Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Getting to Know the Authors: Featuring Elaine Dimopoulos +GIVEAWAY!

  Elaine studied writing at Simmons College’s Center for the Study of Children’s Literature. She was admitted to its M.F.A. program on the basis of a single short story. That story would become the first chapter of her novel Material Girls.
Before dedicating herself to writing for young people, Elaine earned a degree in literature from Yale and an M.A. in education leadership from the Klingenstein Center at Columbia. She currently teaches children’s literature and writing courses at Boston University and Grub Street. She served as the Associates of the Boston Public Library’s Children’s Writer-in-Residence while she wrote Material Girls and was also named a St. Botolph Club Emerging Artist. She blogs about children’s books for the parenting site, and her writing has appeared in Of Looms and Lilies, a modern dance composition by choreographer Jody Weber. Elaine lives outside Boston with her family.

She has Written:
Material Girls
In Marla Klein and Ivy Wilde’s world, teens are the gatekeepers of culture. A top fashion label employs sixteen-year-old Marla to dictate hot new clothing trends, while Ivy, a teen pop star, popularizes the garments that Marla approves. Both girls are pawns in a calculated but seductive system of corporate control, and both begin to question their world’s aggressive levels of consumption. Will their new “eco-chic” trend subversively resist and overturn the industry that controls every part of their lives?
        Smart, provocative, and entertaining, this thrilling page-turner for teens questions the cult like mentality of fame and fashion. Are you in or are you out?
(Check out the bottom for a special GIVEAWAY!)

Now on to the Interview!!!
1) How old were you when you started writing, in your opinion?
I wrote poetry when I was younger. I came to writing for children late; I didn’t really start until I entered graduate school at age 28.

2) What do you want a reader to gain from reading your works?
Regarding MATERIAL GIRLS: I want readers to think a little harder about where their clothing come from and where it ends up once it’s discarded. I also want readers to realize that celebrity is alluring, but it always comes at a cost.

3) What are your three top suggestions on becoming an author, or being a pleasure writer?
1. Try to ignore any perfectionist tendencies, and just write a lot. 2. Be open to criticism and embrace the revision process. 3. Don’t be a slave to the peripheral stuff: social media, web design, etc. These things matter but not nearly as much as the writing itself.

4) What is your favourite novel, why?
So hard to pick. I was heavily influenced by FEED by M.T. Anderson when I wrote MATERIAL GIRLS. It’s as close to perfect as you get with a dystopian novel.

5) Who is your favourite author, why?
These days, I’m all about Karen Russell’s short stories. Her prose is breathtaking, and her imagination is wild and weird.

6) What are your favorite pastimes besides writing?
Reading, teaching, spending time with my family, singing, going to plays and concerts.

7) Who in your life do you credit your imagination to the most?
I have to say my mother. Television was practically nonexistent in my house growing up, so I was forced to read all the time and to imagine fantasy worlds in which to play.

8) What are the top five things on your bucket list?
I’ve never had to answer this question before! Let’s see. 1. Visit the Greek islands. 2. Go to Africa, Australia, & South America. 3. Serve on a literary awards committee (Caldecott, Newbery, etc.). 4. Have a cameo in a film (c’mon MATERIAL GIRLS movie!). 5. Set up a charity to support aspiring writers.

9) What is your funniest childhood memory?
I was a goody-goody in school, but one time in fourth grade I was standing behind my friend Jenny who was giving a presentation at the chalkboard. Maybe I was holding a poster for her? The teacher left the room, and I took the opportunity to write, “Jenny is a potato,” on the board. I have no idea why I thought this line was funny. So she had to give the rest of the presentation with kids snickering. And then I didn’t get in trouble, though some of the boys in the class who laughed, did. Hmm. I’m realizing this story makes me sound like a mean girl. I wasn’t… but this wasn’t my finest moment, either!

10) To the youth of today, if you could tell them one thing, what would it be? 
Being young is hard to bear! You’re expected to be so responsible and accomplished, yet you get reminders daily of how little you know and how far you still have to grow. Try not to resent the adults who condescend to you. And remember when you’re older to treat young people the way you’d like to be treated right now.

To win a fabulous copy of Material Girls by Elaine Dimopoulos in hard cover, complete the tasks bellow to get ballets/chances to win this awesome prize! More you do, higher your chances will be! (CA and US only)

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