Author Interview & Book Giveaway: May B. by Caroline Starr Rose

Welcome to Author Caroline Starr Rose.


Caroline spent her childhood in the deserts of Saudi Arabia and New Mexico, camping at the Red Sea in one and eating red chile in the other. As a girl she danced ballet, raced through books, composed poetry on an ancient typewriter, and put on magic shows in a homemade cape. She’s taught both social studies and English in New Mexico, Florida, Virginia, and Louisiana. In her classroom she worked to instill in her students a passion for books, the freedom to experiment with words, and a curiosity about the past.

Caroline has recently returned to Albuquerque, New Mexico, where she lives with her husband and two sons.


If you could travel in a Time Machine would you go back to the past or into the future?
The past, though I’m so glad I was born in the age of modern medicine, electricity, and niceties like deodorant.

What is one book everyone should read?
THE PHANTOM TOLLBOOTH. My sixth-grade teacher introduced it to me, and I’ve read it with many of my classes over the years. I’ve probably read it 30 times. It’s clever, witty, entertaining and the words are great fun to say aloud.

What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?
Peppermint with hot fudge drizzled over the top.

If you could meet one person who has died who would you choose?
George Washington Carver. I have no scientific inclinations, but he’s still my hero. He lived life with such dignity and humility and did so many things to touch those around him. And what a teacher he was!

What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?
Waffles with peanut butter and syrup.

Pet Peeves?
Being called Carolyn.

Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.
Because like May Betterly, we all feel inadequate in some way.

Any other books in the works? Goals for future projects?
I’m working on a picture book about the Louisiana wetlands, a middle grade contemporary novel about a girls’ club, and another historical verse novel.

What was your favorite book when you were a child/teen?
THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO. It’s still a favorite.

What’s one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors?
You have something unique to say; no one else can do it for you.

What is your favorite quote?
“Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery that it is. In the boredom and pain of it no less than in the excitement and gladness: touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it because in the last analysis all moments are key moments, and life itself is grace.”
-Frederich Buchner

When you were little, what did you want to be when you “grew up”?
An astronaut, then a ballerina, then a teacher, then a writer.

Can you see yourself in any of your characters?
In all of them, actually. I don’t have to like what all my characters do, but I do need to understand and relate to why they do what they do. If I can’t, the character isn’t real to me (and will probably strike readers as inauthentic, too).

Favorite Food?

Favorite Candy?
Anything peanut buttery.

How did you celebrate the sale of your first book?
My husband was out of town, so I invited over friends for champagne.

Write a Haiku about your book:
The darkness surrounds,
hunger and sorrow threaten,
but hope overcomes.

What is you favorite way to spend a rainy day?
Reading with a hot drink, a blanket, and a furry creature.

May B.

Mavis Elizabeth Betterly, or May B. as she is known, is helping out on a neighbor’s Kansas prairie homestead, “Just until Christmas,” says her Pa. Twelve-year-old May wants to contribute, but it’s hard to be separated from her family by fifteen long, unfamiliar miles.

Then the unthinkable happens: May is abandoned to the oncoming winter, trapped all alone in a tiny snow-covered sod house without any way to let her family know and no neighbors to turn to. In her solitude, she wavers between relishing her freedom and succumbing to utter despair, while trying to survive in the harshest conditions. Her physical struggle to first withstand and then to escape her prison is matched by tormenting memories of her failures at school. Only a very strong girl will be able to stand up to both and emerge alive and well.

In this debut novel written in gripping verse, Caroline Starr Rose has given readers a new heroine to root for, one who never, ever gives up.

Giveaway Details:
1 copy of May B.
Open Internationally
Ends 1/16/12

WINNER: brendajean