Lisa Martin, our debut author feature for today, collaborated with Valerie Martin for the novel Anton and Cecil: Cats at Sea--a story of two very different cat brothers and their adventures at sea. Check out my interview with her + win a copy of their book!
1. What do you feel about the number '13'?
13 is fine with me right now. It's the age of my younger son, and he makes the number feel like it's bursting with possibilities!
2. What's the best thing that happened after your book was published?
I got out more. Writing and editing can be fairly isolating, lots of time spent quietly thinking and silently writing. But once the book was released, all of sudden there were lots of great reasons to get out of the house -- school visits, bookstore events, conferences -- and tons of people to talk with about it, especially kids! And also I had to buy more shoes, which is fun.
3. How did you celebrate the publishing of your book?
I threw a big cocktail soiree to thank all of the people who had supported and encouraged me throughout the long process, from reading early drafts to just taking the time to say, "What book?" It was lovely and deeply satisfying, with many hugs and high-fives.
4. Do you read reviews of your book?
At first I did, neurotically, but then I realized it was making me crazy (obviously) and getting in the way of my writing. Now I'm a little better about not dwelling on the negative OR the positive, though there is one review I did frame, so I may still have work to do on that front. :)
5. What is your best or most unforgettable moment with a fan?
Well, I've only had "fans" for about two weeks now, and everybody has been incredibly kind to me about the book. So far, one moment I especially loved was after a bookstore reading when I was signing a book for an adorable third grader. He put his arm around my shoulders and said seriously, "If you write a series, I'll read them ALL."
6. Was there any book from another debut author of 2013 that you loved?
One thing I find tricky to write well is humor, especially funny dialogue, and I thought Caroline Carlson's Magic Marks the Spot did those things particularly well. Writers who are clever and fluid with language are so magnetic to me, I can't get enough.
7. Are you interested in writing in a different genre or for a different audience?
Middle grade suits me well, and I think there's a lot of room to roam in between the ages of 7 or 8 and 12. Anton and Cecil: Cats at Sea probably will appeal more to the younger end of the range, and I'd like to do something older too, though maybe not quite YA. I love all types of MG speculative fiction (as I see we're calling it now), and I have a couple of story lines rolling around in my head, waiting for me to pay attention.
8. Share with us one embarrassing moment you've had.
So far I've already tripped over a cord in a classroom, and preemptively ended a bookstore event because I thought nobody was going to ask any questions (and then people went ahead and asked 30 minutes of questions). Every time I do something new (which at this point is every time I do something), I have no idea how it's going to go. Very nerve-wracking, but it's always fine in the end!
9. Favorite color? Blue, especially slate blue.
Favorite movie? 3:10 to Yuma (the modern version)
Favorite ice cream flavor? Coffee/toffee
Favorite song? Anything by ToneDeft (my older son's label)
Ultimate celebrity crush (dead or alive)? James McAvoy in Atonement
10. What's next for you?
Lots more writing, and hopefully more publishing! And also more school visits, I love those. And then: more shoes!
More about Lisa!
I grew up in New Orleans, a city of wonderful tastes and textures, and spent my high school years writing overwrought poems and short stories. Veering away from words and toward numbers, I earned graduate degrees in business, met my husband Roger in Texas, and taught accounting to college sophomores until our sons came along. I became very active in their school community and read lots of books with them, studying and eventually trying my hand at children’s poetry and prose. My boys were 10 and 8 when my aunt, Valerie Martin (by then a celebrated author of adult fiction) suggested we collaborate on a children’s book, which was a very happy stroke of luck for me.
Check out Lisa's debut novel!
Anton and Cecil: Cats at Sea
by Lisa Martin and Valerie Martin
Published October 8th 2013 by Algonquin Books
Black and white line drawings illustrate each chapter.
For ages 8-12, grades 3-7.
A swashbuckling story of two very different cat brothers and their adventures at sea.
Cat brothers Cecil and Anton are as different as port and starboard. Cecil, stocky and black with white patches, thirsts for seafaring adventure as he roams the docks of his harborside home, taking day trips on fishing boats when the chance comes along. Slim, gray Anton prefers listening to the sailors’ shanties at the town saloon, venturing to port only for the day’s catch. But one day when Anton goes in search of fresh mackerel, he’s stolen off the dock, and the next thing he knows, he’s at sea.
Knowing little of the wide open ocean that lies beyond the harbor, Cecil boards another ship in hopes of finding Anton. But what begins as a rescue mission turns into a pair of high seas adventures, with thrills and danger bubbling under every wave.
Anton takes on a fierce rat, outwits hungry birds, and forges a forbidden friendship, while Cecil encounters dolphins and whales and finds himself in the middle of a pirate raid. On an ocean as vast as the one Anton and Cecil have discovered, will they see home—or each other—ever again?
Orange Prize−winning author Valerie Martin’s and Lisa Martin’s colorful cast of characters, rich historical detail, and lyrical storytelling will delight fans of such classic animal adventures as The Wind in the Willows, Stuart Little, and Poppy.
Head over to Oops! I Read A Book Again now for debut author SX Bradley!