Author Interview - Micheal Anderson

Micheal Anderson is the author of the STEM focused Zoey Lyndon chapterbook series. She enjoys writing middle grade fiction and understands the value of representation in children’s stories. Her mission is to normalize encouraging Black and Brown girls to pursue more math and science in order to help close the gender gap which exists in the STEM fields. She is a member of Jack and Jill Associates, The Links Inc., and Society of Children’s Book, Writers, and Illustrators. Micheal lives in St. Charles, Missouri with her husband Rodney. She’s an active volunteer in her community, enjoys listening to jazz music, and loves to travel abroad.

Genre: Children - Middle Grade Fiction

Q1: What is the name of your latest book and what is it about?

Zoey Lyndon's Misadventures at Camp is a story about summer camp mishaps, friendships, and a bit of mystery. This is the third book in the STEM focused series ... this book encourages an interest in Engineering.

Q2: How long does it take you to write a book? How long does each stage of the process usually take?

I find the more I write, the less time my stories take to complete. The book I'm currently working on has taken about 6 months. The Misadventures at Camp took 7 months.

Q3: What is your favourite type of character to write?

I'm finding I enjoy writing messy characters. Interesting characters who happen to have some sass and attitude are exciting to me and I really enjoy writing them into my storylines. I also think they add depth to the story.

Q4: What is something you wish you had known earlier on it your writing career?

It would have been nice to know more about promoting my books. Marketing your books is its own beast and you have to learn what works best for you. Don't allow yourself to get bogged down by trying to do what's working for someone else ... you have to go at your own pace and do what works for you.

Q5: What do you do when you find yourself in a bit of a writing rut? Is there any strategy you find works for you to help the words start flowing again? 

Initially, I'll try to press through it which sometimes will help. If pressing through doesn't help, then sometimes I have to simply walk away and come back to my story in a couple of days. I find when I give myself time away and come back to it with fresh eyes, it will often do the trick.

Q6: What is your favourite writing resource?

I'd have to say a combination of my own experiences or the experiences of others which I witnessed. Story ideas come to me at random moments and I'll jot them down on my phone or in a notebook I keep on my writing desk.

Q7: How would you describe your book’s ideal reader?

My ideal reader is a someone who can read independently and beyond picture books. Readers who are ready to tackle early chapter books and enjoy a good slice of life story. Also anyone interested fun stories with a touch of drama and mystery.

Q8: What authors or books inspire you the most?

In the middle grade genre, I'd say Renee Watson and L.B. Anne. I also like Isabel Wilkerson and Beverly Jenkins.

Q9: What are you currently reading?

I just finished reading The Davenports by Krystal Marquis and it was so good.

To find out more about Micheal Anderson check out her website (where you can download a copy of the free teachers guide for Zoey Lyndon's Misadventures at Camp), or give her a follow on Instagram @everythingmicheal. From the blurb:

Zoey and her bestie, Tommi, are hitting the trails! They’re attending Camp Whispering Pines, a five-night Engineering Camp Experience. Things are off to a great start, and Zoey’s enjoying her camp friends and newfound freedom. But things take an unexpected turn when Zoey and her friends stumble upon an interesting discovery—the camp’s legendary One-Eyed Nelson is in fact a real person! And to make matters worse, Zoey makes a decision that places her and a cabin mate in danger, putting them both at risk of being dismissed from camp. Will Zoey and her friends uncover the truth about One-Eyed Nelson? What consequence will Zoey’s decision have?

Zoey Lyndon's Misadventures at Camp is now available in ebook, paperback and hardcover.

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