Author Chat with Caroline Palmer (Camp Prodigy), Plus Giveaway! ~ US ONLY (No P.O. boxes)!

Today we are very excited to share an interview with author Caroline Palmer!

Read on to learn more about the author, the book, and a giveaway!




Meet the Author: Caroline Palmer

Caroline Palmer is a nonbinary comic creator who tells action-packed stories with heart. Visit them at

Website * Instagram




About the Book: Camp Prodigy

Perfect for fans of Victoria Jamieson and Raina Telgemeier, this heartwarming middle grade graphic novel follows two nonbinary kids who navigate anxiety and identity while having fun and forming friendships at their summer orchestra camp.

After attending an incredible concert, Tate Seong is inspired to become a professional violist. There’s just one problem: they’re the worst musician at their school.

Tate doesn’t even have enough confidence to assert themself with their friends or come out as nonbinary to their family, let alone attempt a solo anytime soon. Things start to look up when Tate attends a summer orchestra camp—Camp Prodigy—and runs into Eli, the remarkable violist who inspired Tate to play in the first place.

But Eli has been hiding their skills ever since their time in the spotlight gave them a nervous breakdown. Together, can they figure out how to turn Tate into a star and have Eli overcome their performance anxieties? Or will the pressure take them both down?





~Author Chat~


What gave you the inspiration to write Camp Prodigy?
I wanted to create a story that was specific to me, so I drew from my own life as much as possible. Throughout all of middle and high school, I was a part of my school orchestra, and I certainly attended multiple orchestra summer camps. Like the main characters–Tate and Eli, I’m nonbinary. I took these two facts and tried to throw them together and turn them into a plot, and luckily, I found something I liked.

Which came first, the concept, landscape, characters, or something else?
The characters and the concept were tied together from the beginning. I had in my mind two main characters, two sides of the same coin, nonbinary violists. The only difference between them was the fact that one was a musical prodigy, and the other was starting off as the worst player in their class. The setting solidified a lot later; at first it was going to be set in school!

What scene in Camp Prodigy are you most proud of, and why?
Some of my favorites are the scenes that I think would be purely triumphant in other books, moments where Tate and Eli vow to be the best viola players in the camp, or Tate ranks higher than their rival, Xin. I wanted them to read differently after you finish the book, after Tate gets in over their head and begins to dread the upcoming concert. It’s hard to notice all the times you tie your self-worth to achievements, with how great you feel when you succeed. I wanted these scenes to communicate all that in hindsight, and I feel pretty pleased with how they turned out.

What research did you do to write Camp Prodigy?
I didn’t have to do all that much research, seeing as I’d personally been a part of multiple orchestras. The hard part was remembering things I’d forgotten; it’s been a while since I’ve played in a group. I might’ve written-in too many orchestra-specific details, to be honest!

I had fun coming up with the personalities of the side characters, so they’ll seem fitting for the instruments that they play. When I re-read scenes with background campers, I think to myself, “Oh yeah, this person definitely plays that instrument.” It’s kind of cliché-y, but in a fun way.

When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
I knew I wanted my future career to be “An Artist” as early as kindergarten, and I’m pretty sure I broke a school record with how much I read in 3rd grade. But it took a while for me to specifically settle on comics. A friend recommended a manga to me in 4th or 5th grade, and that was a game-changer. It was art and books…combined! I’ve drawn comics ever since, and I’ve never seriously considered a different career path after that point.

How do you keep your ‘voice’ true to the age category you are writing within?
I try to write the same way for kids and adults, mostly. The only difference that got me a few times was language. Even young kids can grasp complicated emotional themes, so I tried to err on the side of real and complicated, not simple. I think kids can tell when writers are taking them seriously, and they’ll remember those books over the ones that are diluted and bland. That was the case for me.

What’s up next for you?
Hopefully, many more books! I’ve been working on another middle grade pitch, and if it gets picked up, the genre will be quite different. I definitely don’t want to pigeonhole myself into one style, so I try to do something different with every story.

What is the main message or lesson you would like your reader to remember from Camp Prodigy?
Don’t try to do everything by yourself! If you open up to the people you trust, the obstacles and worries you’re facing become much easier to handle. They could offer you concrete help, or even just a listening ear. I personally always feel much better when I open up to people.




Title: Camp Prodigy

Author: Caroline Palmer

Illustrator: Caroline Palmer

ISBN-13: 9781665930376

ISBN-10: 1665930373

On-sale date: Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Imprint: Atheneum Books for Young Readers

Ages: 8-12; Grades 3-7




*Giveaway Details*

Three (3) winners will receive a copy of Camp Prodigy (Caroline Palmer) ~ US Only (No P.O. Boxes)!


*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway!*


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