FAQs -- Sand Dollar Summer
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Why did you put someone like Big Buns in the book?
all, I'm so glad so many of you commented on Big Buns and enjoyed the
scene where Free nails her with a pbj! She's one of my favorites--so much
fun to dislike her!
Who really knows why any one person is mean at any point in time, but
nobody is mean unless they think they can get away with it, and BigBuns
was counting on the fact that she, as an adult, held power over the kids.
Unfortunately, we've all probably had experience with adults who don't
treat kids as well as they should, and it was my small way of saying "take
What inspired me to write Sand Dollar Summer?
the ocean fascinates me. I can't get enough of salt air, walking on
beaches, body surfing and watching the waves. Specifically, I was on
vacation in Maine, exploring different side roads and saw this weird
little shack on stilts (I made up the blue color). It was dusk and there
was a single tiny light coming from the shack and I wondered who would
live in such a place. That's how Ben came into existence, and I knew that
if I was a kid having a hard time, someone like Ben would be a good friend
to have. So even though the book is primarily about Lise, it all started
with a real shack (which isn't there anymore--I wonder what happened?!).
What does sesquipedalian mean?
Literally, it means a foot
and a half long, but the way it's used is "someone who uses long words."
Well, what's it doing in a middle grade books? I like words. I like fun
words. You never know when you'll need a word that means "a foot and a
half long", and now you have one!
In Sand Dollar Summer, why did I give the mother and daughter the
While it's very common for sons to be named after
fathers, it isn't as common for daughters to be named after their mothers.
And I wondered why not, so I did!
What was it with that bad word in Sand Dollar Summer?
say those words, right? And often adults say them when they shouldn't, and
sometimes they say them in front of kids. To me it was a way to
communicate that a) Michael, who seems almost perfect, isn't and b) he was
feeling really, really bad.
Are you going to write a sequel to Sand Dollar Summer?
say never, but I don't have any plans to at this time--I have other things
I'm working on now. Also, I don't feel that writers are completely in
charge of their stories--it's more like we are given an open window into
other people's lives for a temporary period of time, and then the shutters
close. Sometimes it seems like the story "chooses the writer" rather than
the other way around.
Is Fiddle Beach a real place?
Only in my mind, and I hope,
after you read the book, yours! It is however, based upon a favorite place
that I go in Maine. Here is a map I made when I was writing Sand Dollar Summer to
make sure I was consistent in my directions and description.
Who is on the cover of Sand Dollar Summer?
I don't have a
What are sand dollars?
Click here to
What does a Newfoundland dog look like?
Click here (and check out my very own Newfie under Fun