Thursday, February 28, 2019

Interview with middle grade author Chelsea Walker Flagg

Writer Chelsea Walker Flagg is here today and we’re talking a bit about her new early middle grade book, Tinsey Clover.

During her virtual book tour, Chelsea will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble (winner's choice) gift card to a lucky randomly drawn winner. To be entered for a chance to win, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit her other tour stops and enter there, too!

Chelsea was born and raised in the suburbs of Denver, Colorado, where she spent countless hours writing stories. Mostly about cats.

In 2015, she published her first book: a quirky memoir for adults called I'd Rather Wear Pajamas that talks all about the journey through her young adult life that led to her becoming an author. It was an Amazon #1 best seller for five straight days and continues to elicit full belly laughs from its readers.

After the birth of her children, Chelsea shifted her writing to the kidlit world. She’s thrilled to share her newest baby: Tinsey Clover.

Chelsea lives in Boulder with her husband and three practically perfect daughters. Unfortunately, she doesn’t own any cats.

Please share a little bit about your current release.
Tinsey Clover is the story of a spunky little elfin girl in the Icelandic Bungaborg Forest. She feels frustrated because her village isn’t allowed to leave or interact with anyone else in the forest. Certain there’s more positivity out there than she’s been taught to believe, Tinsey sneaks out of her village and finds herself on quite the journey. Using her great math skills, some quirky magic, and help from some unlikely new friends, Tinsey learns that sometimes things aren’t quite what they seem.

What inspired you to write this book?
This felt like a timely tale to tell. In this day and age full of exclusion and segregation, I really wanted to write a story of unity and acceptance. It’s even cooler since the protagonist is a young girl who doesn’t feel like she’s big enough to even make a tiny bit of difference. But, she does. She rises above all sorts of stuff and changes things for the better. It’s a nice spray of inspiration for kids to hear that they can cast a big light, no matter how small they are. It’s not an in-your-face message, though. The lessons are subtle enough and don’t take away from the fun characters and quirky situations they find themselves in.

Excerpt from Tinsey Clover:
Today’s the day. The day I’m finally going to sneak out of Snugglepunk to explore the rest of the Bungaborg Forest. Of course, I said the same thing yesterday. And the day before. And the day before that. But, today, I really mean it.

I brush a strand of shaggy purple hair out of my full moon emerald green eyes and make a thirty-degree turn to the right followed by forty-four paces. A full right-angle turn to the left then another hundred-and-seven steps. I calculate the path with precision, quietly weaving my way in and out of massive brown tree trunks so old, you could climb into their wrinkles and stay hidden for weeks. The trees shoot up most likely all the way to space, spreading their enormous, greedy branches to hog all the sunlight for themselves.

Not to brag or anything, but I’m pretty much an expert sneaker. I mean, when you’ve done something as much as I’ve done this, it’s hard not to be an expert. Another ninety degree right turn. I’m close now. Thirty more yards, which is no small distance when you’re only the size of a chipmunk. Still, my bare feet know the way by heart. They glide quickly over the mossy ground beneath me.

I tune into my slightly pointy ears for a second. Part of being a great sneaker is using all your senses. I hear the call of the morning Icelandic birds and a soft, melodic humming of the other trealfur elves waking up. It’s not an unusual sound. Trealfur elves always hum. It’s just something you do when you’ve got the best singing voices in the forest.

I never hum. Because, unlike every other trealfur elf in Snugglepunk, my voice does not sound like chimes tingling on a soft breeze. No way. I’m pretty sure a better comparison would be to say my voice sounds like an angry honey badger with a head cold. Who’s also dying. That about sums it up.

In front of me, a solid vine wall comes into view. The twenty foot wall my grandpa built before I was born that wraps all the way around the perimeter to keep Snugglepunk safe from the rest of the Bungaborg Forest. The border that’s always made me feel trapped.

What exciting story are you working on next?
I’m super excited to put pen to paper on a Tinsey Clover sequel, so stay tuned for that! I’m also working on a Middle Grade historical fiction.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. Back in second grade, I’d bring in little stories I’d written (mostly about cats) to my classroom and beg my teacher to let me read them to the class. Things didn’t stop there. I wrote my first novel in middle school, although I sadly never published it. My life continued along and I fell into the trap of people telling me writing was a worthless occupation. I bounced around from job to job, and always found myself gravitating toward the writing piece of any project. Finally, I took the leap and allowed myself to really call myself a writer. I haven’t looked back once.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I wish I could write full time! As the full-time mama of three young girls, sometimes squeezing in even a handful of minutes can be a challenge. What I’ve found really works for me is, instead of committing myself to putting in a certain amount of time per day to write (ie, I’ll write two hours a day,) I strive for a certain word count. So, if I’m working for 2,000 words a day, that means I can get those words in at any point during the day. Maybe my kids are playing for a bit and I get fifteen minutes to write. Great! 500 words done. First thing in the morning before everyone’s awake. Awesome! Another 300 words. I’ve found that breaking it down that way makes it so much more realistic and achievable.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Ha! Where to start? I’m the type of writer who will just sit down and start writing whatever comes to mind. There are plenty of times when I’ll go back to edit and I have no idea what I’m even trying to read. What was I talking about??

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A veterinarian. And a ballerina. And a concert flutist. And, of course, a writer. I’m two of the four of those now. Can you guess which ones?

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Thanks for hanging with me today!


Thank you for being a guest on my blog!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!

Chelsea said...

Thanks for hosting me today!

Rita Wray said...

I liked the excerpt.

Victoria Alexander said...

Thanks for sharing :)

James Robert said...

Thank you so much for taking time to bring to our attention another great read. I enjoy these tours and finding out about many terrific books.

zahid said...

Great!! keep up the good work!! lets stay in touch! We present to you the best marketing blogs.
marketing write for us