GETTIN’ LUCKY: An Interview with Barbara Brauner and James Iver Mattson, authors of OH MY GODMOTHER: THE GLITTER TRAP

Today we’re interviewing Lucky13 authors Barbara Brauner and James Iver Mattson, whose debut novel OH MY GODMOTHER: THE GLITTER TRAP hits shelves this week.

First, the blurb:

Middle school is far from a fairytale for adorkable misfit Lacey Unger-Ware. When Lacey ends up with popular girl Paige Harrington’s smart-mouthed fairy godmother, Katarina, trapped in her hair, life gets more magical–just not in a ‘prince charming’ kind of way.

Katarina’s wings are too damaged to continue her fairy duties, and Lacey must take over as Paige’s fairy godmother. Distracted by her new responsibilities, Lacey’s in danger of losing her best friend, Sunny. Can Lacey get the hang of magic, make Paige’s dreams come true, and survive middle school?

I bet I’m not the only one who’s toyed with the idea of collaborating with another writer on a book. Could you tell us a little how it works for you two? How do you divide the work? Do you alternate chapters? Or does one of you draft while the other revises? Or is it more that you’re both doing every step together along the way?

We know that a lot of writing teams divide things up and then go away to work separately, but we write just about every word together. Jim types, and we have two monitors set up so we can both see what we’re working on. There’s a lot of talking and throwing out suggestions; it’s hour after hour of “What ifs.” When we manage to make each other laugh, we know we’re on the right track. We’ve got a pretty good work ethic, and write five or six days a week. Sometimes we even go a full hour without looking at cute cat videos on YouTube.

If I had to pick one word for this book, it would be FUNNY! (Or maybe hilariouslycheeky – that’s one word, right?) There were so many great lines that made me laugh out loud. When you’re writing together, do you ever disagree on what’s funny? Do you find that one of you keeps inserting these lines while the other groans aloud? Or are you both pretty much cracking each other up all day?

We’re definitely our own best audience. We have very similar senses of humor; we’re both 12-year-olds at heart. Once in a while we’ll disagree about a joke, but, if one of us feels strongly about liking it, we’ll leave it in for a draft or two to see if it grows on the one who’s unsure about it. The trick is walking away from the scene for a while and trying to look at it with a fresh eye. As we rewrite, James tends to want to cut out more of the jokes, and Barbara is more protective of them. We hope it all balances out in the end.

Okay, confess. How do you really feel about glitter? And did you stuff your envelope with it when you went on submission?

We wish we had you helping us when the book went out on submission, because glitter-trapping the envelopes is a great idea! We’re proud to admit that we both own industrial-size tubes of glitter glue and aren’t afraid to use them at any opportunity: on birthday presents, Christmas cards, and extra-special yard sale signs. If anyone from Crayola is reading this, please contact our agent for the endorsement deal. Or at least send us free samples.

I see that Book Two is already in the process. When can we buy it and what can you tell us about it?

Book 2 is called OMG: The Magic Mistake, and will be published in February, 2014.

Our reluctant fairy godmother, Lacey Unger-Ware, is back for more magic and middle school. Just when she thinks her life can’t get any weirder, she finds herself planning a wedding, playing on the boys’ basketball team, and herding love-struck frogs. OMG!

And finally, as this community is All for One and OneFour KidLit, we’d like to know what two or three books inspired you as a kid.

Barbara loved Little Women, The Secret Garden, and 52 of the Nancy Drew Mysteries. Jim’s favorites were The Dr. Dolittle books, The Green Knowe series, and The Twenty-One Balloons.

Thanks for joining us, Barbara and Jim! Best wishes on the launch of your new series!

ABOUT THE AUTHORS:

 

Barbara Brauner and James Iver Mattson are the co-authors of the middle-grade novel series, “Oh My Godmother.”  The first in the series, “The Glitter Trap,” will be published by Disney/Hyperion for Summer, 2013. Barbara and James have worked together ever since they sold a feature film script about a very, very, bad cat, “Fluffy,” to Disney’s Hollywood Pictures. Their romantic comedy film script, “Deliver Us From Eva,” was produced by Focus Features. “Oh My Godmother: the Glitter Trap,” is their first book. Visit them at their website: http://braunermattson.com/

 

This interview was conducted by OneFour member Skila Brown, whose middle grade novel CAMINAR releases from Candlewick Press in Spring 2014. The interview is part of an ongoing series of interviews with The Lucky13s —- YA, MG, and children’s books authors debuting in 2013.

Skila Brown has an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her debut novel, CAMINAR, will be released in 2014 from Candlewick Press.
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