Here it is, Ladies and Gentlemen….the first of our newest series of Cafe Chats with the faculty of Fall Philly and Pitch Shop! Jenne Abramowitz, senior editor at Scholastic, has stopped by to talk books. Lucky us!
Lindsay: Hi Jenne, and welcome to the Eastern Penn Points Cafe. Thanks so much for stopping by to chat with us! As we settle into our cozy booth, what are you drinking?
Jenne: Peppermint tea, my favorite!
Lindsay: And what’s that you’re munching on?
Jenne: Cheese. Always cheese. Any kind of cheese. Even the stinky kind. I was a mouse in another life.
Lindsay: I love the stinky kind! Gimme some Swiss, and I’m happy girl. So, what is the last book you read that made you…..
Laugh out loud? I finally read Harriet the Spy. Why did I wait so long? It’s hilarious and wonderful and deserves every bit of praise it gets!
Cry? It doesn’t take much to make me cry. Seriously, even commercials sometimes get me. But while A Snicker of Magicby Natalie Lloyd isn’t a tearjerker, it made me cry genuinely happy tears.
Stay up way too late? The Art of Secrets by James Klise. The mystery was so gripping that I just couldn’t stop reading until I figured out what’d happened!
Wish you had written it yourself? Greenglass House by Kate Milford. Great characters, twisty plot, and so imaginative!
Changed you? Tease by Amanda Maciel. It’s heartbreaking and gorgeous, and really made me think about my own prejudices.
Lindsay: You are the winner of a Throw Back Thursday Cute Baby Photo Contest! (Aww, just look at those cheeks!) Your prize is $100 to spend in any frivolously fun way you choose. How do you spend it?
Jenne: It has to be frivolous, huh? Usually I’m a pretty practical person, but I’ve always wanted a desk with a hidden drawer (too expensive), a fancy fountain pen (too practical) or an antique pocket watch (just right!).
Lindsay: Okay, now I am also dreaming of a desk with a hidden drawer. Maybe I’ll write about a desk with a hidden drawer?! Anyway, since neither of us can afford one, tell me, what is one thing you wish writers would do BEFORE submitting to you?
Jenne: Do your research. Make sure I publish what you’re writing, and that I don’t already have something identical to it on my list.
Lindsay: What is your best advice to aspiring writers?
Jenne: Read widely and deeply. Read lots of different genres and age groups. Read as many comp titles to the book you’re writing as you can find. Read brand-spanking new books and classics and award winners and bestsellers and recommendations from friends and librarians and booksellers you trust. Read it all!
Lindsay: Finish this sentence: I would jump for joy, sing and dance a jig if I came upon a book that combines……
Jenne: a secret organization, hidden identities, and a voice so unique I can’t help but stop and take notice. Something that reminds me of The Westing Game and Clue and Agatha Christie.
Lindsay: While driving through the Nevada desert, your cell is dead and you suddenly come upon what you think is a phone booth. You step inside to call a friend, but to your surprise, it’s a time machine! Where does it take you? Who do you visit? Do you come back, or do you stay?
Jenne: I can be sneaky, so I’d probably pull a Bill-and-Ted’s-Excellent-Adventure, and go to lots of different times to gather a bunch of my favorite women for the best ladies night ever. I’m thinking Dorothy Parker, the Hepburns (both Katherine and Audrey), Jane Austen, Barbara Jordan, Eleanor Roosevelt…and Mae West for kicks!
Lindsay: I love that you added Mae West to your ladies night….I wonder how Jane Austen would like her? And now, for rapid-fire favorites! Name your favorite….
Type of shoe Converse
Song or band Impossible! Just one? Today I’ll say “This Must Be the Place” by the Talking Heads
Book-turned-movie Does Clueless count?
Place to read The subway if I’m lucky enough to grab a seat.
Animal To live with: cats. To imagine cuddling/buy anything with a twee animal silhouette: hedgehogs.
Lindsay: Thanks so much for joining us, Jenne! We can’t wait to see you in a few weeks at Fall Philly and Pitch Shop!