For this week's YA Buccaneer's author takeover, we've got the most amazingly-fabulous Brooks Benjamin on the blog!!!
Not only have I met Brooks in person - and man, is he seriously one of my absolute favorite people in the world (not to mention, his wife Jackie is dang awesome too and now I want them both to move to Seattle so we can hang out ALL. THE. TIME.) - but I wouldn't let him out of my sight until he signed a hard cover copy of his MG debut, MY SEVENTH GRADE LIFE IN TIGHTS, which I'll also be giving away here (US entries only)!
A little about Brooks:
The short 'n sweet version:
Brooks Benjamin lives in Tennessee with his wife and their incredibly spoiled dog. MY SEVENTH-GRADE LIFE IN TIGHTS (Delacorte/Random House) is his first novel.
The not-so-short but still sweet version:
In sixth grade, Brooks Benjamin formed a New Kids on the Block tribute dance crew called the New Kidz. He wasn’t that good at dancing back then. But now he’s got a new crew—his wife and their dog. They live in Tennessee, where he teaches reading and writing and occasionally busts out a few dance moves. He’s still not that good at it. MY SEVENTH-GRADE LIFE IN TIGHTS (Delacorte/Random House) is his first novel.
He formed a NKoTB dance crew, people!!! Be still my beating heart...
How about a little 'bout MY SEVENTH GRADE LIFE IN TIGHTS, straight from Goodreads:
All Dillon wants is to be a real dancer. And if he wins a summer scholarship at Dance-Splosion, he’s on his way. The problem? His dad wants him to play football. And Dillon’s freestyle crew, the Dizzee Freekz, says that dance studios are for sellouts. His friends want Dillon to kill it at the audition—so he can turn around and tell the studio just how wrong their rules and creativity-strangling ways are.
At first, Dillon’s willing to go along with his crew’s plan, even convincing one of the snobbiest girls at school to work with him on his technique. But as Dillon’s dancing improves, he wonders: what if studios aren’t the enemy? And what if he actually has a shot at winning the scholarship?
Dillon’s life is about to get crazy . . . on and off the dance floor.
As if it couldn't possibly get better than that, you have to check out the official M7GLiT trailer:
See? Awesome, right? Nuff said.
To find out more about Brooks, check out his website: www.BrooksBenjamin.com and follow him on Twitter: @BrooksBenjamin - I promise, he seriously is one of the most entertaining people on the Twitter that I know!!!
You can also buy a copy of MY SEVENTH GRADE LIFE IN TIGHTS from the following:
And now, let's get on with our interview, shall we?
Erin L. Schneider / Captain E. Hook: What was a favorite scene or moment in M7GLiT for you to write? And what brought the biggest challenge?
Brooks Benjamin: Oooh, my favorite scene to write was probably the first dance competition they went to. To them, it was this huge deal because it was at a mall, but in reality...it was at a mall. The biggest challenge was probably writing the actual studio competition scene because before M7GLiT, I'd never even gone to one. But I knew some dancers and some instructors and was lucky enough to get an in-depth crash course on the world on competitive dance.
ELS / CEH: Now that you've officially debuted, if you could go back and tell yourself something about your publishing journey, what would it be?
BB: To be patient. Lord, I swear, this game is like 89% waiting.
ELS / CEH: The YA Buccaneers primarily caters to writers in all phases of the journey to publication -- what advice would you give those that want to publish their first YA novel?
BB: My suggestion would be to connect with people who are on all different phases. Find people who are way ahead of you as well as people who are just starting out. Read their work and let them read yours. Learn from the ones who have more experience and teach those who don't. Always pay it forward. Never be afraid to ask questions. And if you can't find someone to answer it, find me (@brooksbenjamin) and ask. If I don't know the answer, I'll find someone who does. <----- SEE THAT? RIGHT THERE? THAT'S WHY I LOVE THIS MAN.
ELS / CEH: What book(s) can currently be found on your bedside table?
BB: Right now I've got TIMEKEEPER by Tara Sim, WANDERLOST by Jen Malone, and I AM DRUMS by Mike Grosso. And on my shelf that's beside my bedside table I have literally every other book in existence that I also want to read.
ELS / CEH: Any chance you can share what you're working on next? We'd love to hear what you have in store for us!
BB: Sure! I just finished another MG story about a girl who lives in this tiny little Tennessee town called Mossy Hollow. The story's all about secrets and friendships and clubs and tarot cards. I just love it to death.
Favorite author of all-time? Stephen King
Hard cover or ebook? Hardcover
Favorite writing snack? Coffee. No, pizza. Wait--coffee. DANGIT. Coffee and pizza.
Plotter or Pantser? Plantser
Favorite 2016 Book So Far (debut or other)? Jeez, Erin, you're gonna make me cry because this question is sooooo haaaarrrrddddduuhhhh! But, I guess I'll have to pick... *closes eyes, points to shelf, peeks, and sees I'm actually pointing at a pizza box with one slice left in it*
A HUGE thank you to Brooks for joining us here on the YA Buccaneers -- and don't forget to enter our giveaway for a signed hardcover copy of M7GLiT + swag below (US entries only)!