Friday, July 10, 2020

Interview with Amy Bearce author of Paris on Repeat

Maybe some of you remember seeing this one here on Bookworm for Kids in May. It's quite the cute story with a touch of magic too! I was super thrilled when the publisher reached out to me for the chance to do an interview with the author, Amy Bearce. Not only do I find it wonderful that she lived in Germany for awhile (I could have waved at her!), but her answers are simply fun to read.


by Amy Bearce
Jolly Fish Press
Middle Grade Magical Realism
224 pages
ages 10 to 12

JULY 14th!!!

GROUNDHOG DAY gets a hilarious French twist in this delightful upper middle grade novel about first crushes and friendship when an eighth-grade class trip to Paris goes horribly wrong and the worst day of one girl’s life keeps happening over and over.

Fourteen-year-old Eve Hollis is ready to push through her fears and finally let her crush know how she feels. And what better place to tell him than on top of the Eiffel Tower in the City of Love? But things don’t go as planned, and Eve is sure she’s had the worst day of her life— until she wakes up the next morning to realize the whole disaster of a day is happening again. She’s trapped in a time loop.

Desperate to make it stop, Eve will have to take some big risks and learn from her mistakes or she’s destined to live the most awkwardly painful day of her life over and over again, forever.


Interview with Amy Bearce!

Thanks so much for taking the time, Amy, to stop by and answer a few questions. It's 
always a treat to learn more about authors, especially when they write lovely stories such
as Paris on Repeat.

I'm just going to start with something I found interesting about your life. You moved around
quite a bit as a child, and after reading your beautiful descriptions of Paris, I’m wondering
which places you called ‘home’ during those years? Which one of those places left an especially
large impression? And has this travel influenced your writing?

First of all, thank you for the sweet words about my descriptions of Paris! My first trip there was
when I was 16, while we were stationed in Stuttgart, where we lived during my last two years of
high school.  Our family’s move to Germany was a huge departure for most of my dad’s military
assignments. I spent most of my childhood moving up and down the central plains of the United
States. We lived in Oklahoma three different times, and I still catch my breath at the wide
panorama of the sweeping plains.  There’s nothing like it, but I actually call Texas home.

While we only spent four years living in Texas while I was growing up, I always called it my
home because my grandparents lived in a small town in north Texas, and we returned there for
most major holidays, to include a week each summer.  That was the steadiest place in my
childhood, even if I didn’t live there.  I went to college in Texas and aside from three years living
overseas in recent years, Texas has been home for my entire adult life.

But the frequent moves and travel growing up definitely informed my writing. Out of all my
books, Paris on Repeat has been the most directly influenced by this part of my past, as the
story focuses on military kids living abroad. 

You tend to steer to the magical in  your works as well as audiences sliding between
middle grade and young adult. What pulls you to these types of stories?
I do tend to write for those in-between years!  I think it’s in part because we moved between
my 7th and 8th grade years and for me, it felt like I suddenly landed in Teenage World. 
Cue the record scratch! Everyone I met in my new school seemed to be eons beyond me,
wearing make-up and dating. I felt unequipped and overwhelmed, struggling to catch up,
so I think those years really stuck with me.  I also taught middle school and have such a soft
spot for this age group. I hope my books let young people know they aren’t alone in their
worries and struggles.

As far as magic goes, including it in my stories opens up a lot of fun possibilities that capture
my imagination. I’ve always preferred reading fantasy and science fiction, so I think it came
naturally for me to lean in those directions in my own stories. 

There is something wonderful about having a dab of the impossible.
What is your favorite part about writing? And what would you rather eat worms than do?

I love the first draft. It’s a time of freedom and play and figuring out the story, which is fun and
exciting.  On the other hand, I really dislike doing copy edits. Eating worms sounds like fun in
comparison. I struggle with the patience needed for such detailed work. But I know it’s critical
to the final product. Thank goodness for the help of editors throughout  the writing process!

Agreed! Editors are the secret, unknown least, I'm convinced they are.
Many authors were avid readers during their childhood. What were your favorite books while
growing up?

I started reading for fun in third grade, thanks to Beverly Cleary.  I quickly moved through Judy Blume
and Sweet Valley High. I also fell in love with fairy tales in fourth grade when I bought my first
book with my own money, a giant edition of Hans Christian Anderson and Grimm Brothers tales. 
But I think my life as a reader really took off in 8th grade when a friend introduced me to the fantasy
worlds of Elizabeth Moon, Mercedes Lackey, and others… I never looked back.

Those are amazing authors! What books are you reading right now?

I’ve actually just finished  Scary Stories for Young Foxes by Christian McKay Heidicker and illustrated
by Junyi Wu.  I’m easily scared, so I don’t usually read creepy stories, but this one kept me glued
to the pages—though I couldn’t read it before bed.  For adult books, I recently read
The 7 ½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, by Stuart Turton, which was also creepy, with plenty of twists
and a satisfying ending. 

When you aren’t writing, what do you like to do? 

I like hanging out with my family at home.  My husband and I have two teen girls, and they are a
delight to be around, whether we are watching a movie or playing a game together.  I also like
going on long walks. My mind does a lot of thinking then. 

What was your biggest wish as a child?
Oh, I wished for many things! Magic, mermaids, unicorns, dragons, and an endless supply of
Sweet Tarts. But in all seriousness, almost every time it was time to move, I wished we wouldn’t
have to leave. We always did, but the good news is that within six months, I’d find myself happy
in our new home, unable to imagine life without the new people I’d met.  So the wish didn’t get
answered the way I wanted, but the hope under it—the wish to feel at home—ended up coming
true anyway, every time.
Tonja, I wanted to say a special thank you for putting together such thoughtful, interesting
questions. It’s clear you spent time learning about me and my books, and I’m honored that
you invested your time in that way.  Thank you for having me on your blog!

It was a treat to have you! And I think I'm speaking for everyone stopping by here when I say, "We
wish you the best success for your upcoming release!"

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