Debut Author Interview: Caroline Gertler and Many Points of Me Giveaway
Happy Monday Everyone! Today I’m excited to have debut author Caroline Gertler here to share about her MG contemporary Many Points of Me. It sounds like a fantastic story with characters you can relate to that deals with issues of grief, friendship, and family.
Here’s a blurb from :
When Georgia finds a secret sketch her late father—a famed artist—left behind, the discovery leads her down a path that may reshape everything holding her family and friends together. Caroline Gertler’s poignant debut is a character-driven story about friendship, family, grief, and creativity. Both literary and pitch-perfect for tweens, Many Points of Me is Rebecca Stead meets From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.
Georgia Rosenbloom’s father was a famous artist. His most-well-known paintings were a series of asterisms—patterns of stars—that he created. One represented a bird; one, himself; and one, Georgia’s mother. There was supposed to be a fourth, but Georgia’s father died before he could paint it. Georgia’s mother and her best friend, Theo, are certain that the last asterism would’ve been of Georgia, but Georgia isn’t so sure. She isn’t sure about anything anymore—including whether Theo is still her best friend.
Then Georgia finds a sketch her father made of her. One with pencil points marked on the back—just like those in the asterism paintings. Could this finally be the proof that the last painting would have been of her? Georgia’s quest to prove her theory takes her around her Upper West Side neighborhood in New York City and to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which was almost a second home to Georgia, since she had visited favorite artists and paintings there constantly with her father. But the sketch leads right back to where she’s always belonged—with the people who love her, no matter what.
Caroline Gertler’s debut novel explores friendships, grief, and self-identity with deep heart and a deft, delicate hand. Georgia’s world is filled with fully drawn characters that readers will easily identify with. This page-turning and thought-provoking read is for art lovers and mystery readers, as well as for fans of The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise and Finding Orion.
Before I get to my interview with Caroline, I have Follower News to share with you.
J.Q. Rose's memoir, Arranging a Dream: A Memoir, was recently released. Here's a blurb and a fewlinks:
In 1975, Ted and Janet transplant themselves, their one-year-old daughter, and all their belongings to Fremont, Michigan, to make their dream of building a blooming business in the floral industry come true. Laugh with them. Cry with them, but most of all watch them grow as they cultivate a loving marriage, juggle parenting and dig deep to discover what it takes to root a thriving business.
Pre-order Nook BN.com
Pre-order amazon page
Paperback at amazon:
Chrys Fey a new book release, A Fighting Chance, in her Disaster Crimes series. She is also offering a free ebook short story, The Disaster Curse. Here's a blurb and a few links:
A FIGHTING CHANCE is Book 6 in the Disaster Crimes series, but it’s a spin-off featuring a new couple, so it can be read as a standalone.
Amanda is scared of her attraction for Thorn. Most of all, she’s terrified of her ex-boyfriend, who is lurking nearby where no one can find him. When she grows closer to Thorn, Damon retaliates, jeopardizing their happy ending.
Book Links: / / /
Author’s Note: I wrote The Disaster Curse to answer a few lingering questions readers may have after reading A Fighting Chance, and to tie the whole series together with a neat, shiny, perfect little bow. Plus, there was one disaster that I hadn’t written about yet. *wink*
Book Links: / / /
And Melanie Steele at The Writer's Soul is offering a free weekly five-minute meditation series and accompanying journal prompts for writers to help them get in touch with what matters, nurture their writer-self, and let their light shine. Here is the link: .
Interview With Caroline Gertler
Hi Caroline! Thanks so much for joining us.
1. Tell us about yourself and how you became a writer.
I always knew I wanted to be a writer. I grew up in New York City, the third of four children—a good position in sibling order to become an observer of the world. My favorite time as a reader was the middle grade years, eight to twelve.
In college, I got my first internship in publishing, for incredible children’s book editor Christy Ottaviano. I learned so much from her, and that’s when I decided it was the field for me. I did an MA in art history, and worked in children’s publishing for six years. The whole time, I was writing, and learning the craft. I left publishing when my first daughter was born, and now, eleven years later, my first book is being published.
2. That's awesome that you were able to get an internship in college. Where did you get the idea for Many Points of Me?
The initial spark of the idea came from wondering what it would be like to be the child of a famous artist who died young, and there being some sort of art-related mystery for that child to uncover—something about her father’s art that only she could understand. A gift from him through time. I also wanted to write a bit of a love letter to the Met, which feels like a second home to me.
3. It sounds like Georgia and the other characters in your story are really developed, memorable characters that will pull at readers’ heart strings. Not all authors get this right. Share your process of portraying characters so vividly. Was there a character that you found especially challenging to bring to life and why?
Thank you—I do hope I got it right! There’s always the gap between what lives in my head, and what the reader gets on the page. I wish I could point to a process of how I develop characters; I’ve never been one for character-development tools, it’s a more organic process that comes from getting to know them in drafting and revising. I think Harper was the most challenging—I wanted her to be more than a stereotype of a spoiled rich girl.
4. How long did it take you to write the first draft of Many Points of Me? What was the revision process like for you?
It took a long time! The first spark of an idea came to me in the summer of 2014, and I think I finished a first draft in two years. I was super slow, raising young children, not very disciplined, and writing by the seat of my pants. But I was determined to revise and make it work. The book reached its final form as you have it now in early 2020.
The revision process was fascinating. I marvel at where the book started, and what it’s become, and all the different iterations it went through. There are only a few details and scenes that remain the same (in fact, there’s one scene that comes from an earlier manuscript I wrote and never revised).
I especially loved revising as I got further along in the process, when my agent or editor would give a suggestion, and it was like a jigsaw puzzle, changing one thing here or there to make things fit correctly. Early on in the writing process, there are SO many choices to make, and I have a hard time with that. It’s like closing doors on different paths you could take, and hoping you choose the right one. I’m not great at plotting/planning/logical thinking in the early stages, but as the story and characters became more defined in the later stages, I loved the feeling of “knowing” what edits to make.
5. I'm a slow writer of a first draft too and love revising more. Your story deals with issues of friendship and grief. How did you weave these issues into the story so that it sounded like a natural part of the story and didn’t get preachy?
I approached the friendship story from what feels like a less-explored angle, to me: I wrote from the point-of-view of the friend who’s doing the growing apart, rather than the one who’s being left behind. So I hope that keeps it fresh, and not preachy. Georgia might seem selfish at first in her actions, but she kind of needs to be in order to process her grief and figure out who she is and what she needs. And in the end, her best friend, who is like family, is there for her.
6. You have a MA in art history and give tours at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. How did you draw on this when developing Georgia’s quest to find out more about her father and his art?
A lot of the art knowledge was in my head and ready to share in the book. Originally there was a sort of heist scene, where Georgia tries to break-in to get her competition entry back, and then goes on the run from the security guards at the Met, sneaking through the corridors that are only used by staff. That scene was so fun to write, and important to me for a long time, but toward the final draft before submitting to editors, I was finally ready to take it out to make the book work better.
7. Your agent is Sara Crowe. How did she become your agent and what was your road to publication like?
I’ve known Sara since my days as an associate editor at Wendy Lamb Books. I always liked her as a person, and admired her submissions and her authors. When I left publishing eleven years ago, I had in my mind a list of agents I’d want to be represented by when I was ready with a manuscript to submit, and Sara’s always been at the top of that list. She was the first person I submitted this project to when I felt it was ready. But it took some time before I actually signed with her. We then spent a few months revising, making the book much stronger. And I was over the moon excited by the offer from Martha Mihalick at Greenwillow Books—my dream editor/publisher.
8. That's great that you already knew Sara from when you were an editor. How are you planning to promote your book given the pandemic? Will your marketing plan change as it becomes safer to do more in-person events later in 2021?
Social media is invaluable these days in terms of providing support, and a strong community of readers and writers. I’m awed by the teachers and librarians on twitter who are such enthusiastic champions of middle grade literature. I’m spending time connecting with new people, and doing some virtual events, including a virtual launch on January 27th[/sup]. I’m up for doing virtual school visits—so please feel free to reach out to me! And I hope to be able to do in-person events in the not-too-distant future.
9. What are you working on now?
Another middle grade novel is in the works!
Thanks for sharing all your advice, Caroline. You can find Caroline at . On Twitter: . And on Instagram:
Caroline has generously offered a hardback of Many Points of Me for a giveaway. To enter, all you need to do is be a follower of my blog (via the follower gadget, email, or bloglovin’ on the right sidebar) and leave a comment by January 23rd. If your e-mail is not on your Google Profile, you must leave it in the comments to enter the contest. Please be sure I have your email address.
If you mention this contest on Twitter, Facebook, or your blog and/or follow me on Twitter, mention this in the comments and I'll give you an extra entry for each. You must be 13 years old or older to enter. This giveaway is U.S.
Marvelous Middle Grade Monday is hosted by Greg Pattridge. You can find the participating blogs on his .
Saturday, January 16th I'm participating in the Winter Wishes Giveaway Hop
Monday, January 18th I have a guest post by debut author Dana Swift and her agent Amy Brewer and a query critique giveaway and book giveaway of Dana's YA fantasy Cast in Firelight
Wednesday, January 20th I have an agent spotlight interview with Tricia Skinner and query critique giveaway
Monday, January 25th I have an interview with debut author Chrystal Giles and a giveaway of her MG contemporary Take Back the Block
Wednesday, January 27th I have an interview with author Gita Trelease and a giveaway of Everything That Burns as part of her blog tour
Hope to see you on Saturday!