Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Exclusive Interview with Kimberly Dana, Author of the New YA Novel, "Cheerage Fearage"!

What is this book about?

Cheerage Fearage is a fun little tale of terror and an award-winning YA book by Writers Digest. Basically, it’s ten years after a popular girl’s bizarre death and the bloodthirsty pranks are going down at a hypnotic pace. Enter Tiki Tinklemeyer, an indentured servant to the geek label, who’s thrown into the middle of camp mayhem. Peppered with humor and wit, teens and tweens will love this scary, fun first installment of the jaw-dropping mystical teen series, jam packed with chills and thrills that will leave no pimple ungoosed! Fire up for the hip, comical, and diabolically scary! Ready? O-kay!

How did you get the idea for this book?

I had this vision of two cheerleaders who were BFFs but fierce competitors at the same time. In the book, the co-captain drowns the captain so she can be queen bee, but she doesn’t die quietly. Hence, the ghost of Lexy Mills who always kills. I’ve always been a fan of campy horror movies, so the story just kind of came to me with the first scene being the inciting incident. It’s a fun, fast read and a perfect book for reluctant readers.

Is this your first book? If not, what else have you written?

I have two other books that parents might be interested in for their children.

My children’s picture book, Pretty Dolls, just won the Reader Views Children’s Book of the Year. In Pretty Dolls, Emily-Nicole, Lilly-Kate, and Chloë-Anne perch on the tippy top bookcase shelf in little Tasha’s bedroom day after day. Yet it’s Gracie, the purple-eyed, one-armed, spiky-haired doll who’s won the snuggly arms and heart of Tasha. Only Emily-Nicole will have none of it. Little does Tasha know that when the lights go out in her room, the doll wars begin…. Pretty Dolls is a charming children’s picture book that addresses the universal themes of jealousy, love, and friendship.

My other book is a middle reader called Lucy and CeCee’s How to Survive (and Thrive) in Middle School. It’s a zany handbook written by two seventh-grade girls attending Madison Heights Middle School -- spry, outgoing, boy-crazy Lucy Pringle and shy, studious, bespectacled CeCee Cruz. Laced with diary entries of their own daily escapades regarding skater slacker boyfriend crushes, BFF shopping trips to the mall, and BEE (Bitter Eternal Enemies) text wars, the tween tell-all rings true about the netherworld of middle school in all its gory glory.

When did you start writing? Do you have any advice for beginning writers?

I always loved to write from a very young age. Around eight or nine, I would write plays to entertain relatives at family reunions. I would type out the script a week before on my parents’ old Smith Corona and then cast my brother and younger cousins in their respective roles. We’d practice and on opening night pass around a canning jar for admission. So that was technically my first writing gig.

As far as advice, I actually have a link on my author website called Writing Tips for Kids. I always tell my students to read, keep a journal of ideas, and write every day -- even if it’s only for fifteen minutes. If they do this, they will see their writing improve over time. I also encourage aspiring writers to share their writing with an audience and enter contests, which sometimes offer free critiques. Receiving feedback is critical to improving as a writer.

Do you plan a sequel or future books?

My head is swimming with ideas for future books. The trick is finding the time to write them -- LOL! That said, my next book is a children’s picture book dedicated to my English as a Second Language students. It’s called Buon Appetito and is about an International Dinner Night at school. As far as the future, I hope to continue my extraordinary journey of writing books for children and teens. My audience is my passion, and I’m privileged to be able to share my love of story through the written word.

Do you have a website? How can we order this book?

My author website is kimberlydana.com. All my books are available on Amazon and BarnesandNoble.com. Below are some links for interested readers, including a video of me interviewing on NBC.


Author website: www.kimberlydana.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/kimberlydanaauthor
Author interview: www.youtube.com/watch?v=GTsWCpM6cYA
Cheerage Fearage:
Pretty Dolls:
Lucy and CeCee’s How to Survive (and Thrive) in Middle School:

Book Trailer:

[Email subscribers, please click on the title of this post to view the video online.]

Author Bio:
Featured on NBC’s More at Midday, Kimberly Dana is an award-winning author and teacher whose middle school students give her much insight into the world of tweendom. She is published by the National Council of Teachers of English, The Dabbling Mum, Blogging Authors, Book Pleasures, and the recipient of several writing honors from Writers Digest, Reader Views, and the Pacific Northwest Writers Association. Other affiliations include the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and EPIC, the Electronic Publishing Industry Coalition, where she serves as a judge for the annual eBook competition. Kimberly’s most recent books include her YA thriller, Cheerage Fearage, middle grade novel Lucy and CeCee’s How to Survive (and Thrive) in Middle School and the delightful picture book, Pretty Dolls, voted Best Children’s Book of the Year by Reader Views. A lover of photography and experimental cooking, Kimberly lives in Nashville with her husband and spoiled shih tzu.

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