Tuesday, February 17, 2009

I So Don't Do Mysteries by Barrie Summy

Hi it is Oldest again! My Mom is going crazy trying to finish the latest revision of her book after getting lots of comments from her fabulous crit group. She's so focused on it that she hasn't been cooking a lot for us. Dad’s been complaining about how he is the Breakfast Chef not the Lunch and Dinner Chef, but he has at least been making us some good dinners. Otherwise Mom will just order pizza or Chinese food and a kid can get real tired of it real fast! Mom, has turned into a computer zombie. All she does is type, rub her eyes, moan and yell. (She says to put in that she doesn't yell a lot - but she does.) Angus wanted to know what happens to writers who don’t have anyone to cook for them. Dad said that’s partly why they are called starving artists. Lucky for Mom that she has us. We even bring her diet cokes to keep her going. Although when Angus or Youngest does it, they take sips and get yelled at. That’s why now she won’t take it from us unless the can is still unopened. But then Angus dropped one and didn’t tell her and got in trouble, again.

Anyway, Mom said I could do a book review and interview for her blog and since she was so lucky to get a copy of Barrie Summy’s I So Don’t Do Mysteries, that’s the book I decided to do. I really, really, really LOVED this book! It was AWSOME! I couldn't go to sleep without reading it! (It only took me 3 nights which is a record for me cause it’s like 300 pages and I get yelled at if I stay up too late!) It’s about a girl named Sherry who has to accomplish stuff that no other 6 grader would have to. She has to solve a mystery about rhinos with her cop mom, except her mom is a ghost! My favorite part was when Sherry slammed open the door and squished Josh's nose. It was so funny. I also liked when in the morning Sherry put on sassy girl shampoo to wash her hair and when she fell into the rhino area at the zoo the baby rhino ran towards her attracted to the shampoo. This book is really really funny! I was giggling so hard reading it.

So I was so psyched when my Mom said I could interview Ms. Summy. I had to come up with some good questions for our interview. Besides, she is way cool! She sent all of us tattoos and book marks! Me and Angus put on our book tattoos and wore them to school! They lasted for several days since I refused to wash them off. Mom wasn’t too happy about that, but at least I didn’t put it on my face!

Oldest: Hi Ms. Summy! Thank you for letting me interview you!

Ms. Summy: Thank you for your wonderful e-mail. It's really interesting to hear which parts of the books you enjoyed most. Thank you so much for sharing. What great questions you came up with!!

Oldest: So how did you come up with the characters?

Ms. Summy: Originally, I wrote this book as a Nancy Drew mystery. It was called The Mystery at the Wild Animal Park. Sadly, or maybe happily, it was rejected. I set it aside for a while, but couldn't get the mystery out of my head and decided to revamp the book. So....17 year old Nancy morphed into 13 year old Sherry. Nancy's best friends (who were also cousins), Bess and George, morphed into Junie and Amber. I don't think Nancy's boyfriend, Ned Nickerson, morphed into Josh because Ned was always, well, boring. :) In terms of the suspects, I brainstormed and brainstormed and tried to come up with all kinds of different reasons people would want to harm the rhinos at the Wild Animal Park.

Oldest: When did you start writing your book? Why did you make the mystery about rhinos?

Ms. Summy: I started writing the book after one of my kids did a third-grade project on rhinos. He read me all kinds of little rhinos facts from library books. I thought one fact in particular would make a great clue in a mystery.

Oldest: Which fact?

Ms. Summy: Rhinos have a keen sense of smell.

Oldest: How long did it take you to write your book?

Ms. Summy: About seven YEARS for I So Don't Do Mysteries. About seven MONTHS for I So Don't Do Spooky. Do I think I'll be able to write the current mystery in seven WEEKS? Uh, NO!!!

Oldest: Do you believe in ghosts?

Ms. Summy: Off the top of my head, I would say no. But....I've been wrong about so many things in life, that I guess I just don't know.

Angus chiming in during the reading of this interview: Goats? Goats! How can she not believe in goats! Who doesn’t believe in goats! That’s just silly!

Oldest wisely ignoring Angus: Well I don’t believe in ghosts but I believe in spirits.

Mom interrupts to ask what’s the difference between ghosts and spirits.

Angus butts in again: You don’t know the difference between goats and spirits? Woman, you call yourself our mother? Goats are furry and stinky and spirits are scary but can be stinky too.

Oldest: Now that Angus is grounded for calling Mom a woman, I can continue this interview.

Oldest: If you were Sherry would you say yes right away to do the mystery?

Ms. Summy: No, probably not. I'm not very brave. In fact, I'm not brave at all.

Oldest: What's the strangest thing that has ever happened to you?

Ms. Summy: I don't know if this is the strangest thing that ever happened to me, but it is strange and it's sort of connected to I So Don't Do Mysteries. I spent the night at the Wild Animal Park with my second son for his eighth birthday. The Wild Animal Park is a little north of San Diego, in a town called Escondido. I grew up in Toronto, Canada. Toronto and Escondido are about 2,500 miles apart. Anyway, in the tent next to us was a guy (and his wife and two kids) I went to high school with back in Toronto! Even weirder, I went to the prom with this guy's best friend. The world can be a very small place.

Oldest: What are your favorite books that you would recommend to me to read?

Ms. Summy: Here are some books that I've recently read and loved:

Schooled by Gordon Korman

The London Eye Mystery by Siobhan Dowd

Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko

The Unnameables by Ellen Booraem

Oldest: What are you writing next?

Ms. Summy: I So Don't Do Makeup. Things are getting busy here as Random House has moved up the deadline date for the third mystery.

Oldest: That is so cool that I get to read two more books about Sherry! I So Can’t Wait!!!

Ms. Summy: Oldest, thank you so much for reading I So Don't Do Mysteries and saying such nice things about it. And thank you for this interview with its very interesting questions!

Oldest: You’re very welcome! I am recommending it to all my friends and you are now on my list of authors I absolutely must read!

So to everyone who has read this interview, this is a great book so please run out and buy it! I So Do Recommend It!


Kelly Polark said...

Great interview! What a help you are to Woman! :0)

Rena Jones said...

Love it!

Kimbra Kasch said...

I So Loved that Interview!!! Great job.

LauraBlue said...

LOL @ sometimes stinky spirits. And great review/interview!

Barrie said...

This is the BEST interview! Thank you, Summer! You are one talented interviewer and writer!

Kappa no He said...

Awesome book review! I think mom needs a nice hot bubbly bath. They cure so many things.

Angie said...

Hey, Oldest! [wave] You do great interviews. Usually at least one or two of the questions make me eyeroll, but all of yours are good. You should tell your mom to let you do one every month or something. :)

Oh, and about cooking, some of us can go cook and keep thinking about our story. I work out plot holes, or figure out what's going to happen next, or how I'm going to get my story from where it is to where I want it to be, while I'm puttering around in the kitchen. I have to be making something I'm really good at, something I've made so often I can just throw things together without thinking about it, or I might do something wrong or forget an ingredient or something. Definitely no quiche or cake or anything that I have to follow a written recipe for. [laugh/flail] But basic stuff isn't a problem, and sometimes having half an hour off of the writing to just sort of think about things, talk to myself, or whatever, can be a big help. :)


debra said...

Wonderful interview! thanks

Charles Gramlich said...

I learned quite a bit more about this book than I knew before, and I've even read it. cool!

Stacy said...

That's quite possibly the best author interview I've ever read.

Carleen Brice said...

Oldest, I so enjoyed this!

Bookworm said...

Great interview. Isn't Barrie awesome? (:

Anonymous said...

Great job, Oldest!


Ello, please carefully read Angie's comment!!!

For the rest of you, remember the "wish I had a machine that does laundry and folds its" post by Ello?

You guessed it! That's me too for now.

Da' Man

Stuart Neville said...

What happens to writers with no one to cook for them? If they're me, they go to the chip shop. And put on weight.

Great review and interview, by the way. :)

Maureen McGowan said...

This is the best interview I've ever read! Congratulations to both interviewer and interviewee.

Patti said...

very nice. i believe in goats...

JaneyV said...

Wonderful job Oldest! What a great interview. Barrie - you're a very lucky author. Oldest, it's very kind of you to step in and keep us entertained while your Mom is working so very hard. My kids would kill to live in pizza but I'd be sick of it very soon. I guess the thing to do is to vary the take-out.

Da Man - husbands/partners/wives of writers are a much put-upon lot. Just so you know - we all think the world of you and your incredibly supportive ways. Now get cooking!

Steve Malley said...

I *love* the idea of book tattoos. I want some!

Thank you for that, Oldest!

Christina Farley said...

How fun! I loved the interview and that book is the best.

Larramie said...

Oldest, you have great taste in books. I was also lucky enough to receive a copy of I SO DON'T TO MYSTERIES and thought that Ms. Summy's debut was terrific and oh SO funny.

Oh, and did you know Ms. Summy has four children and still writes too? Hmm, wonder who cooks for them?! ;)

Mary Witzl said...

Great review! I would read this book. I was crazy about Nancy Drew when I was thirteen...

Cheryl Kauffman said...

Thanks for this interview, It was great. I bought my daughter Violet Raines and Savvy after your reviews. She loved Violet Raines. She hasn't had the chance to read Savvy yet because her teacher keeps making her read other books. I will definitely put this book on my daughter's reading list.

Stacy Nyikos said...

Tell you mom, I can so relate! Thank God for microwaves and frozen meals.

laughingwolf said...

very nicely done, summer... sounds like someone will be following woman's... i mean mom's... footsteps into the writing field :D

Lauren said...

Great interview. Oldest, you seem very creative and have a naturally funny voice in your write up. I am very impressed! Are you going to follow in your mom's footsteps and write too?

Anonymous said...

Hello everyone!Thank you for these wonderful comments!I am happy all of you liked my interview!Do you think this is giving me a head start to become an author?Well,before I think about that I shoud hope my mom publishes her book!I'm keeping my fingers crossed!I think it's so cool having a mom as a author.(almost one!)I'm really glad I got to learn about all these authors and I hope to learn more!We get an authors conference once a year at school but, it's nothing compared to this!Once again thank all of you for the wonderful comments!I really enjoyed myself:)
Best Wishes,

Barbara Martin said...

Wonderful interview. Well done.

Danette Haworth said...

My gosh, you're such a good writer. The interview was excellent, as was the prose that introduced it.

Well done!

Sherrie Petersen said...

Okay, so I'm reading this more than a year later, but I just had to say this is one of the best interviews ever! Great job, Oldest! The Woman must be so proud :D

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