Saturday, July 6, 2013

Interview and Giveaway with KA Barson, author of 45 Pounds

45 Pounds (More or Less)Goodreads Book Description: Here are the numbers of Ann Galardi’s life:

She is 16.
And a size 17.
Her perfect mother is a size 6.
Her Aunt Jackie is getting married in 10 weeks, and wants Ann to be her bridesmaid.
So Ann makes up her mind: Time to lose 45 pounds (more or less) in 2 1/2 months.

Welcome to the world of infomercial diet plans, wedding dance lessons, embarrassing run-ins with the cutest guy Ann’s ever seen—-and some surprises about her NOT-so-perfect mother.

And there’s one more thing. It’s all about feeling comfortable in your own skin-—no matter how you add it up!

"Deliciously relatable with a lot of laughter on the side." -- Rita Williams-Garcia, New York Times best-selling author

Author Blurb:
K.A. (Kelly) Barson earned an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She and her husband live in Jackson, Michigan, surrounded by kids, grandkids, unruly dogs, and too many pairs of shoes.

Author Interview
1. Tell us a little bit about your story to becoming a writer! 
After going to a lot of Highlights workshops and getting a few articles published, I went to Vermont College of Fine Arts for my MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults. Shortly after graduation, I queried my agent, and shortly after that, she sold 45 POUNDS. I know that sounds short, but the time between when I started until publication was eight years. 

2. What inspired you to write 45 Pounds? 
I wanted to write a book with a character who was like me. Not just a character who wanted to lose weight and went on the diet and did it, but someone who’s struggled her whole life with it. I wanted to write a story about a girl who was fatter in her head than on the scale. She IS overweight, but that’s all she can see when she looks in the mirror. I also wanted her to not be a total outcast, but she sometimes feels like one. More of her struggle is internal, but there’s some external too. It’s more about acceptance and seeing things how they really are, and changing what you have the power to change. I still struggle with being empowered to see myself realistically and make positive changes, so that’s the story I had to tell. 

3. I love your characters. Were any of them inspired by people you know? Did you have a favorite character? Which one was the most unexpected? 
All of them are me, and none of them are me at the same time. Gram is the most real to me. She’s a combination of my grandma, my mom as a grandma, and me as a grandma. She probably is the most unexpected, too, because she is so out there. 

4. What do you do in your in your none writing time? 
I play with my grandkids, go shopping with my daughters, and go to steam shows. Our family collects and show antique steam tractors. I cook, read, and watch movies, and I also spend way too much time on social media sites. 

5. Tell us something that most people don't know. 
I have crowd phobia. I get a lot of anxiety when I’m in a crowd or crowded city for too long. 

6. What was your favorite YA read of the past year? 
I’ve read a lot this year. Probably The Color of Rain by Cori McCarthy or Not a Drop To Drink by Mindy McGinnis. They are both ruthless writers willing to take risks. I envy that kind of guts.  

7. For our aspiring writers, what has been the most unanticipated perk of your journey?
Yes! I knew there’d be tons of waiting, but what I didn’t know was that there would be so many little celebrations along the way. Each time I hand in a round of edits or when I get an editorial letter or when I get to the see the cover or when I get to reveal the cover or when I get blurbs or reviews or interviews. There are so many little big things, it makes the wait feel more like a party. 

8. Tell us what books you are writing/going to write/brainstorming so we know what to wait impatiently for!
I’m writing a new YA contemporary right now about a high school cosmetology student who thinks she has her whole life planned out and in control, but instead everything falls apart. It’s expected out around summer 2015. 

Now enter to win her awesome book signed (US/Canada Only)!
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  1. Interesting... interesting... Is it possible to lose that much weight in that time? I'm going to have to see if the book gives me an answer to that question :-)

  2. The author is so gorgeous!. Very nice to read the interview. I see the inspiration and soul behind the book. The author's blurb is so sweetly written. Excellent questions. Thank you for doing this interview ♡

  3. Jeanette JohnsonJuly 7, 2013 at 8:52 AM

    I loved the interview. I agree that in today's society people don't give themselves enough credit and self esteem is difficult to come by. I can't wait to read your story!

  4. One time when I was in elementary school, this girl tricked me and said that it was pajama day the next day. So, when I showed up in my PJs, everyone was dressed normally. It was an embarassing rest of the day.

    1. That is horrible! I'm so sorry that happened to you.

  5. i love to read this book seems like it will be very inspriational

  6. Lovely interview! I've been wanting to read this book for such a long time now. It sounds so sweet :)

  7. Thanks so much for the interview, Christina! And thank you all for your comments!

  8. Childhood embarrassment, where do I start, how about the time I threw a Tupperware tumbler at my sisters head when I was 3 and we were arguing over unloading the dishwasher and it split her head open, oops!

  9. thanks for the interview, this is so good to know the author!

  10. The book sounds super interesting, especially since I have always struggled with weight. The interview was nice. I will check out The Color of Rain. A lot of people with self esteem problems usually exaggerate how bad their appearance really is. A few scientists have even agreed that if most people saw an exact clone of themselves, they wouldn't recognize it because we believe we look different than we do.