Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Skype with Hannah Barnaby TOMORROW!

Hannah Barnaby's fancy author pic.
It's almost that time! Time for our next meeting, where we'll be discussing Wonder Show by Hannah Barnaby .  Have you finished the book yet?  In case you forgot -


Start thinking up some questions to ask Ms. Barnaby now. Please?  Because you guys are really smart, but I know what some of you are thinking.  "Buuuuuuttt I've never talked to an author before and she's prolly really smart and I don't want to look dumb so I just won't say anything 'kay?"

First, breathe.  That was a crazy run-on sentence.  Second, don't worry about it, I'm sure she's really nice (check out her website.  You can totally tell she's nice.).  Third, we've got you covered: here are some suggestions of questions and starting points for thinking up some of your own.


  • Ask questions about the book:  For instance, think about the characters.  Are you still wondering why they acted the way they did? Were there other parts of the story that didn't make sense?  What about the ending (if you're finished reading) - do you have questions about what the characters might do after the book ended?
  • Ask about her writing choices: An orphanage, a circus sideshow, and the Great Depression.  Are you wondering why Ms. Barnaby chose to use these places/time as the setting?  Or why she chose the types of characters she did, from Jackal to Delilah? And why did she do that changing-point-of-view-thing between chapters (first we had a narrator, then we were in Gideon's head, then Jimmy's head, etc.)?
  • Ask about being a writer: If you dream of being an author, now's your chance.  Why did she want to be an author? How does she get ideas - is there a certain place or activity that's especially inspiring?  Does she have a favorite method or place to work on writing?  
  • a gazillion other questions:  Feel free to ask something that isn't mentioned here!  Even one or two random questions are okay:  "What's your favorite flavor of pie?  What's Jackal's favorite flavor of pie?"
Plus, since this is the first time we've skyped with an author, here are some tips on keeping the conversation friendly, fun, phresh, etc.:

  • Call her "Ms. Barnaby": Can't go wrong if you're really polite - even too polite - so call her "Ms. Barnaby", unless she tells you to call her something else.
  • Take turns, speak loudly and clearly: Since she's not in the room, she'll have a harder time hearing.  Take turns asking questions - one voice at a time - and be sure to speak loudly!  If you want to comment on her answer to a question, go for it!
  • Be honest, but be nice:  Authors are people too! You can criticise the book - most authors just want your real, honest thoughts on their book - but be nice about how you criticise. A book doesn't have feelings, but its author does.  If you liked the book, be sure to say that, too! 
  • Bring something to take notes, if you want: If writing's your thing and you want to remember her advice later, bring a notebook/paper/pen/pencil/old napkin/whatever.
That's it for now!  If you want more info on Hannah Barnaby, check out an earlier blog post - go to the last three paragraphs for links. Be sure to come to the meeting - tomorrow, March 7th, 6-7pm at SPL.  Let's show Ms. Barnaby just how smart, polite, cool, phlegmatic (HAH, kidding) Wylie teens really are!

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