Another 2015 debuter is stopping by the blog today! Welcome Gail Nall!
About the Author: Gail Nall lives in Louisville, Kentucky with her family and more cats than necessary. She grew up skating, and as a teenager working at the local rink, she rented skates and made nachos (but not at the same time). She spends her early mornings writing contemporary middle grade fiction, her days working at a homeless shelter, and her evenings reading and trying to stay up past eight o’clock. Her obsessions include hiking and camping, travel, history, and food. BREAKING THE ICE is her debut novel. PLEASE RSVP, Books One and Two, co-written with Jen Malone, will also release in 2015. Find her on the web at http://gailecn.blogspot.com/.
Could you give us the one sentence pitch of your book?
Breaking the Ice is about twelve-year-old Kaitlin, a figure skater who is kicked out of her prestigious training rink after she says all the wrong things at a big competition, and finds herself in a new skating club full of misfits, where she must start over or hang up her dreams of becoming a champion.
Why middle grade?
When I first sat down to write, that’s just what came out! I didn’t even know what middle grade was, or what the “rules” were. I had a story in mind, and it happened to be about preteen girls. Now that I reflect on it, I suppose it’s because that’s the age when I truly fell in love with reading. I read so much and so fast then, there were never enough books. I ended up rereading my favorites over and over. That ten-year-old bookworm is still inside somewhere, and so I write the books she’d love to read.
Generally speaking, which comes first: the world, the characters, or the plot?
It’s usually the world, or the setting I suppose, since I write realistic contemporary. For Breaking the Ice, I knew I wanted to write a story set in the highly competitive world of figure skating. Then I had to wait for the right plot and the most interesting characters. Actually, I’m pretty sure almost all of my manuscripts have started this way, with a backdrop that I then have to fill in with a story.
They are always coming out with new editions of board games. If your book could be a special edition of any board game, which would you choose?
Ooh, Life! I’d love to see all the decisions Kaitlin makes in Breaking the Ice laid out on the Life board. The little pink and blue pegs could be the friends she makes along the way. Also, I kind of love the idea of randomly becoming a millionaire at the end of the game.
(I bet everyone thought I’d say Don’t Break the Ice, right? heehee!)
What is your favorite middle grade read?
Only one?! ACK! Okay, I’ll go traditional and say the Little House on the Prairie books–all of them! I must’ve read those books a hundred times as a kid. I wanted to BE Laura, calico dress and sod house and covered wagon and all. I’m pretty sure that I dressed up as her for Halloween at least three years in a row. There was just something so intriguing about all the little details in those books.
That is always an excellent choice to go with :) Thanks so much for stopping by Gail!
Now, Gail’s debut, Breaking the Ice, doesn’t quite have a cover yet, but that doesn’t stop me from squeeing over how awesome it sounds.
About the Book: Kaitlin has always dreamed of being a champion figure skater, and she’s given up a lot to pursue her passion. But after having a totally uncharacteristic and decidedly NOT figure-skating-approved tantrum after getting her scores at a major competition she’s dropped by her coach and prestigious skating club.
When no other club in town will have her, she’s forced to join the ridiculed and rundown Fallton Club, jokingly referred to as the Fall Down Club. At first Kaitlin thinks this is a complete disaster, but after meeting some of the other skaters, including a boy (who happens to have the most perfect hair she’s ever seen) Kaitlin thinks it might actually not be so bad.
But when she’s tasked with learning a whole new program right before Regionals and figures out that almost all the other skaters target Fallton, she thinks joining the Fall Down Club may just be the second biggest mistake she’s ever made.
In this figure skating themed debut, Kaitlin learns that when you fall down, you have to pick yourself up – even if it’s in front of judges and a crowd.