I'm excited to welcome another debut author, an Elevensie, Clete Barrett Smith. Clete's debut novel, Aliens on Vacation, releases May 3rd, 2011 from Disney-Hyperion Books for Children / Disney Publishing Worldwide. It's a Middle Grade novel, for ages 8-12.
Welcome, Clete! Please tell us about your book in seven words or less.
Boy gets job at hotel for aliens.
Ha. Sounds great. Other than your main character, who's a favorite character in your debut novel and why?
I really like my antagonist, a suspicious local sheriff who wants to shut down the bed & breakfast for aliens. He's grumpy and sees himself as the sole protector of this little town, so he tries to intimidate anyone who he views as a threat. I think he's hilarious and his scenes were the most fun to write.
Can you tell my readers a little more about yourself?
I live in the Pacific Northwest with my wife and two daughters. I have always loved hiking in the forests here, and my childhood game was to make up stories about fantastic things happening in the woods that only I knew about. I finally wrote one of those stories down and I'm excited to share it with kids!
Well hello from another Northwest writer! What's been the most surprising thing about your path to publication so far?
I was most surprised by all of the people reading my book: agents, editors, marketing people, publishers in foreign countries who ended up buying the book. I had worked on this thing in relative isolation for years with only a few close friends and colleagues looking at it. Now the story feels like it's out there in the world and doesn't really belong to me anymore. I wish it well on its journey!
Any advice for aspiring authors?
Get help. Join a critique group, go back to school, read craft books. Don't try to do this all alone.
Great advice, Clete! Can you tell us about anything new you're at work on?
I am currently in rewrites with my editor on a sequel to my debut novel entitled Alien on a Rampage.
What did you write as a teen?
In middle school and high school I took Journalism class and wrote for the school newspaper, where I basically tried to make people laugh. My friend and I had an ongoing feature where we reviewed terrible slasher films. Instead of the traditional "five stars" rating system, we used a little "bloody chainsaw" icon to rate movies.
What's the last book you read that your really loved?
I read The Yearling last year and was amazed. Great characters, laugh-out-loud funny and a story with heart.
Thanks so much for visiting my blog today, Clete, and all the very best with your release! If readers want to find out a little more, where should they look?
My website: http://www.cletebarrettsmith.com/Website/Welcome.html
My Facebook author page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Clete-Barrett-Smith-WriterEducatorSpeaker/128946553839867