Author Chat with Elise Primavera (Marigold Star)! ~ (US Only)
Today we're excited to chat with Elise Primavera author of
Read on for more about Elise plus an interview!
Meet Elise Primavera!
Elise Primavera has been writing and illustrating books for children for over twenty-five years. Her illustrations for RAISING DRAGONS by Jerdine Nolen (Harcourt, 1998) received a 1999 Christopher Award, the 1999 Irma S. and James H. Black Award for Excellence in Children’s Literature from the Bank Street College of Education, and an Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award. In 1999 she created the national best-selling series AUNTIE CLAUS which Netflix is currently adapting for a feature film. In 2004 she was asked to illustrate the Christmas Brochure for the White House. In 2006 Elise wrote and illustrated her first middle grade novel the popular SECRET ORDER OF THE GUMM STREET GIRLS.
Since then she has gone on to write and illustrate the middle grade novel series LIBBY OF HIGH HOPES and MS. RAPSCOTT’S GIRLS which was an Indie’s Next Pick, an Amazon Best book of the Month and a SIBA bestseller.
Her latest middle grade novel from HarperCollins, MARIGOLD STAR, that she both wrote and illustrated will be available for purchase June 19, 2019.
Meet Marigold Star!
Marigold Star is destined for greatness. Everyone in Bramblycrumbly thinks so, her parents and pet dragon included. There’s just one problem. Marigold can’t do magic!
Then one day she tries a new spell written in a very old book. It’s called the Invis-O-Friend Spell, and it makes Marigold invisible to all but the friend who needs her most. To Marigold’s surprise, the spell works!
But now there’s another problem. The spell sent Marigold to the human world. And to return home, she’ll have to befriend a host of human children who are struggling to make friends. Marigold will have to hurry, or the line between her magical world and the human one might crumble until she has no home left to go back to.
~ Author Chat ~
YABC: What gave you the inspiration to write this book?
The character originated from a story my grandmother told me when I was little which was that Ihad a gold star over my head. My grandmother was known for being psychic and explained that only she could see it, but she said that it was a wonderful omen. I didn’t even know what an omen was and when I pressed her for what it could mean she would say no more. It was exhilarating and disconcerting at the same time.
Fast forward to several years ago when I was working on an idea for a picture book series. I started to think about a girl named Marigold Star who is fishing in a mud puddle when a goldfish tells her she has a star over her head—though Marigold can’t see it – we see it when she turns out the lights to sleep that night. But there was something wrong with this story – it felt like something was missing and that there was so much more to it, so I set it aside.
When I picked it up again two years later, I thought it would be more interesting if Marigold’s star was visible. I placed her in the imaginary world of Bramblycrumbly where such a thing could be possible and like myself when my grandmother gave me this mysterious message, I had Marigold a bit worried over the star and whether or not she was worthy of its presence.
YABC: Who is your favorite character in the book?
Aside from Marigold Star I would say that Granny Cabbage is my favorite character. Describing her cottage at the edge of the woods was great fun. With its dried herbs hanging from the rafters, bird houses and twinkly fire burning in the hearth it was perhaps the most vivid scene in the book for me. Granny is also a cabbage and that was visually interesting to figure out for the illustrations. Plus, she is the oldest and wisest resident of Bramblycrumbly who can help solve even the most difficult of problems as well as cure anything that ails you. Everybody needs a Granny Cabbage in their life!
YABC: Which came first, the title or the novel?
Definitely the character’s name, which became the title, came first. Just having that name conjured up so many other elements of Marigold’s world in Bramblycrumbly.
YABC: What scene in the book are you most proud of, and why?
The scene where Marigold lands in comic book-loving Lenny’s bedroom was so eerily easy to write. Lenny’s character spoke to me in a way that it was as if all I had to do was dictate what he was saying. I always smile when I read the part where Marigold appears and Lenny whispers to himself in sheer wonder, “I always knew this would happen…” believing he has manifested a superhero character straight out of his imagination.
YABC: Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you've learned as a writer from then to now?
That’s such a good question because it’s something I’ve given a lot of thought to.
Two things: the first is to always remember who I’m telling my story to. So many adults are reading middle grade right now. There are bloggers, agents, reviewers all eager to chime in. All these voices seem important to please—but first and foremost I am writing for kids. I am constantly trying to channel my eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve-year-old self and what I would have wanted to read. I even have diaries from fourth and fifth grade that I will open now and then in order to bring me back to that time of my life.
The other thing I’ve learned is not to show the work before I know what it is going to be. For me, getting feedback too early in the process before the idea is formed has a tendency to influence me into a direction that is not in line with the deeper story that I’m trying to unearth. It does take time to understand what I’m trying to say and that is an uncomfortable place to be but I’m learning to wait until I can see my way more clearly.
YABC: What do you like most about the cover of the book?
I did my own interior illustrations as well as the cover for Marigold Star. My best covers have been done using pastels. I seem to get the richest color using that medium and think the cover really captures the magic of the story. I also like the sense of movement and sparkle.
YABC: Which character gave you the most trouble when writing your latest book?
The shadow boy was by far the most difficult character to write because he was so important to several plot points in the story. I wasn’t sure at first - was he really a shadow or was he real? I went back and forth on this but figuring it out proved to be one of the most pivotal scenes in the book.
YABC: Which part of the writing process do you enjoy more: Drafting or Revising?
I would say revising is usually easier for me. That first fifty pages or so working on a first draft can be really scary because I can’t see where I’m going. Every now and then I will catch a glimpse of illumination and it’s wind in the sails – we’re off and running until I hit a wall. This happens over and over during the course of writing a book. Faith is an important component to cultivate during those early stages!
YABC: What would you say is your superpower?
Probably my imagination! I was never the smartest kid in school, but I always loved to daydream. What if? What if? Questions I asked myself on a thousand different subjects. Life is so strange and beautiful…how can you not wonder?
By: Elise Primavera
Release Date: June 12th, 2019
Chat with the author with Elise Primavera is quite interesting and interesting. I love reading the author's share, the topic is very interesting and many people are interested.
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