Interview with Peggy Eddleman

I have the pleasure of interviewing my delightful Random House publishing sister Peggy Eddleman, with her exciting debut, a middle grade novel called SKY JUMPERS.

Sky Jumpers was recently chosen by the ABA as one of the 2013 ABC Best Books For Children. Congratulations, Peggy! 
 
 
Peggy Eddleman lives at the foot of the Rocky Mountains in Utah with her husband and their three kids. She enjoys painting, playing games with her family (especially laser tag), and of course, reading. You can visit Peggy online at peggyeddleman.com or on Twitter @peggyeddleman
 


Everyone is going to want to know, how did you get the idea for the concept?  Can you trace your steps back that far?

I can— that moment is still very clear. I was on an airplane, flying home from Disney World with my family, staring out the window at the wrong side of the clouds, thinking how much fun it would be to jump out of the plane and have the clouds slow my fall. The entire country was covered in clouds that day, so I seriously sat there for 3 ½ hours, dreaming about it. Over the next 9 months, I spent a lot of time developing the setting and world building, then creating my main character, then coming up with the plot. Once I started hearing my main character’s voice when I thought through the plot, I started writing.
 
Your book starts with a map. Did you suggest it or did that come from your publisher?
I suggested it. They jumped on the idea and made it happen.
 
Hope, your protagonist, is 12. How old were your own kids when you started writing Sky Jumpers and did their ages have an influence on your choice to write a MG novel?
My kids were 8, 10, and 13 when I first started writing Sky Jumpers. They did have a huge influence on it— I had been reading middle grade books to them every night for at least five years before that, and I loved it. Reading a story to them that I wrote was what made me want to be an author. But beyond that, I think my voice really lends itself to middle grade. It was a time in my life that I absolutely loved, and it’s fun to go back to it.
 
Before this book, had you written other manuscripts?
Yep! Sky Jumpers was my fifth manuscript.
 
You’ve gone to several conferences and also studied with Brandon Sanderson. Were you in a degree program at BYU or was that a summer session open to anyone?  That looks like a great class. Did you mention it in your query?
I learned a lot by going to conferences and Brandon Sanderson’s class. He’s an incredible teacher. I wasn’t in a degree program— he was just kind enough to offer to let me audit the class, and I’ll be forever grateful. His classes are online and free now, to anyone who wants to benefit from his teaching. I didn’t mention it in my query.
 
How did it come about that you were invited to view the shooting of your book trailer? Tell us about that.
I decided that I wanted a live action book trailer, and went about making it happen. I picked a bunch of kids who looked similar to my characters, held an audition, hired a videographer and his crew and a make-up person, and had tons of help from friends and family. We filmed at the school my kids went to, and we had a blast. (Probably because I didn’t have to worry about the actual filming or the editing myself.) It was a huge amount of work, but I’m really glad that we filmed it, and that I found someone willing to do a lot of special effects. There’s just not stock video out there of kids jumping into the Bomb’s Breath. ;) I am thrilled with how it turned out.
 
 
Your deal was for two books. Can you tell us whether Sky Jumpers 2 closes out the series or leaves it open for the possibility to continue?
 
It definitely leaves it open for the possibility to continue (while still feeling complete in itself).

Thanks so much for the interview, Pub sister!

Thank you so much for sharing the details of your debut journey, Peggy!


 
 
 

2 comments:

Natalie Aguirre said...

Great interview. Loved learning about how the trailer was made. A huge congrats to Peggy! So excited for her.

Lissa Price said...

I always love knowing trailer info and the fact that she was behind it all is pretty amazing! Thanks, Natalie, for stopping by.