaway but I already have Breadcrumbs. Great interview and Good Luck to everybody else!

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    1. Adriana- I agree that being a dreamer has so many possibilities. Great choice in a friend. I have always liked Belle and she would be able to give lots of good book recommendations. :) ~L

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  8. I have this book on my list of books to read!!!! What a great interview!!!!

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    1. Michelle- This is an excellent book! I hope you get to read it soon. So glad you enjoyed the interview. :) ~L

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  9. I love to read about the thought processes behind a story. This was such an interesting interview, thank you.

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    1. Barbara- I love hearing about the thought process behind a story, too. So happy that you enjoyed the interview. We were thrilled to have Anne on our blog! :) ~L

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  10. This sounds like a book my students and I would love. There are so many great characters to interview - and the villains would probably be the most interesting - Sauron, Voldemort...

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    1. Jemi- Your students would love this book! Villains would be interesting to interview. :) ~L

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  11. Excellent questions! The Snow Queen is my favourite Andersen story, and I'd love to sit down with the queen. Even if we don't talk, I'd still want to sit and look at her and try to figure out what makes her the way she is. "Breadcrumbs" was extremely enjoyable for one of my students, and I'll read it next. :)

    {I think, also, that "look stupid" was a terrible thing to say.}

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    1. Claudine- Thanks! The Snow Queen is fascinating! She would be fun to sit down with! I am glad your student loved Breadcrumbs and I hope you get to read it soon. :) ~L

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  12. Oh, I love love love love this interview. <3 Thank you so much for sharing :) I agree about the Beast ;) And oh. I really need to read Breadcrumbs now. I fear I will cry, but I need to read it, because it seems so so good. <3 And omg. Thank you for this perfect giveaway :D I would love to win. <3 *Fingers crossed.* GFC follow as Carina Olsen. But uhm.. I know I would love to meet and talk with Po from Graceling. <3 But I have no idea what I would want to know, etc. I haven't really thought about it. I just know that I want to meet him, because he is amazing and I adore him :)

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    1. Carina- Thanks! I think you will love Breadcrumbs. Good luck in the giveaway. I loved your reason for picking Po. :) ~L

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  13. My GFC is Andd D.
    And if I would have a chance to talk to one of my favorite characters, that would be Tobias, aka For from the Divergent Series ;) About what? I don't really know, anything I guess as long as I could talk to him, hehe ;))

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    1. Anndd D.- Thanks for stopping by. Great to hear from you! ~L

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  14. Fun interview to read.
    I featured this book on my blog when the hard copy came out and fell head over heel in love with it. :)

    ~Akoss

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    1. Akoss- Thanks! Glad you enjoyed the interview. So nice to hear that you love Breadcrumbs, too! It is awesome! ~L

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  15. Stare out the window and look stupid? Was the teacher looking in a mirror? It's funny the little things we learn about or experience that help us write our stories or characters.

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    1. Donna- Is it? I always find it fascinating to hear where a story began. :) ~L

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  16. My GFC is Cafebiblioart

    If I could talk to any fictional character I would choose Sherlock Holmes. I would really like to understand a little better how exactly he makes the connections. I love making connections, for as long I remember I started making them, maybe this is why I am so fond of Mathematics, but I know I will never compare to the genius that is Sherlock Holmes. This is why I would like to talk to him, maybe he could help me organize my knowledge in a way that would make it easier for me to make the connections I love.

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    1. Cafebiblioart- What an awesome pick! Your reasons for wanting to meet Sherlock Holmes are perfect! I bet he could help. :) Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. ~L

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  17. This cover is sooo cute!I just love it when someone has the guts to put a little brown girl on the cover.I may just check this one out!

    New follower here. I stumbled across your blog through a Book blogs thread.Seeing as how your blog is still active,I decided to sign up(Many people up there don't seem active don't know why)

    I look forward to your future posts and hope i can get some great suggestions from your list of reviews.Hope i can see you back at either one of my blogs.

    guinandlibertadtomas.blogspot.com

    yamulticulturaljunkie.wordpress.com

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  18. Hi Guinevere- Thanks so much for stopping by! I stopped by your blog as well. I agree with you that this is a great cover!

    We hope we will be able to help you find some interesting books! ~L

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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!

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