Hi, Ali Standish! Whoa! Sarah Coleman’s cover illustration for August Isle is STUNNING. Look at the moon! Look at the lighthouse! Look at the turtle! Look at Miranda standing on a colorful boat! There’s so much to take in and think about. Please tell us three things about Miranda.
Ali Standish: I could not agree more! I can’t stop staring at that sea turtle! And, of course, I was thrilled with the way it turned out and with how Sarah reflected Miranda’s journey. So, some things you should know about Miranda…
1.She is a baking fanatic. The only problem is she, er, doesn’t actually know how to bake.
2. Conversely, she also loves to sail…she just doesn’t know it yet!
3. Like so many of us, and us girls in particular, she has learned to underestimate herself. In many ways, this is the story of her learning to embrace her strength, bravery, and all the things that make her unique.
Do you have a favorite place on August Isle?
Ali Standish: I do, and it’s Miranda’s favorite, too! My favorite place is underneath the August Oak, the enormous tree for which the island is named. That’s Aw-GUST, as in something highly distinguished and respectable. I based it on the Angel Oak, a live oak in South Carolina that is close to 500 years old. There’s something both humbling and comforting about standing under something so big and old. And what’s more magical than stopping beneath a beautiful tree and watching the sunlight shine through its greenery?
If Ethan (from The Ethan I was Before) and Miranda attended the same school, do you think they would be friends?
Ali Standish: Ethan and Miranda have a lot in common. For one thing, they are both pretty reserved, which is funny because I was NOT at their age. They would definitely find kindred spirits in one another, but it might take a bit of nudging from Coralee and Sammy to get them to overcome their shyness and start talking to each other!
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Please finish these sentence starters:
Miranda’s Aunt Clare is a bridge between Miranda and her mother’s past. Over the course of one summer, she becomes a mom to Miranda in ways that her own mother hasn’t been for quite some time.
Story is what binds humankind together across space and time. Actually, I just read a really lovely quote on story while researching for a new project that I’d love to share. It’s by Carolyn G. Heilbrun, who writes
“Let us agree on this: that we live our lives through texts. These may be read, or chanted, or experienced electronically, or come to us, like the murmurings of our mothers, telling us of what conventions demand. Whatever their form or medium, these stories are what have formed us all, they are what we must use to make our new fictions…out of old tales, we must make new lives.”
Oh, how I love that last line!
Oh, how I love this statement as well. Thank you for sharing it!
Mr. Schu, you should have asked me what I learned from writing this book. My journey in writing AUGUST ISLE mirrors Miranda’s own process to conquer her inner-demons. This was not the first second book I wrote. It took me a few tries to get to this story, and by the time I got there, I wasn’t sure I believed in my own ability to write it anymore. Everyday I battled voices in my head that said I couldn’t. We all have those voices, don’t we? Authors are (definitely!) no exception. And it’s so hard not to give into them. But the more we know we are not alone—that we are all fighting them off together—the more empowered I think we’ll all be. I’m so glad I reached out for support from family and friends, that I kept pushing forward, and that I didn’t let my self doubt win (most days). I couldn’t be happier with the way AUGUST ISLE has turned out, and I can’t wait for the world to meet Miranda!
Thanks for having me, Mr. Schu!
Thank you for being here, Ali!