An Interview with Anna Staniszewski

We recently had the opportunity to interview Anna Staniszewski, author of the new middle-grade novel The Dirt Diary, and ask her some burning questions about inspiring creativity in children, her future writing plans, and brownie recipes. We've posted her responses below (along with a brief author bio) and will be featuring our review of The Dirt Diary later today.

We enjoyed reading a kid book set firmly in our own reality—without a vampire or robot or Greek god in sight! Do you have any recommendations for similar real-world titles kids might enjoy?
If you’re looking for great realistic titles (or realism with a touch of magic), Wendy Mass has lots of great books to choose from. Also, Erin Dionne’s funny and heart-filled novels, including her latest, 'Moxie and Art of Rule Breaking', are perfect for tweens. And finally, I love Kate Messner’s books, especially 'Sugar and Ice'.
One of the things we liked most about 'The Dirt Diary' was the way your characters were so excited about making things—Rachel bakes, Marisol sews, Andrew is filming a zombie movie. Do you have any suggestions or resources for inspiring young readers to try out creative new hobbies?
I think one of the things that keeps us from trying out new creative endeavors is the fear that our friends won’t approve. One solution is to get your friends involved. Maybe start a club that tries out different creative hobbies (painting, singing, etc.) each month. That way you can help support each other’s creative interests and also try out new things in a fun environment.
Can you tell us anything about your future writing projects? Do you have any plans to write for a different age group?
Right now I’m working on the sequels to 'The Dirt Diary'. The second book, 'The Prank List', will be out in July, and the third book, 'The Gossip File', is schedule for January 2015. I’m also beyond excited to have my first picture book, 'Power Down, Little Robot', coming out in Spring 2015 from Henry Holt.
What's the dreamiest baked good featured in 'The Dirt Diary'? (Because, seriously, we immediately found ourselves trolling Baking Bites, looking at brownie recipes.)
Oh boy, I was drooling the whole time I was working on the book! Because I’m a chocoholic, I’d have to say that my favorite recipe that Rachel makes is a super chocolate brownie, with chocolate frosting, chocolate chips, and M&Ms on top. Rachel calls it “a cavity on a plate.”
Born in Poland and raised in the United States, Anna Staniszewski grew up loving stories in both Polish and English. When she’s not writing, Anna spends her time teaching, reading, and challenging unicorns to games of hopscotch. She is the author of the My Very UnFairy Tale Life series, published by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky. Look for the first book in Anna’s next tween series, The Dirt Diary, in January 2014, and visit her here.
Posted by: Julianka


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