Author Chat with Tricia Springstubb (The Most Perfect Thing in the Universe), Plus Giveaway! ~ (US Only)
Today we're excited to chat with Tricia Springstubb author of
The Most Perfect Thing in the Universe.
Read on for more about Tricia, her book, plus an giveaway!
Meet Tricia Springstubb!
Tricia Springstubb has written many well-reviewed books for young readers, including What Happened on Fox Street, which was an Indie Pick, and Every Single Second which received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Kirkus Reviews. She lives in Cleveland Heights, Ohio.
Meet The Most Perfect Thing in the Universe!
For fans of Shouting at the Rain by Lynda Mullaly and The Adventures of a Girl Called Bicycle by Christina Uss, a novel about one unadventurous girl who discovers she is anything but.
Eleven-year-old Loah Londonderry is definitely a homebody. While her mother, a noted ornithologist, works to save the endangered birds of the shrinking Arctic tundra, Loah anxiously counts the days till her return home. But then, to Loah's surprise and dismay, Dr. Londonderry decides to set off on a perilous solo quest to find the Loah bird, long believed extinct. Does her mother care more deeply about Loah the bird than Loah her daughter?
Things get worse yet when Loah's elderly caretakers fall ill and she finds herself all alone except for her friend Ellis. Ellis has big problems of her own, but she believes in Loah. She's certain Loah has strengths that are hidden yet wonderful, like the golden feather tucked away on her namesake bird's wing. When Dr. Londonderry's expedition goes terribly wrong, Loah needs to discover for herself whether she has the courage and heart to find help for her mother, lost at the top of the world.
Beautifully written, The Most Perfect Thing in the Universe is about expeditions big and small, about creatures who defy gravity and those of us who are bound by it.
~ Author Chat ~
YABC: What gave you the inspiration for the book?
My books always start with a question. What would it be like to live on a tiny island? (Moonpenny Island). How do we learn prejudice, and can we change our hearts? (Every Single Second). For The Most Important Thing in the Universe, I was thinking about adventure and risk--why do some of us love to explore while some of us are content to stick close to home? How do we define courage? Every life is its own kind of expedition--I wanted to write about that!
YABC: Who is your favorite character in the book?
I've written many brave and loveable young heroes, but Loah Londonderry, the main character in Perfect, may be my favorite. Timid and shy, a dedicated homebody, she's named after the Loah bird, a small bird that seems totally unremarkable until it takes flight, when its beautiful golden wing feathers are revealed. When Loah's mother, a noted ornithologist on an expedition to the Arctic tundra, goes missing, Loah, who's left on her own, has to discover her own courage and strength.
YABC: Which came first, the title or the novel?
The title was a gift of my research. Because Dr. Londonderry is an ornithologist, I read a lot about birds, and I came across a wonderful quote from the nineteenth century naturalist Thomas Wentworth Higginson, who wrote, "I think that, if required on pain of death to name instantly the most perfect thing in the universe, I should risk my life on a bird's egg." An egg needs to be sturdy and fragile at once--it has to protect and nurture, and then it has to give way to new life. I love this metaphor for growing up, for leaving the nest and learning to spread your wings!
And by the way, Higginson's quote, minus the last three words, is a wonderful writing prompt! We each have our own idea about what the most perfect thing in the universe is.
YABC: Which was the most difficult or emotional scene to narrate?
All of the scenes between Loah and her mother were complex for me. Loah admires her mother's work saving species and biomes, and she's aware of how urgent that work is. (Climate change in the Arctic is happening at twice the rate of the rest of the panet.) But she misses her mother terribly, and when her mother chooses her work over coming home, she wonders if her mother really loves her. Phew! I think many families today cope with the dilemma of parents finding a work-life balance. Plus, the tween years are a time when kids push for independence but also crave security, so there is a lot going on, especially for a child as timid and vulnerable as Loah. She had me in tears more than once!
YABC: Which part of the writing process do you enjoy more, drafting or revising?
I love to revise. I say this at every school visit, and I assure the students their teachers didn't bribe me to say it. Drafting is always hard, but I love going back and seeing what I wrote, finding the clues I left myself about what is important. I feel like a detective on my own case, solving the mystery of what happens (my plot) and what really happens (my theme). I revise up till the very last minute!
YABC: What's up next for you?
My next middle grade novel, True Blue, publishes in fall of 2022. I'm excited about it for many reasons, but maybe the biggest is that I finally managed to write in a boy's voice! I've tried and failed at this many times, but Jude really spoke to me (or maybe through me) and I can't wait for readers to meet him and his dog,True.
YABC: What would you say is your superpower?
Patience!! I'm very good at it, which comes in handy as a writer.
YABC: What advice would you give to new writers?
Just do it! Writing is all about discovering what you know that you know and what you didn't know that you knew! Don't be afraid to plunge in and see what happens.
The Most Perfect Thing in the Universe
By: Tricia Springstubb
Release Date: June 1st, 2021
Publisher: Margaret Ferguson Books/Holiday House
One winner will receive a copy of The Most Perfect Thing In The Universe (Tricia Springstubb) ~ (US Only)
*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*
I loved reading this interview! I like how you start your books with a question! And I love your quote about eggs--so interesting to think about how eggs are sturdy and fragile at the same time.