Friday, September 16, 2005

Author Update: Nancy Garden

When we last visited author Nancy Garden, she had just published Molly's Family, illustrated by Sharon Wooding (FSG, 2004), a picture book about a girl with two moms whose classmate says her family can't be a real one. See the story behind the story. (Note: my site is being redesigned in fall 2005, so if these links don't work, simply check the site guide and/or search engine).

Do you have a new/upcoming book(s) to tell us about?

I have a new book called Endgame coming out in the spring from Harcourt, about a school shooting -- from the point of view of the shooter. He's trying to do well in a new school, but the odds are against him; he's bullied badly at school and his father is abusive and wants him to be different from who he is.

And FSG is publishing a story collection of mine in 2007. Each story has a gay or lesbian protagonists, and the stories are arranged in sections. Each section represents a decade from the 50s to the present and is introduced by an essay about the gay rights movement in that decade. Needless to say, I'll need to update of the final essay in galleys! (Yes, I'm the author of the stories and the essays.)

If so, could you give us some insights into how this book(s) came to be?

Endgame grew out of Columbine and my strong feeling then and for years afterward that not enough attention had been paid to bullying as a causal factor.

The story collection grew gradually; I wrote some GL stories years ago, but then concentrated on novels. After Marion Dane Bauer invited me to contribute to Am I Blue? Coming Out From The Silence (HarperTrophy, 1995), I began writing stories again, and when I thought about publishing them in a collection, I realized they needed some sort of glue to hold them together. That led to the idea of the essays.

How about children's or YA books that you've read lately? Which are your favorites and why?

I love Meg Rosoff's How I Live Now (Wendy Lamb Books, 2004), David Levithan's Boy Meets Boy (Knopf, 2003)[read an excerpt], Julie Ann Peters' Far From Xanadu (Little Brown, 2005) -- and of course the latest Harry Potter. They're all innovative works of art, each in its own way, and especially Levithan's and Peters' are groundbreaking.

What are your writing goals for the immediate future?

Oh, my! To finish a YA novel about a runaway that I started almost two years ago. To revise a young YA novel that I think needs revising. To write a middle-grade novel that's been developing gradually in my head. But first I have to prepare some gigs I have scheduled -- and figure out how to promote the iUniverse/Backinprint edition of Good Moon Rising, which has been out of print for a few years.

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