Monday, January 10, 2011

Book #2: CAMO GIRL

I'm excited to announce that last week was the official release date of my second novel, CAMO GIRL. I write books for middle and high school students; this one is ideal for 4th-7th grade readers.

A quick description of Camo Girl: Best friends Ella and Z are outcasts in their sixth grade class. They cling to one another to survive the teasing of bullies, forming imaginary "super-selves" to protect them from their tormentors. When a new boy, Bailey, joins their class, he befriends Ella because they are the only two black kids. But Bailey is popular, a basketball star, and friendship with him means Ella can move up the social ladder--but Z cannot follow. Ella must decide whether to stick with Z and remain an outcast, or abandon her lifelong friend to fulfill her own dream of popularity.

In promoting the book the publisher (Aladdin/Simon & Schuster) has said: "Author Kekla Magoon deftly navigates the muddy waters of racial and cultural identities in this contemporary exploration of one girl's attempt to find herself." Although it's fiction, the book certainly takes into account some of my own experiences. My problems and struggles as a teen were different from those of my characters, but the situations I put them through are at least partly based on what I found middle school to be like for me.

The book has received some lovely reviews, which is both exciting and gratifying, to know that the story is being well-recieved. For me, most of the pleasure of writing and publishing a book is found in the personal creative process and the sense of satisfaction of completing something solid that I feel good about. But there's no denying the other part of the equation, the part that is about communicating with others and putting a collection of thoughts into the world in the form of a story, hoping that someone will understand and appreciate whatever you are trying to say.

For the writers out there, how do you feel about your relationship with your readers?

For the readers out there, do you ever think about the author of a book you're reading, or is it all about the text and what it means to you?

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