Interview with: Sydney Salter
1. In your debut novel My Big Nose and Other Natural Disasters, the main character Jory hates her nose and is hoping to save enough money during summer break for a nose job. What made you decide Jory would hate her nose instead of any other body part?
Your nose is in the middle of your face--and there's not much you can do to hide or disguise it. It's just right there in the center of everything anytime someone looks at you.
2. When it comes to personal experience, did you ever wish you could change something as much as Jory wants to change her nose?
Okay, yes, I totally hated my nose in high school. And now that I've written a novel about a nose-hating character I've found myself talking about it A LOT. It's been kind of therapeutic, really, even though I sometimes wish I'd written about a girl who hated her knobby knees or something less, um, personal. But the good news is that I've made peace with my nose now : )
3. I love the cover and think it fits well for the summary of the novel (sadly, I haven't read the book yet) since it's a plastic Barbie-like doll that seems perfect. What are your thoughts about barbies and magazine photos these days? Do you believe they hurt more girls than not?
Thank you! I love the cover (designed by Carol Chu) too!
My mom refused to buy Barbies for me. I owned the Sunshine Family, a group of hippies with big feet and flat chests, who traveled the craft fair circuit in their not-pink van. So I played with my friends' Barbies every chance I got! We have had a few Barbies live in my daughters' toy collection over the years, but we've frequently joked about trying to walk around with those giant boobs and tiny feet.
I do think girls see Barbies and other dolls as toys. Magazines show a different story with all their airbrushed perfection. Younger and younger girls feel the pressure to look thin and sexy by wearing expensive clothes and makeup. I do what I can to focus on my daughters' (now 9 and 13) more lasting qualities (intelligence, empathy, talents, passions), but sometimes I feel like I'm fighting the entire culture when they pick up a magazine and see images that differ from what they see in the mirror. Most teens have a few pimples. Most teens weigh more than a magazine model. And ALL teens have such beautiful, spirited personalities and so much potential--I hate to see that get lost in a quest for outer perfection!
4. One of your next novels, Swoon at Your Own Risk, comes out next year. Do we have a set date or month for this one yet? Do you personally believe in advice columns or not?
Swoon At Your Own Risk will be out in May 2010. I have to admit that I love reading advice columns while I eat my morning Cheerios, but I often think the advice is too cute for complex problems (so that's when I find myself talking out loud to my newspaper... It's a good thing that I'm already a crazy writer and my family understands). My mother got her Ph.D in psychology when she turned 50 (thankfully letting me avoid the fate of being over-analyzed in my teens). I see how hard she works to help people deal with problems--and that can't be accomplished in 100 words or less.
5. What is your absolute favorite thing about a carnival?
I LOVE carnivals so much that I've dedicated an entire chapter to the Reno Rodeo Carnival in My Big Nose And Other Natural Disasters. Every summer I looked forward to ogling boys, eating a variety of fried concoctions, and making myself queasy on The Zipper (not necessarily in that order!)
This contest is in honor of YA Book Carnival Week. If you want to host your own contest, be our guest. Just look at the official Carnival page for the "rules" and to leave a link. If you have any questions, let me know.
To Enter: Comment on this interview!
Open to: Everyone (international contest)
Ends: June 27th (the end of the carnival)
+1 if you are a follower or become one
+1 if you post about this contest and/or the carnival