Thursday, August 21, 2008

An Awesome Author: Nancy Viau

Nancy Viau is the awesome author of Samantha Hansen Has Rocks in Her Head, a book about a 10 year old girl who ab-so-lutely loves rocks and science. I read and reviewed it and it is one of my favorite middle grade books. It was released yesterday so what are you waiting for? Go and buy it at the closest book store or online!

My Review

Nancy Viau's Website

And now for the interview...

Samantha Hansen is a total mad scientist. Have you ever been or are you as interested in science as she is?

Yes! But don’t get me near test tubes, microscopes, or complicated equations. Keep me out of the science lab, please. I want to roam the great outdoors--investigate how a mountain range forms, feel the winds of a hurricane, sit near a volcano, find out what causes animals to do the things they do, see what’s up with global warming, and discover how scientists are finding new ways to look at the universe. I guess what I’m saying is that what interests me most is what goes on in the natural world, outside.

What do you like most about the Grand Canyon, one of the several Natural Wonders of the World?

Seriously, what’s NOT to like? That whole place is just awesome. It almost looks like another planet. Before I visited the canyon, I had seen dozens of pictures of it. I thought that upon actually seeing it, it would be cool, but I’d be unaffected. Wrong. My favorite part ended up being my first impression. My family and I traveled up that long road en route to the overlook. Evergreens grow in a dense forest heading toward the South Rim, so it’s easy to get used to seeing lots of green. But then, I pulled up, parked, and walked to the railing…and honestly…the entire Earth just opened at my feet. I will never forget that. I just couldn’t believe that what I was seeing was real.

Did your kids influence any part[s] of Samantha Hansen Has Rocks in Her Head?
My grown sons have a huge appreciation for hiking, traveling, and adventure. They’ve seen more of the U.S. than I have, and have a constant desire to experience nature in all its glory. Although I’ve beaten them to the Grand Canyon, they influence how I see the world on a daily basis. It’s a thirst-for-adventure-life-is-too-short kind of thing. I also have two daughters, five years apart, and let’s just say that without them, Sam and Jen would be pretty dull. My daughters’ daily exchanges keep me on my toes, and give me plenty to write about.

Are you planning on writing any more books?
Yes! I’m fairly addicted to writing, and not sure I can stop.

Will Samantha Hansen appear in one of your future books?
I certainly hope so. She’s a kick. And because she is obsessed with science there is so much more she can get into. Her obsession could change from rocks to bugs or space or the weather. ; )

Will they all be Middle Grade books?
Perhaps. I love to write for the middle grades. Kids between 8-12 keep their sense of wonder close to their hearts. They haven’t gotten totally jaded by what their peers think is cool or what they should think. They form their own opinions, enjoy humor, understand sarcasm, and are full of endless energy. And although I’m much older, I feel the same.

Have you always had such a wonderful talent for writing?
Hmm…thoughtful question. When I was very young, I created picture books with illustrations and text, and (by hand) made copies for my neighbors. I distributed them in my wagon, and charged ten cents per copy. The writing should have been on the wall, yes? In school, I aced my writing projects, research papers, essays, etc., but not once did anyone say I had a “talent” for writing and suggest I should pursue writing as a career. Weird, I know. In college, I became a teacher because I loved kids, and it seemed a terrific way to release my creative energy. (Don’t even ask about the day I turned my classroom into a complete restaurant for a math lesson or how I pleaded with the principal daily until he ordered 37 Bunsen burners for a science experiment.)

What is the one thing that you love most about being a published author?
I love picturing my readers, sitting (like I used to) in a comfy chair, turning pages, smiling, and giggling.