Tales Q&A with Laura Wood
I am super excited to have been asked to be part of the blog tour for this fabulous MG mystery Poppy Pym and the Double Jinx by Laura Wood.
Poppy Pym and the Double Jinx is the second book in this fab mystery series and was released on the 1st September 2016 published in by Scholastic.
The first in the series, Poppy Pym and the Pharaoh’s Curse was released last year.
You can find out about the world of Poppy Pym in this previous guest post – here
A huge thank you to Faye Rogers, Laura Wood and Scholastic for having me on this wonderful tour and to Scholastic for sending me a copy of the book to read.
For my stop on the blog tour I have been lucky enough to put some questions to the lovely author herself Laura Wood!
Winner of the Scholastic Montegrappa Prize for New Children’s Writing. Poppy Pym has grown up in the circus, eating candy floss for breakfast and learning about lion taming … until her circus family decides she needs a more traditional education, and they send her to boarding school. At first, Poppy has trouble fitting in at St Smithen’s, a school that is very different from the circus. But when an ancient Egyptian ruby comes to the school and dangerous accidents start occurring, it’s up to Poppy to save her new home and solve the mystery of the Pharaoh’s curse!
From the Winner of the Scholastic Montegrappa Prize for New Children’s Writing It’s Halloween at Saint Smithen’s. When the Brimwell town hall burns down, the amateur production of Macbeth is moved to the school and it’s all hands on deck. But when the play is struck by a series of mysterious attacks, it’s up to Poppy, her friends and her circus family to save the play and unmask the culprit.
Hi Laura! Thank you for joining me today! I’m so thrilled to have you here today!
So lets get started with the first question…..
Who is Poppy Pym?
Poppy Pym is an eleven-year-old girl with a passion for sleuthing. As a baby she was abandoned at a travelling circus where she was raised by an eccentric family of performers before being sent off to fancy boarding school, Saint Smithen’s.
Can you tell us a little about the second Poppy Pym story Poppy Pym and the Double Jinx?
The second book is set at Halloween and after a mysterious fire leaves a local amateur production of Macbeth without a venue, the performance is moved to Saint Smithen’s. Was the fire really an accident, or is something more sinister at work? Poppy and her pals are hot on the case when a second mystery comes along. But can Poppy find the culprit behind the fire and track down the lost gold of Phineas Scrimshaw, or has she bitten off more than she can chew?
What is a Double Jinx?
The double jinx refers to the two mysteries that Poppy finds herself investigating. The curse of ‘The Scottish Play’ is pretty well-known and offers lots of comedy potential, and I really liked the idea of a doomed production of Macbeth sitting at the centre of the story. The treasure hunt that Poppy and her friends find themselves on also carries a rumoured jinx, so Poppy’s feeling overwhelmed by lots of bad luck. I found myself coming back to the three witches’ lines from the play: “Double, double toil and trouble…” and the fact that with this double mystery, Poppy really does find herself in double the amount of trouble. Also, I loved that double jinx brings to mind the game of jinx that we all used to play. Can someone please say Laura Clare Wood three times?!
Have you ever experienced anything that you felt was jinxed?
I don’t think so, although I can be quite superstitious. I always greet single magpies very politely.
What inspired you to write Poppy’s story?
I wrote the first book as an entry for the Montegrappa Scholastic competition for New Children’s Writing, which I was lucky enough to win in 2014. I had the idea for a long time before that but I was too scared to do anything with it. When I read about the competition I remember that one of the judges specifically said, if you’ve been too nervous to submit something in the past, give it a go, we’re so excited to read it! I don’t know why, but that gave me the push to get it down on paper. I wonder now if maybe the thought of entering a competition made me feel less vulnerable, somehow. I’m not really sure what it was but I nearly didn’t enter and I think about that quite often now, how taking a chance and having a go at something scary changed my life so dramatically.
Which of your characters from the Poppy Pym books would you most like to spend the day with?
Good Question! I think Fanella would be good comedy value.
What was your favourite scene to write?
I loved expanding Poppy’s world a bit in this book so my favourite scene to write was the one where Poppy goes into the town of Brimwell for the first time. It was total wish fulfilment, writing about excellent tea shops and bookshops and more eccentric, loveable characters.
If Poppy had a theme song what would it be?
Oh, definitely something of her own composition! I’m 99% sure she already has one worked out!
Will we be getting any more Poppy adventures?
Yes! I’m so excited! I can’t say much at the moment, but I’ve just finished the first draft of book three and I love it.
We would love to know a little bit more about you! Can you give us 5 random facts we don’t know about Laura Wood?
- I’m a pretty fluent speaker of igpay atinlay
- When I was 18 I travelled around the world by myself, with a backpack almost the same size as me.
- I have a little brother who is now much much taller than me. His REAL name is Thomas but for his whole life he’s been called Harry. You’d have to ask my mum why.
- When I was little I drew inspiration from Matilda and used to punish my brother if I felt he had annoyed me by squirting liquid soap on his toothbrush. (Sorry, Harry! I love you!)
- One Christmas my boyfriend and I decided to make each other Christmas presents. I made him a book called Ho Ho Ho Beantown! and a papier-mâché peanut. We never did this again.
Growing up who inspired you into writing? Are there any Authors or books that inspired you?
So many! I read all sorts, but I would say that Enid Blyton is maybe the biggest inspiration behind the Poppy books. I loved the Famous Five and Secret Seven, but also Malory Towers, and Poppy brings bits of all of those together. I didn’t read them growing up because they didn’t exist, but I also love the madcap antics in Andy Stanton’s Mr Gum books, so there’s a bit of that in there too.
Are there any recent works or authors that you admire or books you wish you had written?
Again, lots. I recently read the first Alfie Bloom book by Gabrielle Kent and had a serious case of author envy… what a great book! I can’t wait to read the second one.
What are you currently reading?
My to-read pile is massive, but I’ve just started The Invitation by Lucy Foley.
What is your favourite book of 2016 so far?
I don’t tend to read things when they first come out, but I really loved The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman. If a book is pitched as Buffy meets Georgette Heyer then I’m definitely in.
Are there any authors you would like to collaborate with? Who?
I am obsessed with picture books. I love them and would love to write one but I am truly terrible at art, so there are lots of illustrators I dream about working with. Top of my list would be Emma Yarlett – I love her books.
When starting a new book or idea what does your writing process look like?
It doesn’t look very interesting! I spend a lot of time mulling things over before I put anything on paper. I really live with it for months (or years!) adding little details and thinking about the story, even repeating lines of dialogue to myself until they’re stored away. Eventually I will write a one-page synopsis and go from there. Because I’ve let the story tick away in my brain for such a long time the actual writing is usually very quick.
Do you have any strange writing habits?
I like to write by hand as much as possible and then type things up afterwards. I find a computer screen can be a bit daunting. I also have a pair of blue leggings covered in foxes and if I need to get a lot of work done then those seem to have the magic in them!
Are there any exciting plans for the rest 2016 or 2017?
Loads but I’m not allowed to tell you about them yet!
A huge thank to Laura for being here today and answering all of my questions!
You can buy a copy of Poppy Pym and the Double Jinx here or from your local bookshop!
Or why not add it to your Goodreads wish list here
Also check out this previous guest post with Laura Wood about the world of Poppy Pym – here
About Laura Wood
Laura Wood is the winner of the Montegrappa Scholastic Prize for New Children’s Writing. She has just completed her PhD at the University of Warwick studying the figure of the reader in nineteenth century literature. POPPY PYM AND THE PHARAOH’S CURSE was her first novel.
You can find our more about Laura Wood on her website – www.lauraclarewood.com
Or why not follow Laura on twitter – @lauraclarewood
Catch up or follow the rest of this fab blog tour at the following stops!
Thursday 1st September
Friday 2nd September
Saturday 3rd September
Sunday 4th September
Monday 5th September
Tuesday 6th September
Wednesday 7th September
A huge huge thank you to Laura for answering all my questions and to Faye Rogers for organising and having me on this fab blog tour!
Have you read any of the Poppy Pym series? What did you think? Are you excited for the Double Jinx? I would love to hear from you! Why not leave a comment using the reply button at the top of this review or tweet me on twitter using @chelleytoy!