Today, I have pleasure of hosting Judith Natelli McLaughlin and her new middle-grade novel, Dear Diary, E.P. Thompson Here, published by BookFish Books! Read on to find out what this adorable book is all about, and to learn about the author and where to find her online. Plus check out my interview with Judith, where she talks about her inspiration for the novel, her favourite (liquid) writing snack, her favourite YA books, and what she’s working on right now! Enjoy!
Back Cover Blurb
E. P. Thompson here.
Worst. Year. Ever. First semester in sixth grade, and my best friend Debbie has dropped me because my boobs aren’t big enough. Well, she didn’t say that exactly, but I just know that’s the reason. Then I got paired with Adam Berry, the biggest pencil-protecting geek of the decade, for the never-ending, semester-long math project. And as if that’s not bad enough, Thomas Maxwell, the cutest boy in my grade, only pays attention to me when I’m making a total fool of myself. Ugh.
Weirdest thing of all: it seems Lucas C. Tanner Middle School has a full-on, bona fide thief! Now all the teachers are going crazy and all the students are too, because Mrs. Peule has promised to make this year a living nightmare until the culprit is caught. We have to find out who is ruining sixth grade. Like, now!
Well, at least the criminal activity has taken the focus off my lack of bra ownership. Sigh.
I have to go. I’ll write again soon. Promise.
Emily’s Interview with Judith:
How did you come to write your novel?
I smiled when I read this question because it has an easy answer. I wrote Dear Diary, E.P. Thompson Here for my daughter Katie.
Dear Diary is a middle grade novel. Is there anything that inspired you to write for that age group?
Yes! As I mentioned above I wrote this book for my daughter Katie. It’s true. I even dedicated the book to her. As the story goes, Katie was in the fifth grade at the time, and she was not an avid reader. She found long chapters intimidating, preferring, instead, short and concise entries. She was having trouble finding what she liked to read and so it began. I decided to write a book for my daughter, one that she would enjoy reading. I would tell a story using short and humorous diary entries. I completed the book when Katie was in the sixth grade. She loved it! And what a thrill for me, despite not being published, her English teacher let her do a book report on Dear Diary. That was an exciting moment for this author.
And, as an aside, it became a McLaughlin tradition. I wrote a novel for each of my daughters when they entered the fifth grade. While the books are not about my girls, they are written to suit their particular tastes and dedicated to them.
Favorite Writing Snack?
Being that I am an early morning writer, I would have to say my favorite writing snack is more of a favorite writing beverage. Coffee. And lots of it!
Are you working on anything new right now?
After hearing such positive feedback from Dear Diary, and especially knowing my fans didn’t want to see my book end, I am currently working on its sequel.
What are some of your favorite MG Books? What about YA?
I really enjoy the Dork Diaries series (and I am thrilled to note that Dear Diary is no rip off, as it was originally written long before DD came out!) But, perhaps, my favorite books are the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I read the series, in its entirety, when I was roughly eleven years old. Wilder’s images, and the world she taught be about, remain permanently imbedded in my brain and I am forever grateful for the love of reading and writing they inspired.
YA? The Book Thief by Markus Zusak is categorized as YA and I absolutely loved that novel! While the Holocaust, WWII setting is hauntingly evil, the book was pure joy to read. Even amidst the worst atrocities there is goodness to be found.
What are you reading now?
Right now I am reading two books. One for laughs. It is Food by Jim Gaffigan. The guy is funny and his open discussions about his relationship with food make me laugh out loud. The second book is Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann. It is written so beautifully that I find myself re-reading the same sentences just to savor their structure, meaning and beauty.
Thanks for the interview, Judith!!!!
About The Author
Judith Natelli McLaughlin grew up reading a solid diet of Laura Ingalls Wilder, Louisa May Alcott, and Shel Silverstein. Her mom was famous for telling her, “You are never alone if you have a book,” and her dad, a lover of words, was always reciting poetry to her.
She went on to write, illustrate, and publish her own poetry book,Poems on Fruits and Odes to Veggies—Where Healthy Eating Starts With a Poem. Her other works include a women’s fiction novel titled This Moment and a soon to be released children’s chapter book, Mackenzie Goode Makes A Mistake—A Big One.
She lives in New Jersey with her husband Brian; her three daughters Katie, Lindsay, and Maggie; and her faithful writing companion, a Westie named Duke.
Find Her Online