Friday, September 27, 2013

All About Middle Grade Interview: Jennifer Ann Mann (Author of Sunny Sweet is So Not Sorry)

This week, on the All About Middle Grade Challenge I am excited to welcome Jennifer Ann Mann, author of Sunny Sweet is So Not Sorry, to the blog. I hope y'all will give her a warm welcome.

About the Author:
Jennifer grew up in New Jersey, the second of four sisters. Her short stories have been published by Highlights for Children, where she won the 2007 Fiction Contest. She lives in Boston in a giant house filled with kids and cats. This coming fall, Bloomsbury USA Children’s Books will publish Jennifer’s debut novel, Sunny Sweet is So Not Sorry, the first book in the Sunny Sweet Series.

You can haunt Jennifer at-
Website | FB | Twitter |

Interview


1. Yikes! Sunny sounds like a pretty bad sister. Could you tell why'd you want there to be an "evil genuis" sister like Sunny in Sunny Sweet Is So NOT Sorry?

On the surface, Sunny Sweet looks like a bad sister, but she is so NOT a bad sister. She torments Masha because she loves Masha. It's Sunny's way of letting Masha know how important she is to her.

2. Could you tell us a little about Masha and how she handles having a sister like Sunny?

Masha's mom and dad have just divorced and she and her mother and Sunny have moved to a brand new state. With this big change in Masha's life has come big responsibility. Masha’s mother is now a single mom and working a new job. She could use Masha’s help with her little sister. Instead of rising to the challenge, Masha balks at the new responsibility. It takes a bunch of plastic flowers, an injured neighbor, a group of sick kids, a new friend, a black eye, a (kind of) broken arm, and a shaved head to help Masha acclimate to her new role. But I have to hand it to Masha because Sunny is no picnic to deal with.

3. It sounds like the sisters in Sunny Sweet Is So NOT Sorry are in for some crazy times. Since your book features siblings, could you share with us your favorite book siblings?

There is no equal to "Beezus and Ramona." Beverly Cleary had me at "Beatrice Quimby's biggest problem was her little sister Ramona." I could relate...I had two Ramona's. Judy Blume’s Peter and Fudge also supported me through some very dark sisterly times. (Although unlike Peter, I never did get a puppy!) Brothers, James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier gave me Sam and Tim in "My Brother Sam Is Dead." They taught me that even if I didn't always understand my sisters, I could always love them. I can't leave the Baudelaire orphans off this list. Lemony Snicket's trio reminded me that my sisters and I were playing for the same team. And finally, I'll add Tamera Will Wissinger’s Sam and Lucy from “Gone Fishing, A novel in verse” which just recently debuted. These two highlight the beautiful lesson that although we may be stuck on the same "little boat" as siblings, we each have the choice as to whether we make the worst of it or the best of it. It’s a message that Masha Sweet learns the hard way!

4. Jennifer, so, what is your current favorite show to watch? What about it makes it a must watch?

"The Mindy Project" I love watching women succeed in unconventional ways.

Jennifer and Christine, her sister.
5. Goodness, not often I "meet" another second of four sisters; sisters can be pretty cool. In your experience, what is the best and worst thing about being a middle child?

The best thing is easy—I had the privilege of being a big sister and helping my little sisters through some tough times, but I also benefited from my position as second sister by not having to break the "life" ice, which of course was my older sister's burden. The hardest part of growing up in the middle was finding my own place (not following in my big sister's footsteps or wallowing in the lack of attention that the middle position brings). I was lucky that I shared the middle sister position. My middle sister and I are extremely close to this day.

6. Since I enjoy seeing what everyone is reading, what was the last book that blew you away? What made it so good?


As a member of The Lucky 13s, a blog for Children's and Young Adult authors debuting in 2013, I gave my reading year over to their debut books and I've been having a blast! It's very difficult to choose a single book from this list, but since you're making me <;, I would have to go with Elisabeth Dahl's "GenieWishes." This was a beautifully written story that deals with every day trials. Since I have such trouble dealing with my own every day trials, the heroes closest to my heart are those who learn how to do this well. And Genie is definitely one of my heroes.

7. If you could only save one thing from your house in an emergency what would it be? Why?

My family. (I would grab them all and run.) If they were already out of the house, I'd grab my blanket-y. I've been sleeping with it so long that I don't think I'd do well without it.

8. The world has fallen to a robot invasion and only one heroine/hero can possibly save the day, who do you choose?

Buffy the Vampire Slayer. (Your easiest question by far!)

9. Care to tell us about your writing cave (include picture if you want)?


I have an office but I rarely use it. My favorite place to write is at a hospital. I live near an area in Boston called, Longwood, which is where all the hospitals are. There is coffee, water, desks, couches, free internet, and a ton of hope. I move around to different hospitals depending on my mood, but I mostly write in Beth Israel (the picture is of their desks on their surgical floor). I love it there. Of course, my setting for "Sunny Sweet is So NOT Sorry" is a hospital. That probably wasn't a coincidence.

10. Any upcoming projects that you can sure with us?


The second book in the Sunny Sweet Series, "Sunny Sweet is So Dead Meat" is due to pub in May of 2014 and I'm just finishing up "Sunny Sweet Can So Get Lost" to follow in the winter (with more Sunny books in the series planned). But I'm also working on a YA story that involves dreams, the devil, drugs, and deformity...all the "Ds." 

Jennifer, thank you so much for stopping by. I am glad to hear that Sunny is not as bad as she seems in the synopsis. I loved what you had to say about being a middle child, it is definitely true (probably for all middles).

Sunny Sweet is So Not Sorry (Sunny Sweet, 1) by Jennifer Ann Mann, October 1, 2013. Published by Bloomsbury Children's USA.
We’ve all woken up on the wrong side of the bed. But have you ever woken up stuck to the bed? Masha Sweet has. And there’s only one possible reason: her little sister Sunny. Masha is used to Sunny’s evil genius ways, but the glue Sunny used to secure a bouquet of plastic daisies to Masha’s head is not coming out! The girls have to stay home from school and through a bizarre turn of events, they wind up at the hospital. It’s the perfect place to fix Masha’s head…but first they will (almost) contract a (not so) killer virus, steal a cast, and lead the nurses on a wild goose chase. When this is all over, Sunny Sweet is going to be so sorry!

You can add Sunny Sweet is So Not Sorry to your Goodreads shelf.

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