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Friday 23 October 2015

ℚ Super Freak: Superfreak [1] - Vanessa Barger

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about Super Freak (, Month9Books, LLC, 285pages) a Middle Grade Fantasy book.

Author Q&A | Synopsis | Teaser | About the Author | Giveaway & Tour Stops

Hello Vanessa, welcome to BooksChatter and thank you for joining us today.

What was the inspiration for Super Freak?

"The inspiration for SUPER FREAK came when I was in the local bookstore browsing the YA and MG sections for something new to read . I love my paranormal and fantasy and such, but it did strike me that there was a lot of it, and most of it are books where the paranormal thing is the oddball.  I wondered what it would be like if everything was paranormal and being normal was the weird thing.  And things snowballed from there."
How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?
"I think Caroline’s sarcasm is totally me.  I’m very sarcastic, and it slipped out when I wrote her character.  I was also a curious kid, and I think that part of Caroline’s personality came from there as well.  In all honesty, I think there’s a little bit of me in every character, somewhere.  For instance, Diana is the type of brave I wish I had been at that age, but never was. "
Why should we read Super Freak and what sets it apart from the rest? What makes your book unique?
"I think SUPER FREAK is a fun, quick read that anyone will enjoy!  As for what sets me apart and makes it unique, I think the fact that its flipped “normal” fantasy stories around is pretty unique.  I love the fact that Caroline is normal, and is working out who she is, and because she is normal she’s the only one who can actually save the day.  The book has a lot to say about finding out who you are and understanding that you have more to offer than you think."
Can you tell us something quirky about Super Freak, its story and characters?
"Okay, my nerd is showing here, but Caroline’s mom is a willow dryad, and I always imagined her as a toned down version of Mrs. Bennet in Pride and Prejudice.  Hence the last name of Bennings.  Mrs. Widdershins is a teacher and a witch.  Her name also means “turning in a counter clockwise direction.”"
Who would you recommend Super Freak to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
"I would recommend the book to upper elementary and middle school age children.  I think others might enjoy it as well, but that was the audience I wrote it for, and I think they would like it best!  I don’t think there’s anything particularly warning worthy in the book.  It’s pretty light hearted and fun!"
If you could / wished to turn Super Freak and the Superfreak series into a movie, who would be your dream team?
"Oh man, this is difficult.  Sometimes I write and actually do have someone in my head that would work.  Sometimes I don’t, and this is one of those cases.  I love Kenneth Branagh, so if he could direct it and do a cameo, that would be awesome.  As for location, somewhere in Hampton Roads where it was actually supposed to take place would be good.  I always get slightly disappointed when films are made somewhere that’s so different from the actual location you can really tell.  (Like that scene of Norfolk harbor in Down Periscope.  Seriously?  There were Mountains, people.  Anyone who’s ever been to Hampton Roads knows the only mountain around is Mount Trashmore.  And that’s stretching it!) "
What do you like to write and read about?  Do you stick to a particular genre or do you like to explore different ones?
"I really enjoy paranormal, fantasy, and scifi.  I love the fact that it allows me to be as creative as I want.  I get enough real world every day in my job.  I want to write something fun!  I also enjoy writing horror, and I like to read all of those.  The only thing I read and don’t write are travel essays and historical fiction.  Though you never know!  I love that as a writer I can write and read whatever I want!"
What is your writing process?
"My process is in flux all the time.  I used to be a solid panster.  But SUPER FREAK was the book that stopped that.  With a mystery, you have to make sure that the right thing happens at the right time.  And when I stalled out while writing it, I had to suck it up and do an outline.  And I haven’t gone back to pansting since.  Having a loose outline, and allowing myself to deviate, has made everything easier.  I also try and make sure I write every day, and I use V.E. Schwab’s “calendar method” to keep track of my writing.  It’s a huge motivator.  Basically, I get a star on the calendar for every 500 words I write.  The visual is really compelling.  Or maybe I never grew out of the sticker phase.  Either way, it works!"
What is in store next?
"I’ve just finished a new MG Adventure that involved geeks, detention, and space pirates, and hopefully that will make it to print someday.   And you know, SUPER FREAK was intended to be the first in a series, and I can tell you that Caroline’s got some rough days ahead…."
And as a final quirky thing, to get to know you a little bit better... do you have a pet or something that is special to you that you could share with us?
"I have a lovely cat named Molly who has a frequent habit of interrupting my work, but she’s cute and fluffy, so mostly I let it slide.  Here she is!"

Hello Molly!  I am sure she has plenty of advice for you, as all cats do!  Thank you so much for sharing Molly with us :-)

Super Freak - available NOW!

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