Friday, July 19, 2013

A Gathering of Characters : )












We are excited for the chance to chat with Pete and Weasel from the middle grade adventure Alligators Overhead by C. Lee McKenzie. From what we've read about this duo, we're in for a real adventure. So, let the meeting commence! ~ DMS



Lizzy:  Pete and Weasel, it's so cool to have you here today. We have lots of questions ready for you guys. Pete- Aunt Lizzie has more to her than meets the eye. What is the best part about living with her?




Pete: That's easy. She's a darned good cook. Her pot roast is the best in the world and when she's not giving the mayor what she says is "a piece of her mind" she even bakes pies. Apple's my favorite, but strawberry's a close second. Then there's her pancakes. I'm making myself hungry here.

Fairday: You two seem to get into quite a bit of trouble together. Weasel, what was the best thing you guys ever got away with? Was there anything that you got in trouble for that was worth it?

Weasel: I have to give this some thought because right now I'm thinking we never got away with anything. Aunt Lizzie says she has eyes in the back of her head, and I kind of think she might. But I guess we did sneak into the swamp a few times and she didn't find out, well not until later. Then it was too late to ground us because we were about to get killed or arrested anyway. As to being worth it, I guess we did a lot to help out Cenozo and the other alligators, so maybe going into the swamp was worthwhile. Oh, and just so you know, going into the swamp was not my idea. Not ever. But Pete can't stay away from that place. He can't stay out of trouble even if you tie him in a chair.

Marcus: For a while when you were thinking something, Pete, it came true or happened in one way or another. Are you still able to do that, and what is the best thing you ever made happen?

Pete: Harriet Hadley's teaching me about how to handle that kind of stuff. I'm getting better. Like, last time I thought about ice cream I didn't get ten gallons all at once. I only got a cone for me and one for Weasel. Pretty cool, huh? But the best thing I ever made happen is still the Hadley Mansion. I mean who do you know who can call up a great big house out of nowhere?


Lizzy: Pete, I know you can communicate with others using your thoughts. How does it feel to have other voices floating around in your thoughts?

Pete: It takes some getting used to I can tell you that. I mean, sometimes I'm having this "conversation" with Harriet, and then I'll blurt out something to her, and Weasel will go all "What did you say?" And I'll have to explain I wasn't talking to him, then he rolls his eyes and buries his nose in a book, like, I'm bothering him. It's hard. But being with Harriet and Weasel is hard anyway. One is bossy. One is stubborn.

Fairday: Most wizards and warlocks have cats or other animals as their familiar. Pete, you have an alligator. How is Fanon doing, and do you like having a unique familiar?

Pete: Fanon's the coolest. Me and him--He and I--are buds now. His Uncle Cenozo's giving him some tips on being my familiar, so we get together once in a while and practice. I think Weasel's kind of jealous sometimes, but he doesn't have any warlock in him, so I can't get him a familiar. No sense in that.  

Marcus: Weasel, the adventure at the swamp sounded scary, but exciting. What was the scariest part for you?

Weasel: Have you ever been up to your neck in swamp water? I mean, there are serious snakes in that water, and snorkeling with alligators takes some getting used to. Of course, being arrested wasn't the best time of my life either, but the sheriff's not as scary as snakes and alligators.

Marcus: I know you two try to shake up your town a little bit and make things more interesting.  Do you have some new adventures coming up?

Weasel: Adventures are Pete's department. I'm just looking for another interesting book to read. I've almost finished the one I couldn't get to while Pete was free all the time. But he's always scheming about how to stir up things in Hadleyville, so once he's done with that special school at Harriet Hadley's place, I know I'm going to be busy figuring out how to get out of trouble.



Lizzy: If you guys could transform into something else, what would you want to be?

Pete: I'd be a G-normas guy with x-ray vision who could fly.




Weasel: Shaking head. I guess I'd just be me, only with the power to hide from the G-normas flying guy with x-ray vision. Fairday, you see what kind of situation I'm in all the time, right?

Fairday:  Definitely! If you were each granted 3 wishes, what would you wish for?

Pete: Jumps to feet. I'd want a MegaPlex movie theater in downtown Hadleyville. And a pizza parlor that delivers. And then one of those great big swimming pools with a high dive. And

WeaselHold it. Fairday said 3 wishes. It's my turn. I'd want a bigger library for one thing.



Pete groans and Weasel ignores him. Then I'd ask for more of Aunt Lizzie's pot roast and a lock on my front door that Pete can't unlock.

Pete: You'd miss the fun. I know it.

Weasel: Not likely. 

DMS: Okay guys! Thanks so much for hanging out with us today. We can't wait to hear about your next cool adventure. : ) 

The next CBC meeting will be hosted by our friend Millie, and she'll be chatting with the colorful characters from the story A Pirate, a Blockade Runner, and a Cat by Beverly Stowe McClure


To find out when the next Character Book Club will be, sign up for our monthly newsletter.

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Next Roundtable Feature:
 A Pirate, A Blockade Runner, and a Cat


FAN ART CHALLENGE


Do you love to draw? Are there times when you find yourself holding a pencil, not realizing that you had picked it up? Is there a scene in your head you just have to see on paper? 

If so, why not enter the fan art challenge? Send us an original illustration of a scene from Alligators Overhead, and you will be entered to win a signed copy of this new middle grade book. 

Enter to win:
Scan and email your picture to: haightjess@gmail.com

Snail mail your picture to:
DMS
6 Butternut Lane
New Fairfield, CT 06812

Fan art contest ends: Sunday, August 18th

Looking for a little bookish mischief? Stop by Pete and Weasel's corner of the book block at The Write Game. 

Psst. Just heard this through the Hadleyville whisper circle. Pete's in trouble again. Even Weasel's worried about him. Harriet Hadley and Aunt Lizzie have gone to ask Cenozo for help. Do you have any idea what kind of trouble Pete's in this time? Post your idea in the comments. The best idea will show up her next book. . .with credit to the writer of that idea. 

50 comments:

  1. Great meeting!! Wow - swamps. alligators, thoughts floating around in your head & great food? I think Pete and Weasel would be great friends with Nate Rocks! Maybe one day they can all hang out. (P.S. Millie can't wait to come back to the Character Book Club next month!)

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    1. Hi Karen, Thanks so much for stopping by! Pete and Weasel are awesome- and would definitely get along with Nate : ) We can't wait to visit Millie in August! ~ DMS

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    2. I think you're right! Can we trust them off on their own, or do we chaperone?

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    1. Hi Patty, Thanks so much for stopping by the CBC- always fabulous to hear from you! ~ DMS

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  3. Fun interview! These characters sound like they'd make for a great read!!

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    1. Hi Meradeth, They are quite the duo, and Alligators Overheard is a great adventure! Thanks so much for stopping by today : ) ~ F

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    2. Thanks, Meradeth. They're fun and a lot of trouble. Well, not Weasel so much, but I'm afraid Pete's rubbing off on him.

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  4. Oh, no. The boys are loose again. I was sure Harriet and Aunt Lizzie had them under control. Obviously, I need to rewrite.

    Thanks, for the featured post on the Character Book Club! Great fun as always. I've started the sequel, so I could use some ideas from your readers. HINT: This time Pete has fiddled with Time. He and Weasel will be "visiting" Victorian England. Lucky for them, Weasel read that history book, isn't it?

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    1. Great interview. I'm really looking forward to the next book! Time travel, great! I'd love to see what mischief Pete & Weasel get into in Victorian England. Can't wait!

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    2. Hi Lee, Pete and Weasel sneaked away for a day. They didn't cause too much trouble : ) Thanks for letting them loose! Hmmm... fiddling with time- exciting! ~ DMS

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    3. We'll see what happens. I have some research to do; I can tell you that.

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  5. I adore Lee, her book, and her characters! It was such fun getting to know them better. This was a delightful interview, and I wish Lee all the success in the world -- she deserves it! :-)

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    1. Hi Lexa, Great to hear from you! Pete and Weasel were awesome guests, and we were excited for the chance to chat with them. Thanks so much for stopping by! ~ DMS

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    2. Waving at you, Lexa. Thanks for the very kind words.

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  6. I have this on my Kindle and really need to read it. I'm saving it for when I do edits on my MG book. Should be soon. :)

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    1. Hi Kelly, We hope you enjoy the story- it's a fun adventure with two colorful characters : ) ~ DMS

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    2. Thanks, Kelly. Hope you enjoy the adventure. Look forward to your MG.

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  7. What fun! I was so excited to read this edition of The Character Book Club. As many already know, Alligators Overhead is one of my all time favorite MG books and I just love Pete and Weasel. Just an outstanding post, it was so much fun to read and listen to all my friends gathered together. Thanks so much! Can't wait for the sequel C. Lee!

    Paul R. Hewlett

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    1. Hi Paul, Thanks so much! It is great to hear from you and we are glad you enjoyed the CBC meeting. We can't wait for the sequel either! ~ DMS

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    2. Thank you, Paul. That's very kind of you. Always good to hear from another writer.

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    1. Hi Dena, Thanks! Lovely to hear from you : ) ~ DMS

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    2. Thanks, Dena. Love your last name! It's beautiful.

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  9. This was such a great interview! Anything to do with witches and warlocks I instantly like. I wouldn't want to have a pet alligator like Pete even if I could. I feel like this book is set in Florida or something. I don't know alligators and swamps... It makes me want to read it (:

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    1. Hi Adriana, Thanks for stopping by! No alligators for you? lol. We think you would enjoy this story : ) ~ DMS

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    2. I'm not big on alligators if they're real. Fictional ones are okay. Did you know these guys have been around since the Cenozoic era? They have some secrets we need to know about survival.

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  10. Love Pete & Weasel!! They make such a great team and a lot of fun! :)

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    1. Thanks, Jemi. Great to read your comment.

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    2. I agree, Jemi! They are a great team! ~L

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  11. I like your roundtable graphic.

    I read Lee's book awhile ago and I enjoyed reading about the characters again.

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    1. You've been a great supporter, Medeia. Appreciate that a lot.

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    2. Thanks, Medeia! So glad you are a fan of Lee's. I loved Alligators Overhead! :) ~L

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  12. I love Alligators Overhead. Pete and Weasel are such fun characters to read about and follow the adventures of. Great interview! Love the illustrations!

    Hmm, what kind of trouble would Pete and Weasel get into? How about if Pete accidently casts a spell that causes the swamp to overflow with strange concoctions? Like maybe pickle juice that the alligators are allergic to - maybe break out in hives. When Pete tries to change it back, the liquid turns into chocolate syrup, which seems like a kid's dream come true, until they (and the alligators) all get sick and fat from eating so much and the syrup overflows and floods homes and stores, not to mention every ant and their brother plus myriad other critters invade every inch of the town. Pete sure gets himself in a pickle this time and the pressure is on to turn the swamp back into a regular, old swamp.

    Okay, got a bit carried away there, but it was fun!

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    1. For some reason, I can't leave a comment using my WordPress account, so I commented with my old Blogger ID.

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  13. Oops, I should have read Lee's comment first before leaving my comment about the trouble Pete and Weasel get into. Uh, my idea doesn't go with the book Lee's working on now. Maybe another one in the series? I love time travel tales, so the next adventure with Pete and Weasel should be a lot of fun to read about!

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    1. You never know, Lyn. That's hilarious and so imaginative! I'm keeping it just in case. Thanks.

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    2. Lyn- It was so fun to hear your creative ideas for future Pete and Weasel books! I love that you are a fan of this book! :) ~L

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  14. What a cool idea!

    I used to draw all the time as a kid. I miss it! But now I illustrate stories with words. :)

    I'm not sure I'd want an alligator as a familiar. Hope you stay on his good side, Pete!

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    1. How wonderful to be able to illustrate and write. I so envy people with both talents.

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  15. Aw, loved reading this! Thank you for sharing. <3 Such a fun character interview.

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    1. (I would love to have an alligator, hih. <3)

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    2. Thanks for the visit, Carina. I'll send an alligator over.

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    3. Thanks for stopping by, Carina! :) ~L

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  16. alligators and crocodiles scare me! I liked the part about wanting to be a ginormous guy with xray vision and the response. Too cute! I wish I was talented and could draw something totally awesome!

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    1. Me, too. I draw about as well as I whistle, which is not much.

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  17. Fun post! Loved reading this.

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