Today, I’d like to introduce you to Jodi Carmichael, author of Spaghetti is NOT a finger food (and other life lessons). If you haven’t read my review of Spaghetti, yet, you can read it here. I’ve run into Jodi on many writing-related occasions and enjoyed every encounter. I hope you will enjoy meeting her, too. Please welcome Jodi Carmichael.
Hi, Jodi! Glad you could join us, today!
To begin, would you please introduce yourself and tell us what makes Jodi Carmichael tick?
I am a children’s writer, a mother of two wildly imaginative daughters, and a very part time school secretary. I am incredibly curious about people and what motivates them to do the things they do and act the way they do. I am constantly asking, “Why?” followed by wondering, “And what if this happened…”
Have you always wanted to be a writer?
Pretty much. I knew in 7th grade I wanted to be a writer but was too scared of failure to follow my writing dreams. It took my mom enrolling me in an online writing course that got me hooked. That was 7 years ago and I’ve been writing since.
I love that you are an advocate for Asperger’s Syndrome and I really enjoyed your character, Connor. What prompted you to write his story?
When I wrote the first draft, Connor’s voice was very clear in my head. Once I finished it became obvious to me, that he was quite unique. I explored the possibility that he had ADHD, but it didn’t fit. I was somewhat knowledgeable of Asperger’s Syndrome, and that seemed a better fit. I then had two child psychologists review the manuscript to ensure his character traits were accurate.
How difficult was it to find a publisher and what was the process like for you?
I sent it to 6 publishers in Canada and the States prior to Little Pickle Press. One small Canadian publisher asked to read the entire manuscript after I queried with the first chapter, which was very exciting. Funny enough, I received their rejection long after I’d signed my contract with Little Pickle.
Glad it worked out so well for you! 🙂
What sorts of things have you done to promote Spaghetti?
I’ve done newspaper, TV, and Radio interviews, which were so much fun! Our local journalistic community embraced Spaghetti, which was thrilling. Early on, my publisher arranged a Twitter Spaghetti Party, which was a blast as well.
This past March, we ran a Spaghetti Potluck Dinner for Asperger Manitoba, which was really well attended. We expected 80 and served over 150 people. We were fortunate that DeLuca’s donated the pasta and Little Pickle Press donated book posters which we sold at the event, with all proceeds benefiting AMI. I tweet and facebook quite a lot, although as I get to the final revisions of my next book, that is falling off.
And, of course, the book launch at McNally Robinson, which is every Winnipeg author’s dream come true. We sold all but 5 copies of Spaghetti, which was totally awesome.
I do have one more promotional event coming up on Saturday, August 10th. I am reading 3 to 4 chapters of Spaghetti on MagicBlox Radio, which is an online radio show. You can follow along here:
That spaghetti party sounds awesome! Good luck with the radio interview, That sounds very exciting! 🙂
Do you only write stories for younger children or do you write for other age groups/genres?
I write the story that comes to me, regardless of age group or genre. I have a picture book that I am shopping around, a Young Adult story in revision and my next novel is an older middle grade.
Sounds like a typical writer to me! 🙂
Are you working on anything new at the moment that you would like to share with us?
Yes! My current work in progress is a Young Adult story about a 16 year old girl who is struggling with depression and a verbally abusive boyfriend. It is both funny and poignant and I absolutely adore the main character, Julia. She’s working hard to find the strength to become the young woman she’s meant to be.
Sounds like a great story! I can’t wait to read it! 🙂
And now for the fun stuff! What is your favourite comfort food?
Chocolate. Chewy caramel en-robed in chocolate. Strawberries dipped in chocolate. And cookies, as long as they are soft and as large as your face.
Please describe what your writing workspace looks like. Feel free to include a picture, if you like.
My writing space changes based on where I am. As I type this I am sitting at my dining room table at the cottage, staring out the screen door to sparkling Lake Winnipeg. In my big yellow house in Wildwood Park, I either sit at the dining room table among the kids’ homework or in my office/spare bed room upstairs next to Pink and Floyd, our gerbils.
I love the names of your gerbils! And writing at the cottage must be wonderful! 🙂
Do you have any rituals or objects that help you bring out your muse?
I sign off all internet. No facebook, twitter or email. I am VERY easily distracted, so I have to eliminate those distractions.
Yes, I know what a HUGE distraction the internet is! 🙂
Are there any social media sites you would like to share with my readers?
Thanks for joining us, today, Jodi. Hope all my readers enjoyed our little chat. 🙂