One of our #MiddleGradeMania authors has stopped by the blog to talk about their book! Welcome to Mike Grosso, author of I AM DRUMS.
The book/person/thing that inspired me to be a writer is:
My students! They’re weird and wild and wacky and I enjoy watching them interact. Middle grade kids make for awesome stories, and I love seeing them connect with books.
The hardest thing about writing for a middle grade audience is:
Getting the voice right. Middle grade characters need to be believable, first and foremost, and middle grade readers aren’t shy about telling you when they don’t buy into a story. I think writing for a middle grade audience is also a huge, important responsibility. The books kids read at that age define whether or not they become lifelong readers, so I don’t think it’s hyperbole to say that literacy itself is at stake when you write a middle grade book.
Why do you like writing middle grade books?
I’m a teacher by day, so I spend most of my time with middle grade kids. They interact with an energy that is fascinating to me. Their voices are so unique and different, and fueled with an enthusiasm unlike any other age group.
What will middle grade readers like about your books?
They’ll like that it rocks! And it feels real. You’ll be cheering for Sam by the end.
My least favorite subject in school was:
German. I failed Spanish freshman year, so they put me in German sophomore year and I failed that, too. Eventually they found a class to fill whatever credit I needed, though I can’t remember which class it was.
My favorite snack:
Coffee and chocolate in separate containers, enjoyed in moderation on a spaceship.
The best thing about my job is:
Which job? As a teacher, it’s interacting with small people who make you feel much younger than you are. As a writer, it’s connecting with the characters you write and watching them come to life on the page. As a parent, it’s ending every day realizing you made it through another twenty-four hours of fun without screwing up too badly.
One piece of advice for your middle grade self:
Don’t be afraid to try things. Try theater, dance, or anything else that seems interesting. Don’t listen to the bozos who don’t do anything except make fun of people who do things.
Where can we find you on the internet? (Social media, website?)
You can learn more about me, read my blog, and learn about weird instruments at http://mikegrossoauthor.com
I’m on Twitter at http://twitter.com/mgrossoauthor
Facebook at http://facebook.com/mikegrossoauthor
Instagram at http://instagram.com/mikegrossoauthor
If you’re ready to get musical with I AM DRUMS, click here!