Saturday, June 20, 2009

Interview + Contest with Sydney Salter

Interview with: Sydney Salter

By: Lauren


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


Cindy said...

This interview really hit home with me! When I was a kid, I had a big nose or at least I thought so! LOL

+ 1 being a follower
+ 1 Added on sidebar on blog!

cnhand84 at yahoo dot com

throuthehaze said...

count me in please!

+1 Im a follower
throuthehaze at gmail dot com

Diana Dang said...

I'm a follower!

Reader Rabbit said...

I have a pretty ugly nose...I really should read My Big Nose and Other Natural Disasters.

RagDollVampGirl said...

Wow!! Great Interview... Love The Idea Of This Carnival, Too..


+1 I Am A Follower


Debbie's World of Books said...

Great interview. I don't care for dolls so not sure if I would let my daughter play with Barbies. The one doll I hate are the Bratz ones. Talk about a bad influence.

+1 I'm a follower
+1 Posted about the contest here:

Summer said...

Neato. I have yet to read this one.

+1 follower

Sylvia said...

I love that this book is about accepting yourself for who you really are. I have really been wanting to read this but I can't find a copy anywhere, so I really, really, really hope I win! Thanks for holding this contest:)

Sassy CC said...

the interview was good in general but I liked Question 3 in particular, Sydney's answer was well thought out I felt.

+1 follower


ZAC said...

-already a follower
-scheduled post about carnival on Monday!

bridget3420 said...

I agree, this is an awesome cover!

I'm a follower.


MJ said...

I'd love this.

new follower


MarjoleinBookBlog said...

Great interview, this book is high o my want-to-read- list. Would love to entere your contest and I will follow your blog!

bermudaonion said...

Great interview! Please enter me. milou2ster(at)

austenfan said...

- Cool interview! I don't really hate my nose, but I guess it's not perfect either, LOL.

- I'm a follower

- posted it on my blog's sidebar:


ellie_enchanted said...

Nice interview! I've heard some very good things about this book.

+1 for following your blog!

Linna said...

I enjoy this interview. I dislike my nose, but unlike the character's big nose, I have a way too flat and small nose. Well, my friends nickname me "voldemort." I should do some trick to win the book, then. :D
Please enter me.

Katie said...

Great interview! I enjoyed reading it.
I'm a follower.

tetewa said...

I'd like to be included!

elaing8 said...

please count me in

+1 Im a follower


Liviania said...

Great interview! I think girls can figure out that Barbies are toys, and not a representation of a real human body, as well. Of course, I loved playing with Barbies. That's how I invented my first stories.

Sammie said...

Growing up I hated my nose because it's quite wide, but since becoming an adult I love it and wouldn't change it for anyhting.

SamantharaeM at gmail dot com

Sammie said...

I am a follower.

SamantharaeM at gmail dot com

deltay said...

That's awesome, that she's now made peace with her nose. Therapeutic's always good! And it's inspirational to see there are parents out there who try to raise their daughters right; it is kind of hard, going against what's "mainstream" in the media and magazines these days. Kind of sad, because forget attainability for a second, but why would anyone want to look like some of those super-skinny people? All the protruding bones are... a little scary.

+1 Already a follower
+1 Sidebar linked the contest

Ann Diana Dinh, said...

Haha I kind of don't like my nose either...but I can live with it. I'm a follower.


trishalynn0708 said...

+1 I am a follower

She could not be more right about kids seeing Barbies as toys and magazines seeing them as the perfect person. That everyone should be like Barbie. I totally agree!!

trishalynn0708 said...

forgot my e-mail in the above post..


Melanie said...

I didn't know that Sydney Salter had another book coming out! That's great! It sounds very interesting.

Meghan said...

oh cool!! I saw this book! It looks good.

Meghan said...

oh cool!! I saw this book! It looks good.

pepsivanilla said...

Please enter me :)

+1 I am a follower


throuthehaze said...


Mitzy said...

This looks really interesting!

And I'm a follower =D

Book Butterfly (Kim) said...

I love how she said that writing this book was like therapy for her and how it's about accepting who you really are. I bet most of the time the things we focus on and hate when we look in the mirror, are things that other people don't even notice too! Girls are so hard on themselves :(
Great interview!!
I'm a follower too :)
And I blogged about the YA carnival.

pirate penguin said...

Sydney's so open about her imperfections. That's so refreshing nowadays.

+1 I just became a follower!

Marie said...

Great interview! Sounds like a wonderful book.

I am a follower.

♔ jessica.marie said...

I would love to be entered! ^_^

-I am a new follower
-I posted this on my sidebar:
-I shall be creating a post about the YA carnival ;)

lovejessicamarie [@] gmail [.] com

NotNessie said...

I love the Zipper too!

+1 follower


Jake Lsewhere said...

Looks like a good read, please enter me into this drawing.

Thanks for hosting this giveaway.

Polo.Pony said...

I would love to win this book, it looks so cute! Thanks for the contest :)

I'm a follower!

Shakespeare's Muse said...

Loved your question about the cover. I think it's a great one, too.

Please enter me! There's a post on my blog.

Renee G said...

This book looks great.


Jake Lsewhere said...

I've also blogged about this giveaway here.


Book Spot said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Book Spot said...

I love the titles of this book and the future one!

and +1 for following

(but I don't think linking the carnival in my contest post counts for the other +1 ;))


robin_titan said...

aww lovely interview. i'm completely interested in the book now :D


I'm already a follower

celi.a said...

Great contest and interview!


Nesral said...

Interested in new reading material


xdaisyx said...

I can't wait for her new book!

+1 I am now a follower
+1 added a link on my blog


Ikutorocks12 said...

I'd like to enter this comment. For one thing, a few years ago I hated my nose and my ears. My nose had this huge bump in it and my ears stuck out. It's strange because during high school I just kinda forgot about it somewhere along the way. Also the cover for the book is really awesome. Unfortunately I've never been to a carnival and from the sound of it, it seems I've missed out :(

My email is miriamfrancos[at]dsl[dot]pipex[dot]com and I've posted this in my deviantart journal

a flight of minds said...

Great interview! I agree- most girls think of dolls as simply dolls, and I don't think Barbies have that much negative impact on girls self esteem, especially compared to real life models these days. I've never had a huge problem with my nose as my nose is small but I think the topic is definitely relatable for most.

+1 for being a follower.

Alex (& Lauren) at aflightofminds(at)hotmail(dot)com

Megan said...

I have been trying to get a copy of this for a while.

I am already a follower


Leslie said...

I am excited about this carnival and book! So count me in!

+ Became a follower.

+ Posted about YA Carnival here:

Thank you for holding this for us. :)

bookaholic13 said...

I'm a follower count me in

Llehn said...

Thanks for the interview! I'd like to be included in the giveaway too please. Thanks.


What a Girl Reads said...

Well, I can't say I like my nose either...

I'm a follower

sosarora_11 @

Liyana said...

Great interview! I love the fact that the nose is covered on the cover. :D

I'm a follower.
POsted on blog:

Kate said...

Great interview.
I'm a follower.
I posted about the carnival a while ago if that counts.

Dani said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dani said...

This was a really cool interview, and i am excited this book is up for grabs in this contest because i had already had this book on my to-read list. =)

+1: Follower!


kaylasenpai said...

This book sounds great.

Alexa said...

This book looks great. I love the cover! Enter me please.

I'm a follower.

I posted a link on my sidebar here:


Belinda M said...

Great interview. I think as teens each one of us had something we HATED so it is very easy to relate. As an adult I still have a few things about me I wish I could change but have learned to live with

Canadian Contests, Freebies, Coupons, Deals, Games and Chat - join us at


Belinda M said...

I follow

Canadian Contests, Freebies, Coupons, Deals, Games and Chat - join us at


Belinda M said...

I have posted this giveaway here

truexillusions said...

It seems like this book is one every girl can relate to. Every girl has something about them that they hate, physical or on the inside.

I'd love to win this. :) It sounds amazing.

purplg8r said...

This book looks great...Please enter me!

And I blogged about the contest here

Kristi said...

I never minded my nose - but I hated my chin - or lack of one! Would love to win this for my daughter - I am also a follower.

kherbrand at comcast dot net

ProdElektra said...

The interview rocked! Anyone can relate--after all, we all have insecurities.
+1 follower
+1 blogged about contest here:

Anonymous said...

This interview was very interesting, I really want to read the book now. :)
+ I'm already a follower.

Limerick said...

This books sounds like it will be really good!

+1 I'm a follower now.

towerofbooks said...

Nice interview! I really like Salter's answer to the first question. You really can't hide your nose. :P

+1 following you
+1 posting about this contest (sidebar -

Paradox said...

Loved the interview! And Swoon at Your Own Risk sounds interesting!

I'm already a follower.

paradoxrevealed (at) aim (dot) com

Anonymous said...

sounds like the book well be great!
im now a follower!

celi.a said...

+1 I follow.


celi.a said...

+1 I posted about the carnival on my blog at:


Laina said...

Know what's sorta funny? I have a rather large scraped off bit of skin on my nose right now.

I'm already a follower.

I posted about it here:

Charlotte said...

thank you for this contest!
I'd love to read this book.. :)