Debut Author Interview & Book Giveaway: Seeing Cinderella by Jenny Lundquist

Welcome to Debut Author Jenny Lundquist

Jenny Lundquist grew up in Huntington Beach, California, wearing glasses and wishing they had magic powers. They didn’t, but they did help her earn a degree in intercultural studies at Biola University. Jenny has painted an orphanage in Mexico, taught English at a university in Russia, and hopes one day to write a book at a café in Paris. Jenny and her husband live in northern California with their two sons and Rambo, the world’s whiniest cat.

Discussion Guide for Seeing Cinderella:


If you were stranded on a desert island what 3 things would you want with you?
That’s easy! A fully-stocked Hilton, my husband, and my journal. Romantic vacation away from the kids, here I come!

If you could have any superpower what would you choose?
I am actively looking for someone to train me as a Jedi Master. Any takers?

If you could meet one person who has died who would you choose?
Jesus, without a doubt.

What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?
My favorite thing to eat for breakfast is cupcakes. But, since I have children, I guess I feel like I have to set an example or something. This means I usually eat cereal for breakfast. But my favorite? Cupcakes, definitely.
Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.
Seeing Cinderella is for any girl who feels (or has ever felt) like she’s the least: the least pretty, the least popular, the least “seen,” and hopes that one day things will change.

Any other books in the works? Goals for future projects?
I’m just about finished with my second book, which is currently titled PLASTIC POLLY. It’s written from the perspective of one of the most popular eighth graders in her middle school, who most people see as being “fake.” When I was growing up, I was always intrigued by the phrase, “She’s so fake.” Because what does that even mean? To an extent, we all wear masks and I decided I wanted to write from the perspective of a girl who many others don’t like. Of course, I always have to have something fun in my projects, so Polly, my main character, ends up having to coordinate a talent show competition between her middle school and their rival school, and when she finds out that only the popular kids (as opposed to the most talented kids) are being selected to participate in the competition she has to decide what to do.

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
I spoke at the PTSA meeting of a local middle school and some of the students wore “magic” glasses in support of SEEING CINDERELLA. That was supremely cool. Even more so, was getting to talk with some of the girls afterward and hear all about their story ideas. I love middle schoolers, they have so much passion.

If you could jump in to a book, and live in that world… which would it be?
Hogwarts, most definitely. But I’m too much of a chicken to end up in Gryffyndor, so I’d probably be in Ravenclaw or Hufflepuff.

Is there a song you could list as the theme song for your book or any of your characters?
Yes. This never made it into SEEING CINDERELLA, but, Daydream Believer by The Monkees is Callie’s parent’s favorite song and she sings it to herself a lot. I wanted to put it in, but it just didn’t seem to fit.
What is your favorite Quote?
There are a lot of Bible verses I like, but in terms of a quote from a work of fiction, I love it when Dumbledore says in the Deathly Hallows, “Words are our most inexhaustible source of magic, capable of both inflicting injury and remedying it.” The idea that sticks and stones may break my bones but names can never hurt me, has never made any sense to me. The words we use matter.

When you were little, what did you want to be when you “grew up”?
I wanted to be a rock star like Madonna. Then I taped myself singing and played it back so I could hear what I sounded like. Yeah, that dream died pretty quick. Sometimes, ignorance really is bliss.

What’s the best advice anyone has ever given you?
One of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever heard was from Shauna Niequist in her book, BITTERSWEET, when she talked about keeping a list of “Things I Don’t Do.” I thought it was brilliant. I now have a list of things I don’t do, and it includes: baking, scrapbooking, ironing, and making hot breakfasts in the morning. I’ve thought about adding no cleaning whatsoever to the list, but I’m not sure I can get away with it!

What movie and/or book are you looking forward to this year?
Hunger Games. I’m going to try to wait to see it with my husband. But I may have to blow off writing one morning while my kids are at school and sneak away to the theatre by myself.
What is your guilty pleasure?
I like to go out for Jedi Cheesecake with some of my writer friends. This means we ingest mass quantities of said cheesecake, while playing mind tricks on ourselves that it won’t affect our waistlines.

What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
I’m known for being a questionable housekeeper, so it might surprise people to know I can’t actually get into a bed at night unless it’s been made. I usually make my bed before I take my kids to school, but if for some reason I can’t get to it during the day, I actually have to make my bed before climbing into it to go to sleep at night. Yeah, I’m weird.

Seeing Cinderella

Calliope Meadow Anderson wishes her life could be more of a fairy tale—just like the stories she writes. Her best friend, Ellen, is acting weird, her parent’s marriage is falling apart, and to top things off, she found out she needs hideously large and geeky glasses.

But Callie soon learns they aren’t just any glasses—they are magical and let her read people’s thoughts. For the first time ever she’s answering all the questions right in math class, and gets a glimpse of what goes through people’s minds all day, including what Ellen—and her longtime crush—really think of her.

As if dealing with these crazy glasses weren’t enough, Callie tries out for the lead in her school’s production of Cinderella and actually gets the part. Instead, Callie chooses to let Ellen have the lead and be Ellen’s understudy—just like she has done for their entire friendship.

Add in a new girl who has something to hide, a secret admirer, a best friend stealer who isn’t what she seems, and Callie’s year just went from ordinary to extraordinary.

Can this supporting actress learn to be a leading lady in her own life? Or is she destined to stay in the background forever—even with her super-freaky-magic glasses?

Giveaway Details
1 ARC of Seeing Cinderella
Open Internationally
Ends 3/17/12

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