Today we are very excited to share an interview with author Phoebe Sinclair!
Read on to learn more about the author, the book, and a giveaway!
Meet the Author: Phoebe Sinclair
Phoebe Sinclair believes in the power of voice. Through writing, organizing, and facilitating, she strives to create space and opportunities for people to listen deeply, speak from the heart, and feel heard. Outside of paid work, she is a wanderer, city cyclist, zinester, and friend who confesses a love for candy corn. Confessions of a Candy Snatcher is her first novel. Jersey-raised, Phoebe Sinclair lives with her partner, a graphic designer and musician, in Jamaica Plain in Boston.
About the Book: Confessions of a Candy Snatcher
A night of Halloween fun gone wrong has Jonas wondering if he’s really a wolf in disguise in this fast-paced fiction debut delving into accountability, relationships . . . and zines.
For the past few years, twelve-year-old Jonas and his friends have competed to see how many bags of candy they can grab from unsuspecting trick-or-treaters. No one’s supposed to get hurt, just lose their treats. So Jonas is taken by surprise when one of his smaller targets fights back against his snatching attempt. He’s even more surprised when he starts to receive anonymous notes from someone who knows what happened that night. Jonas already has enough on his plate, between his parents’ ill-defined separation and his own guilt—guilt his friend Concepción challenges him to confront in a zine she’s creating around the prompt “What’s the worst thing you ever did?” It’s a complicated question, one that touches on issues of identity, maturity, physical boundaries, and safety. Featuring zines crafted by award-winning illustrator Theodore Taylor III, Phoebe Sinclair’s debut novel relates an emotive, reflective story about the wonder—and mess—of growing up.
YABC: What gave you the inspiration to write this book?
There are a number of inspirations. One: I’d never seen Halloween night candy snatching, as I experienced it, in a book or piece of popular media. Two: I’m often a “title-first” writer so when I started considering this concept, the title Confessions of a Candy Snatcher appeared in my head, whole cloth. Of course I had to learn more. Three: I witnessed a long, scary, and occasionally physical argument between two adult women on the street one day in Boston. My concern for both women made me consider my role as a witness and possible interrupter. Questions about that experience found their way into the manuscript.
YABC: Who is your favorite character in the book?
This is like asking: of your two children, which is your favorite?! I have affinity for each character for different reasons but I guess if I had to highlight anyone, it’d be the trio of impressive young women who influence Jonas in different ways: his kid sister Rex, his close friend C., and his zine-mentor Robin.
YABC: What scene in the book are you most proud of, and why?
A scene that steals my heart each time is a restorative moment Jonas and his buddy C. I had been craving that kind of acceptance and connection for Jonas throughout much of the novel and, when it finally happens, oof!
YABC: What came first, the concept, landscape, characters, or something else?
Concept. I knew I was on the right track because whenever I talked to adults about candy snatching, many recounted stories about snatching candy themselves, or having theirs stolen.
YABC: If you could only write one genre for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?
I don’t control how my writing comes out, so I couldn’t say which one genre. It’s decided by the piece –be it long-form fiction, a poem, a creative non-fiction zine, or something else.
YABC: How do you keep your ‘voice’ true to the age category you are writing within?
I ignore most current language trends. I remember hearing elder (in the field, not just in age) writers of fiction for young people saying similar things in interviews and now I’m like: yup. If I stay true to the characters, their voices lead the way.
YABC: What can readers expect to find in your books?
Other forms of art and expression usually make an appearance –like the poems and zines in Confessions. I’m not as multimedia as many of my art-world peers, but I’m often trying to incorporate something that gives interesting texture to the reading experience.
YABC: What is your favorite snack when writing?
Gummy candy, unfortunately. It took me years to break that habit. Now I have a ritual where I make a pot of tea and allow myself one stroopwafel or a few sticks of matcha Pocky.
YABC: If you were able to meet them, would you be friends with your main character?
Oh, absolutely. I’ve known different versions of Jonas over the years, and I’m sure I’ll meet more.
YABC: What’s your least favorite word or expression and why?
I have a long list of least-favorite words which I never use and forbid people around me to say. Moist is top of that list. ‘Nuff said.
YABC: What do you do when you procrastinate?
YABC: What fandom would you write for if you had time?
Although I grew up reading X-Men, I wrote a few Avenger’s fanfiction stories following the release of the first Black Panther movie. I love bro-ships / buddy stories and could definitely see myself writing more.
YABC: What’s up next for you?
Four more manuscripts that have been languishing while I’ve been supporting Confessions of a Candy Snatcher’s release into the world.
YABC: What is your favorite holiday or tradition and why?
I grew up celebrating Kwanzaa and have a soft place for it in my heart. My family raised my brother and me Islamic and we didn’t celebrate Christmas at home, just Kwanzaa (which is non-religious). I’ve since come to learn that ours was a unique experience and I appreciate how it created a foundation for cultural understanding and pride.
YABC: Is there anything that you would like to add?
Thank you for this opportunity! Excited for whomever wins the giveaway to meet Jonas and friends.
Title: Confessions of a Candy Snatcher
Author: Phoebe Sinclair
Illustrator: Theodore Taylor III
Release Date: August 15, 2023
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Genre: Fiction, mystery
Age Range: 10 – 14
Three (3) winners will receive a copy of Confessions of a Candy Snatcher (Phoebe Sinclair) ~ US Only
*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway!*