Author Chat with Jennifer Maschari (Things That Surprise You), Plus Giveaway!

Screen-Shot-2017-08-23-at-11.39.39-AM

Today we're excited to chat with Jennifer Maschari, author of Things That Surprise You. Read on for more about Jennifer and her book, plus a giveaway!

 

Meet Jennifer Maschari!

 
 
  

Jennifer Maschari is a classroom teacher and the author of THE REMARKABLE JOURNEY OF CHARLIE PRICE and THINGS THAT SURPRISE YOU. She is hard at work on her next middle grade novel with Balzer+Bray/HarperCollins. Jennifer lives in Ohio with her husband and stinky (yet noble) English bulldogs, Oliver and Hank. To learn more, and to download a free curriculum guide, visit http://jenmaschari.com/.

 

Meet Things That Surprise You!

 
  

Emily Murphy is about to enter middle school. She’s sort of excited… though not nearly as much as her best friend Hazel, who is ready for everything to be new. Emily wishes she and Hazel could just continue on as they always have, being the biggest fans ever of the Unicorn Chronicles, making up dance moves, and getting their regular order at The Slice. 

But things are changing. At home, Emily and her mom are learning to move on after her parents’ divorce. Hardest of all, her beloved sister Mina has been in a treatment facility to deal with her anorexia. Emily is eager to have her back, but anxious about her sister getting sick again.

Hazel is changing too. She has new friends from the field hockey team, is starting to wear makeup, and have crushes on boys. Emily is trying to keep up, but she keeps doing and saying the wrong thing. She want to be the perfect new Emily. But who is that really?

Things That Surprise You is a beautifully layered novel about navigating the often shifting bonds of family and friendship, and learning how to put the pieces back together when things fall apart.  

 

 

A Chat with Jennifer Maschari:

1. Who is your favorite character in the book?

My favorite character in the book is the main character, Emily Murphy! Emily loves to craft, spend time with her dog, Bean, and has such a big heart. She feels everything so deeply and is trying to navigate some difficult issues in her life while experiencing the regular ups and downs of growing up. I hope readers will root for her the way I do!

2. Which came first, the title or the novel?

The novel came first! I’m actually pretty terrible at titling novels; for awhile, I was calling this one EMILY MURPHY (which is a good name for a main character but not a great name for a book!). THINGS THAT SURPRISE YOU is actually a chapter title, and my editor thought it would also work well as the title of the book. She was right! I think it’s a perfect fit for a story that’s all about the unexpected things that happen in friend and family relationships in our lives.

3. What scene in the book are you most proud of, and why?

There are a couple of scenes, later in the book, where Emily and a group of girls go to a movie adaptation of a book series Emily loves. Emily has literally been counting down the days till they get to go, and she is SO excited—for both the movie and to spend time with her BFF Hazel. Things don’t go as Emily hoped, though.

I’m really proud of these chapters. Emily’s disappointment and pain is palpable, and I hope the reader will feel for her (and relate to her) in these moments. I think it captures the awkwardness and transition of growing up.

4. What do you like most about the cover of the book?

I love everything about the cover. Kathrin Honesta, the cover illustrator, did such a beautiful job capturing Emily’s room and her interior world. If I have to choose what detail I like best, though, I’d say Emily’s sweet dog, Bean, peeking out of the covers of Emily’s bed.

5. What new release book are you looking most forward to in 2017?

I am so excited for KARMA KHULLAR’S MUSTACHE by Kristi Wientge and Jason Reynolds’ PATINA. An early 2018 book I’m looking forward to is A SKY FULL OF STARS by Linda Williams Jackson.

6. What’s up next for you?

I have another contemporary middle grade that I’m working on for Balzer+Bray/HarperCollins. It’s still evolving, so I’m reluctant to say too much about it. It does have another really great dog in it, though! I’m also working on a chapter book idea and researching a potential picture book. I’m also a teacher so another school year is on the horizon!

7. Which part of the writing process do you enjoy more: Drafting or Revising?

Definitely revising! I love having words and a story to actually work with and shape. It’s such a cool moment when you can actually see and feel the book getting better. My editor offers smart, wonderful notes that help me dig deep into the book to find the heart of it.

8. Is there an organization or cause that is close to your heart?

As an educator and author, I love Donors Choose! I think it’s a wonderful way to help school teachers support their students by funding various projects. These projects help get diverse books into the hands of kids, equip them with much needed technology, help provide flexible seating options, etc. I love that you can choose schools in your community or a cause that you’re especially passionate about. 

 
 
 
 

Things That Surprise You

By: Jennifer Maschari

Release Date: August 22, 2017

*GIVEAWAY DETAILS* 

 
   
 One winner will receive a copy of Things That Surprise You (US only).
 
 

*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*

a Rafflecopter giveaway 
 
 
**PLUS!
One grand prize winner will receive a Crafty Unicorn Kit!  The prize includes a fun craft kit, a copy of THINGS THAT SURPRISE YOU, unicorn stickers, and puzzle cards! Enter here.

Rate this blog entry:
Featured Review: Being Jamie Baker (Jamie Baker #1...
Waiting On Wednesday ~ August 23rd, 2017

Related Posts

 

Comments 7

John on Wednesday, 23 August 2017 19:52

The cover is very cheerful. Our heroine is very unique in her love of unicorns!

0
The cover is very cheerful. Our heroine is very unique in her love of unicorns!
Crista cast on Sunday, 27 August 2017 12:58

I think the cover looks so sweet and magical. The story sounds very instightful about the scary part of growing up and things are changing around you while at the same time you wish they could stay the same.

0
I think the cover looks so sweet and magical. The story sounds very instightful about the scary part of growing up and things are changing around you while at the same time you wish they could stay the same.
Danielle Hammelef on Wednesday, 20 September 2017 15:13

I love the fun cover and the synopsis is my favorite--friendship and family and growing up issues.

0
I love the fun cover and the synopsis is my favorite--friendship and family and growing up issues.
Alyssa Annico on Friday, 22 September 2017 05:29

The color is fun and colorful and the synopsis is intriguing!

0
The color is fun and colorful and the synopsis is intriguing!
Penny Olson on Friday, 22 September 2017 23:23

The cover is really cute. It sounds like a good story about friendships and change.

0
The cover is really cute. It sounds like a good story about friendships and change.
Kelly G on Friday, 22 September 2017 23:32

This cover is so cute and I love that the story focuses on friendship!

0
This cover is so cute and I love that the story focuses on friendship!
Sharon C on Friday, 22 September 2017 23:48

I like the cover a lot. It is very eye-catching. Also, the book sounds interesting and relevant.

0
I like the cover a lot. It is very eye-catching. Also, the book sounds interesting and relevant.

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Heretics Anonymous
Put an atheist in a strict Catholic school? Expect comedy,...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Lights, Music, Code! #3 (Girls Who Code)
Maya and her friends from coding club have an exciting...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Strays Like Us
From the moment Fred (never Winifred!) spots a scruffy little...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Cody and the Heart of a Champion
In Cody’s life, some people keep her on her toes...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Juliet has just moved to a beachside town with her...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Gods of Men - Ebook Small copy.jpg
Sable hated the gods. She hated what men did in...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Melvin Morrow has become a barbarian warrior maiden. Will he...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Loneliest Girl in The Universe
A surprising and gripping sci-fi thriller with a killer twist...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Water at the End of the World
“How can there be a water at the end of...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Dragon-Slayers_Low Res.jpg
A reverse harem with a powerful magical heroine, a mystery...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Fire and Fairies by Kristin D Van Risseghem low resolution.jpg
Forbidden love. Agony. Heartbreak. Sidelle never wanted...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Obsidio (The Illuminae Files #3)
Kady, Ezra, Hanna, and Nik narrowly escaped with their...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
I've always been the prey. All Seventeen-year-old...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Ignited (Dance of the Elements, #1)
A NOBLE DAUGHTER. A FORMER SLAVE. SCORCHED EARTH AND...
 
3.8
 
0.0 (0)
Royals
Meet Daisy Winters. She’s an offbeat sixteen-year-old Floridian with...
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
SoulCatchers_600x900.jpg
Whoever kills the wolf becomes the wolf… ...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)

Latest Member Reviews

Heretics Anonymous
 
4.3
"What worked: This is a humorous at times contemporary novel of an Atheist teen who ends up in a Catholic..."
Lights, Music, Code! #3 (Girls Who Code)
 
5.0
"Maya and the coding club are going to be working on a new and innovative idea for incorporating technology into..."
Strays Like Us
 
5.0
"When Fred's (nee Winfred) mother is arrested at her job in a pharmacy for stealing medication, Fred finds herself an..."
Cody and the Heart of a Champion
 
5.0
"Spring is on its way, and Cody is all set to make the season exciting. Warmer days mean her favorite..."
 
5.0
"Juliet's parents have separated, and she has moved into her grandparents' beach cottage with her mom and older sister, Miranda...."
The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl
 
5.0
"Lucy Callahan was struck by lightning at age 8 and became a math genius as a result. Her diagnosis is..."
Always Forever Maybe
 
5.0
"It isn't always easy to love a book that talks about a dark subject, but Rissi captivated me with her..."
The Loneliest Girl in The Universe
 
5.0
"What worked: This is one of those books you can't put down! I literally stayed up until the early morning..."
Milla Takes Charge (Disney: Daring Dreamers Club #1)
 
4.0
"MILLA TAKES CHARGE by Erin Soderberg is the first in a new series from Disney and Random House Children's Books..."
 
2.7
""Pretties" is a continuation of the Uglies series where Tally Youngblood has now returned to the city and become a..."
Bring Me Their Hearts
 
5.0
""Bring Me Their Hearts" was a fantastic YA fantasy that I wish I could give more than 5 stars to!..."
Fawkes
 
2.0
""Fawkes" is a YA historical fantasy that sounds so interesting! Unfortunately, I could not get into it. In this alternate..."
Fireblood (Frostblood #2)
 
4.0
""Fireblood" was a pretty good continuation of the Frostblood Saga. While the first book took place in the land of..."
Thief of Lies
 
4.0
"“Thief of Lies” is the first in the Library Jumpers series. It had me hooked at the start but lost..."
The Waking Land
 
5.0
"“The Waking Land” is an enthralling YA fantasy that follows Elanna Valtai. The prologue shows us Elanna’s nightmares over the..."
The Adoration of Jenna Fox (Jenna Fox Chronicles #1)
 
3.0
""The Adoration of Jenna Fox" is the story of a teenager who wakes up from a coma without any memories..."
Zombie Abbey
 
2.3
""Zombie Abbey" is Downton Abbey with zombies (and characters names changed). Although it's been a while since I watched Downton..."
Heartless
 
4.0
""Heartless" is the origin story for the Queen of Hearts (of Alice in Wonderland fame). Catherine, destined to be the..."
All The Crooked Saints
 
4.0
""All the Crooked Saints" is YA fiction with a heavy dose of magical realism. The Soria family lives in Bicho..."
Beastly (Kendra Chronicles #1)
 
5.0
""Beastly" is a beautiful and amazing story of second chances, the importance of who you are within, and love. A..."