by Dawn Malone
This past Friday, February 6, 2015, Marcy and I posted our answers to Dawn's debut novel Bingo Summer. Today, you get to read Dawn’s favorite's.
Awesome answers, Dawn! We can’t wait for our readers to read the novel. And hopefully to give us a few of their favorites, too.
1) What is your favorite line or paragraph from the novel as it relates to the main character's development and/or growth?
In Chapter 29, when Summer decides to write her own story for the school newspaper instead of letting her arch rival, Mara, submit her version, Summer experiences a shift in how she confronts obstacles.
"And then we’d moved here, and I’d decorated my room just like my room in Stanton. I’d tucked the spiral notebook away like the lottery ticket had never happened. I’d pasted the stars on the ceiling, the same posters on the wall, and even moved my new bed facing the same direction it had faced back home. But no matter what I did, this wasn’t Stanton. It never would be. I couldn’t wish on stars anymore."
2) What is your favorite chapter ending or cliffhanger?
The ending of the first chapter is my favorite. When I first started writing this in 2007, I won an SCBWI Work-in-Progress grant based on this first chapter. With validation like that, I knew I had a chapter to use as a gauge for writing the rest of the book. It challenged me to try to make the subsequent chapters just as intriguing.
3) Who is your favorite secondary character and why?
J.C. cracks me up. She's full of rambunctious energy, and ornery enough to cause some sisterly conflict between her and Summer, but she's not overtly mean. And of course, at the very basic level, even brothers and sisters who are often at odds with one another will jump to their siblings' defense when that person is threatened by someone else. J.C. shows that loyalty near the end of the book when Summer's competitor on the softball team causes trouble.
"Where's this Mara Schmara person? Is that her?" J.C. said, pointing at someone getting onto the bus. "I bet I could take her." J.C. jeered over my shoulder before she got in the car.
4) What is your favorite line or paragraph of description?
Despite Summer's lack of confidence during much of the book, she feels completely comfortable on the softball field, like in Chapter 31:
"I owned third base. Coach praised me to the moon and back during practices every day. If I bobbled a grounder or took an extra step before I threw to first, he didn’t say anything. It was like he was watching the nightly news and catching the highlights, starring me. Softball ruled."
Everyone has a gift, which can feed a sense of empowerment. Sadly, some kids never figure out what they have a talent for, or are encouraged to look for it.
5) What is your favorite line of dialogue?
Actually, it's an exchange between Summer, J.C., and their mom, Maggie, after they've landed in the town which Maggie impulsively decides to call their new home. The conversation sums up the family's dynamic; they're closely-knit, a little quirky, and the girls sometimes find themselves in the parental role, taking care of their mom, since she doesn't always make the best choices.
“This wasn’t what I had in mind,” Mom whispered to us. “Who said money can buy everything?”
“I think that’s ‘money can’t buy everything’,” I said.
“You should slip her a fifty,” offered J.C.
“Real life doesn’t work like it does on television,” I said.
“Everyone has a price,” J.C. shot back.
“Stop it, you two,” Mom said. “Let’s get down to business.”