Thursday, September 23, 2010


The talented, fabulous, and one-of-a-kind-wonderful Shutta Crum has a new book out!  Thomas and the Dragon Queen has been receiving well-deserved glowing reviews.

Stop by Shutta's blog for a chance to win a free, autographed copy!  But before you do, stick around here for a moment, as she was kind enough to stop by for a Jumping The Candlestick blog interview:

Debbie:  Shutta, what's the first thing you remember writing?

Shutta:  The first bit of “creative writing” that I remember well was a scary poem I wrote in the 6th grade. I don’t remember any of the lines. But I do remember that it was about coming down some dark stairs where something was waiting at the bottom for me. And I remember how impressed my parents were by the poem. I had to read/recite it to many a bored relative! One good thing I must say about my upbringing; Mom and Dad were always so proud of us and gave us praise—when we deserved it! That stuck with me, and I remember trying to do well so I could hear that pride in their voices. On the other hand, if they thought we weren’t giving any endeavor our all, they let us know that, too. Overall, not a bad way to be raised, I think!

Debbie:  Indeed!  Shutta, where do you do most of your writing?

Shutta:  A boring answer to this one, I’m afraid. Mostly I write in my office on the second floor of my house. It’s a small bedroom that has been converted. I do have a playhouse (see photo) but I seldom do much writing there. The problem is, I go in there to write but get ensnared by the hammock and end up snoozing instead! It’s a dangerous place for me to be when I am on a deadline.

Debbie:  I love your playhouse!  I'd love to move in to it with a year's supply of books to read.  Speaking of reading...  What book is next up in your reading stack?

Shutta:  Not sure. I like surprises and sometimes I just pick up something and get sucked in. I did just finish Mockingjay and then passed it on to my hubby. I don’t think this third installment is as well written, or thought out, as the other two, however. But sometimes it is difficult for an author to tie up all the loose ends, and still keep a sense of suspense and freshness—especially when the first volume in a trilogy is so startlingly fresh. I also felt this way about Pullman’s Dark Materials series. The Golden Compass was so new, so different, that the second volume only barely managed to continue to be fresh. By the third volume we’re in a war and all the loose ends have to get wound up. Collins seems to have had the same problem with her final volume in the Hunger Games series.

As to the next thing to read . . . hmmm . . . let’s see. I’ve got a history of King Arthur here, a book on Celtic history, a book on dying with natural materials, and two new teen novels. One by Scott Westerfield, and one by Nancy Werlin. Which should it be?

Debbie:  That's a tough choice!  I think you might just have to close your eyes and grab one.

One last question:  September is fading away, and nothing says autumn in Michigan like a cider mill. At the cider mill, what do you head for first: a fresh-baked doughnut; a glass of cider; or a caramel apple?

Shutta:  Definitely the cider! Donuts and caramel apples are too sweet. I like a good crisp, slightly acidic cider, served VERY cold. Yum!

Debbie:  Shutta, thanks for stopping by!  I hope all my blog readers will head on over to your blog and sign up to win!

For more information about Shutta, read her previous Jumping the Candlestick interview (part of my sorta-weekly Michigander Monday series) and then head on over to her web site.

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