Author Interview & Book Giveaway: Madison Morgan by Pam Torres

Welcome to Author Pam Torres

Pam Torres has worked with children of many ages to teach them reading, writing, art, and outdoor skills and has also taught piano to children for over twenty years. She has led youth groups of twelve- to eighteen-year-olds in activities and service projects. Torres has also served as managing editor of a literary magazine, has published several articles in various publications, and is an active member of The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and Pacific Northwest Writers Association (PNWA). She has raised six children and has taken care of numerous pets and other animals.

Links:
http://www.facebook.com/madisonmorgan11
http://www.madisonmorgan11.com/
http://soimfifty.blogspot.com/

Interview:
If you could invite any 5 people to dinner who would you choose?
Stephen King, Joyce Carol Oats, Barak Obama, Isabel Allende and Toni Morrison would produce a stimulating dialogue and the menu would be just as diverse.

What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? 
My husband’s homemade French toast, it’s yummy!

Skittles of M&Ms? 
M&Ms for sure!

Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book? 
In this hilarious middle-grade novel, spunky eleven-year-old Madison discovers her special abilities to communicate with dogs, which lead her to discover some very bad happenings in her neighborhood.

Any other books in the works? Goals for future projects?
OMG, where to start. I am currently working on book two in the Madison Morgan series which should be released early 2013. I’m continuing work on my literary novel, Between Two Oceans and a memoir called Scream Before Sunrise that follows my journey from from a religion of absolutes to genuine spirituality that thrives in the unknown.  I’ve also been working on a fun collaboration with another author, no details yet. I’m also beginning a new project focused on our growing elderly population living out their last years in overcrowded facilities with subpar care. I hope to find a way to preserve their dignity through preserving their amazing stories.

What inspired you to want to become a writer? 
Unlike many writers, reading was difficult for me. I treasured my mothers flannel board stories that I would retell to my younger brothers and sisters. “Plop, plop it’s raining” I’d say when the lost rubber boots fell from the ducks umbrella. “She got a smiled mouth” was the end of a story my mother made up to get me to eat my broccoli, which is now one of my favorite vegetables. I remember cuddling up close  and the feeling of unhurried suspended time. I still can’t look at a lemon without remembering all those people puckered up and Lentil playing his harmonica. So many wonderful memories. As I got older my speed suffered as words themselves fascinated me, I loved the sound and feel of them on my tongue. Unfortunately, that focus on the sounds instead of the meanings brought my reading level down. I still love alliteration, but when I learned that words strung together in the perfect pattern expressed exactly what I was feeling, my vision of reading and writer evolved.When I figured out that an author could make people feel things, make them question their own reality, that is when I knew I would be a writer. I wanted to move people, give them new perspectives and ask difficult questions like reading still does for me.

What’s one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors?
Own Your Journey. There is no right way to publish, especially now. What’s important is that you stay true to yourself and do what is right for you. If you aren’t enjoying the journey, it’s time to switch the road. I’m not talking about easy street. When you are truly immersed in what you love, you’ll push through anything, climb any obstacle and embrace the unknown, all because if you didn’t, you wouldn’t be whole. I live so I can write, it is as much a part of me as my brown eyes.

If you were a bird, which one would you be?
I would have to be a bird that lives by an ocean, a seabird that glides above the ocean and stops frequently along the pacific coast. The idea of soaring above the water and hanging out along the west coast in cliffs or beaches sounds like the perfect place for a day dreamer like me.

What do you do in your free time?
When I’m not writing you can find me doing yoga, working in my garden, playing with my grandchildren, reading, daydreaming, walking and hanging out with friends. I spend most of my time in the company of my best friend, Andy, who also happens to be my husband. Convenient, wouldn’t you say?

Give us a glimpse into a typical day in your week starting when you wake up till you lie down again.
This question always makes me cringe because usually when I read another writers answers, I see this perfectly writerly day laid out with precision. I’m afraid I don’t have typical days. My days are hugely a series of plan altering chaos.

Planned typical day: Wake-up at 6:00am and head to my yoga mat. Eat a healthy breakfast of yogurt mixed with granola and fruit. Shower and dress for the day, brushing my teeth and putting on make-up. Make a cup of tea and park myself in front of my computer without any internet or email open promptly at 8:30am. Work diligently for 4-5 hours. At 1:30pm I check email, do correspondance, marketing, twitter, facebook and blogging. Finishing at 4:30 just in time to go walking with my husband and then make dinner and eat. Watch a program or two with hubby and then read until bedtime at 10:00pm.  (I can dream, right?)

The reality: Drag myself out of bed between 7-8 and lay on my yoga mat, do a few downward dogs and a sun salutation. Shuffle into the kitchen and grab my tea and a couple pieces of toast and sit in front of my computer. Check email, look at facebook, check my blog. Send out a couple of tweets. Start some laundry, do the dishes and maybe make my bed. Brush my teeth, pull my hair into a scrunchy and splash my face.Then chastise myself for wasting 3 hours and start working between 9-10am. After about an hour I get up and putter around and get a glass of water and then plop down again, rolling back an forth on my exercise ball while I figure out what I was doing. Back in the saddle I work for another couple of hours. Then I run some errands and stop at the library, telling myself I’m doing recon, when the reality is I love looking at the books, new arrivals and imagining my book on one of the shelves. Back to the house I putter around, get the mail, read, write a few pages, maybe even a blog post or two. Email some more. Then hubby is home, we eat dinner while watching a Netflicks movie in which I more often than not fall asleep in the middle. Then get up putter some more folding clothes, cleaning up the kitchen. Sometimes we squeeze a visit to one of the kids or a walk and then it’s time for bed. (I suppose the reality is somewhere in between these two scenarios.)

What TV show/movie/book do you watch/read that you’d be embarrassed to admit?
I have two TV shows that I keep on the down low. True Blood and Doctor Who, so keep that under your hats, please!

Favorite smell? 
The fresh sweet smell of Maine balsam fir tucked into a small pillow, tied into a handmade wreath or sachet.

What is something people would be surprised to know about you? 
That I ran cross country and back in the day I was pretty fast which won me the name of Fast and Foxy. (How 80’s does that sound?)

You have won one million dollars what is the first thing that you would buy? 
That’s easy. An airline ticket to Italy, then Greece and finally Africa.

Madison Morgan: When Dogs Blog

Life is getting tricky for eleven-year-old Madison Morgan. She’s not interested in boys, fashion, or the latest gossip, unlike her best friend Paige. Since her mom died, her stepdad, who she knows as Henry, has way too many complicated systems around the house but way too little to say about her mom’s death. To top it off, in her first year of middle school, Madison and her new friend Cooper have become the “school project” of a bully named Donald. And all she really wants is a dog to call her own, but all she gets is the parental-brush-off. What is a straight-talking, spunky middle grader going to do? Kids from ages nine- to twelve-years-old are sure to get a laugh from every page of Madison Morgan: When Dogs Blog, the young adult novel by author Pam Torres that charts the sometimes tough, frequently funny days of the wise-cracking, dog-loving Madison. When her dad arrives home with a foster dog, a scrawny brown terrier named Lilly, Madison is amazed to find she has an ability to understand dogs, their emotions, and often their pasts. However, this rare ability also leads her to uncover some extremely harmful activities that are happening right in her very own neighborhood. If she exposes the culprits behind them, she may risk losing Cooper, not to mention destroy her plan to remain invisible at school. As Madison struggles to feel normal and understand her ability to translate dog-speak, this coming-of-age story shares how one quirky young girl saves the day with the help of her father and their friend Netta at the Second Chance Rescue Shelter. Frank, funny, and full of adventure, Madison Morgan: When Dogs Blog is a must for any middle grader, who is certain to be enthralled by this dog blogger.

Giveaway Details 
1 Paperback copy open to US only
1 Ebook open Internationally
Ends 9/30/12

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