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Saturday, 9 June 2012

Author Interview: Elissa Brent Weissman + Nerd Camp Giveaway

Author Interview: Elissa Brent Weissman + Nerd Camp Giveaway

Hi Elissa, you have released three books, out of all them which one would you say was probably your favourite to write?
They were all fun for different reasons.  Standing for Socks was my first real novel, so I enjoyed the challenge of writing something long and figuring out how to make a story stretch the length of a book.  Nerd Camp was great because I got to create this awesome summer camp for smart kids and dream up all the nerd-tastic activities they do there.  But as far as writing as a craft goes, I think my favorite was The Trouble with Mark Hopper.  That book’s about two boys with the same exact name, so when I was writing scenes with one Mark or another, I had to make sure it was clear which one I was talking about without relying on their names.  I also had a lot of dialogue that went: “said Mark,” “said Mark,” “said Mark.”  It was like a long (successful, I hope) exercise in character development, and it was a ton of fun.

What Inspired you to write your latest book Nerd Camp?
I taught for four years at a summer camp for gifted and talented children, the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth (CTY), and every summer, my class was filled with charming, cool, quirky kids who impressed and inspired me with their intelligence.  I knew a camp like this would be a great setting for a book, so I invented Gabe and his camp, the Summer Center for Gifted Enrichment, based on my experiences at CTY.

Are you currently writing another story at the moment in time?
I am!  I have a new book called The Short Seller coming out summer 2013.  It’s about a twelve-year-old girl who becomes an online stock trader while she’s home from school sick, and she gets herself into some major trouble.  I’ve been revising that book and also working on something new—but that something new is pretty raw right now, so I’m not going to say anything about it just yet.

Growing up, who inspired you to write? Was there any particular authors you admired?
All of the books I read when I was a kid got me excited about writing.  I particularly loved Louis Sachar—I thought (and still think) he’s hilarious.  Some other favorites were Lois Lowry, Ann M. Martin, and Orson Scott Card.  I was also a huge fan of Gordon Korman, especially because he’d published his first book when he was only 13.  When I was in sixth grade, I met and interviewed him, and that was such an encouraging experience, it made me that much more determined to become an author myself.

Wheres the best place for you to write?
I have trouble getting any productive writing done at home, so I go out to various coffee shops and work there.  Getting out of the house makes me feel like I “went to work,” since I don’t have an office to report to, and I enjoy having other people around, even though we’re all doing our own things.

Harry Potter or the Twilight series?
Harry Potter, hands down.

Whats your favourite tv programme?
Right now I’m really into The New Girl, but my all-time favorite is probably The Cosby Show.  I also love Shark Tank and the British show it’s based on, Dragon’s Den.  And The Wire, especially since I live in Baltimore.

Do you prefer the libary or going to actual bookstores itself?
I like them both.  I’m a regular at the library, and all the librarians know me.  I usually have at least 5 library books checked out at any given time.  But I love bookstores, too, and I own a ton of books.  My husband and I renovated our house a couple years ago, and having space for all of our books actually played a big part in the architecture and design.  We’ve got lots of bookshelves now, and they’re close to full.

Thankyou ever so much Elissa for being apart of my blog. Being awfully kind, Elissa had also offered a paperback copy of her book Nerd Camp to giveaway to one of you lucky guys. The Giveaway is international just follower the rafflecopter rules!

Summary: Ten-year-old Gabe has just been accepted to the Summer Center for Gifted Enrichment. That means he’ll be spending six weeks at sleepaway camp, writing poetry and perfecting logic proofs. SCGE has been a summer home of some legendary middle-school smarty-pants (and future Jeopardy! contestants), but it also has a reputation for being, well, a nerd camp. Gabe isn’t a nerd. Is he? He’s never thought about it much, but compared to Zack, his hip, soon-to-be-stepbrother from LA, Gabe’s not so sure where he falls on the cool scale. A wild summer at camp—complete with a midnight canoe ride to Dead Man’s Island—helps Gabe realize that he and Zack may be different, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be brothers…and friends.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I really love The Giving Tree, but I grew up with the Harry Potter books, so all of those!!

    Great interview. Sounds like a cute book. I think I'd enjoy a nerd camp.

    I always comment back,


  2. I always loved reading HEIDI when I was growing up. My children are big Dr. Seuss fans.

  3. My favourite children's book is The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale. Thank you for the international giveaway!
    Kristia Miltiadou

  4. I love the Harry Potter series.

  5. I loved the Malory towers books

  6. The lion the witch and the wardrobe.

  7. Regarding the Fountain

    by Kate Klise


    totally awesome

  8. The very hungry caterpillar

  9. I love the famous five books

  10. My favourite is "The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe" by CS Lewis

  11. The Very Hungry Caterpillar

  12. I used to love the Meg and Mog books.