Monday, May 9, 2011
Interview with Author Jill Ammon Vanderwood
Hello Jill. Please tell us about your book, Through the Rug.
Readers are invited to follow Grandma Emma, Alyssa and Domino on adventures including a reception where they can eat as much as they wish, without getting full. They visit an island with pirates and Alyssa dances in a professional ballet. Many fun and often-misguided wishes await the reader in Through the Rug.
This series sounds wonderful. Where did you get your inspiration for this novel? Do you get any ideas from real life experiences?
My stories are inspired by my own grandchildren, and ten year old Alyssa is actually my granddaughter. The grandmother is loosely based on my own personality. In the story, Grandma went to the store in her slippers and her granddaughter was so embarrassed. This incident actually happened.
When I was growing up in Portland, Oregon, we had a lake called Blue Lake. One year voters would decide if the city should put blue dye in the water, to make the lake blue. My friends often joked, “I wonder if we will turn blue when we go swimming” or “I wonder if the water will taste like blue punch.” I used this scenario in the story and everyone who goes swimming in the lake turns blue. The water also tastes like punch.
Wow! I love it when an author uses real experiences from their own life. Through the Rug 2: Follow That Dog is the second book in this series. What is it about and will there be more books in this series?
I’m usually reading Through the Rug to a classroom. I finished reading to a class of sixth graders before Christmas and now I’m reading to a class of fifth graders. The kids are always asking for Through the Rug Three. I have the book about 3/4 finished but I’m not sure when I will finish and release this book. The title of the book is Through the Rug 3: Charm Forrest.
It sounds like you’re kept busy. What does your family think about your writing?
My grandchildren all want to be featured in a book. Through the Rug 2: Follow that Dog includes three more granddaughters. My husband thought my writing was just a phase, at first, but then it continued. I have published a new book each year, since 2006, and still have many ideas brewing. He’s getting use to the idea that this is for real. He was at the League of Utah Writer’s Roundup in 2008, when I won the Writer of the Year Award.
It shows that you’re never too old to start something new. My first book was published in 2006, also. It was the beginning of a new life for me. I’m sure you agree. Now it’s time to tell us something about the real you that we’ll never forget.
This is something my family certainly won’t forget. After publishing my fourth book, What’s It Like, Living Green? Kids Teaching Kids, by the Way They Live, I went skydiving to promote literacy. In the book I encourage readers to “Take a Green Leap” and decide to take my own “Leap for Literacy” I took donations for the Literacy Action Center in Salt Lake City and even made it onto the channel 4 news.
I actually went skydiving twice, because I wanted to make sure I could really go through with it. The first time, I didn’t even tell my husband. For the real jump, he tried very hard to talk me out of it, but that didn’t work. You can see the video of my first jump on my website. It’s in the information section for What’s It Like, Living Green?
Find more information about me and my books at: www.jillvanderwood.com
Through the Rug is available @ amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com.
Thank you so much for this interview, Jill. Now I know the real you! The “skydiving” author, who dares to take a chance at life and do something new…a mother and grandmother who decided to become an author in her later years! Congratulations, Jill, for taking a chance.