Middle Grade Mania: GONE CAMPING!

We love middle-grade at HMH, which is why we have #MiddleGradeMania! Today, please welcome Tamera Wissinger, author of GONE FISHING, to the blog for an exclusive interview to celebrate her follow-up novel, GONE CAMPING! 9780544439313_lres


The book/person/thing that inspired me to be a writer is:

When I was very young I received the book Over in the Meadow by Olive Wadsworth, illustrated by
Ezra Jack Keats from my grandparents and uncle. It came with a record that I could listen to. Those words, this rhythm: “Over in the meadow in the sand in the sun lived an old mother turtle and her little turtle one…” caused me to fall in love with rhythm and rhyme. Over time, this helped me realize that I could write my own poetic stories.

 The hardest thing about writing for a middle grade audience is:

The leap of faith in writing a book while not knowing whether or not it will resonate with middle grade readers. I always hope that what I write will capture their imaginations, but until a book is in children’s hands it’s impossible to know.

Why do you like writing middle grade books?

Readers in this age group are so open to possibilities and are willing to go with their imaginations and intuitions wherever a good story takes them.

What will middle grade readers like about your books?

I hope they’ll enjoy coming along for outdoor family adventures that include action, suspense, and humor! My stories include a series of lighthearted poems that families or classes can enjoy reading together.

My least favorite subject in school was:

Algebra. I was never very successful in that subject. I did like geometry, though, and I appreciated probability and statistics, so I wasn’t at a total loss in math.
My favorite snack:

Oh, there are so many snacks to love; how can I choose just one? Right now my favorite healthy snack is whole grain toast with cream cheese and apricot jam. My favorite splurge snack is orange ice cream from a local orange grower. It’s different from orange sherbet in that it’s creamy and tangy.

 The best thing about my job is:

Creating stories for children and being able to see children enjoy books that I wrote!

 One piece of advice for your middle grade self:

Pay attention. You never know what might happen that you could turn into a great story for children.

Where can we find you on the internet? (Social media, website?)

www.tamerawillwissinger.com, Twitter: @TameraWissinger

In the mood for some outdoor fun? Go camping…in a book!