I am thrilled to bits to kick off the blog tour for the brilliant and spooky debut MG novel from Jordan Kopy, illustrated by Chris Jevons. It is published by Walker Books! I count myself very lucky to have had a copy sent to me to read and enjoy and then to pose some questions to Jordan about her book! Read on for her fabulous answers!
Q: What can you tell us about Theodora Hendrix and The Monstrous League of Monsters?
Oh, my – where to begin?! Theodora Hendrix and the Monstrous League of Monsters is a comedy-horror middle grade novel, the first in the Theodora Hendrix series. It’s a fun, spooktacular adventure filled with monsters, magic, and more than a little mystery.
Theodora Hendrix and the Monstrous League of Monsters is about a very unusual kid growing up in a very unusual family. When Theodora was just a baby, she was abandoned in a hobgoblin-infested cemetery. Zombie Georgie and vampire-cat Bandit rescue her, spiriting her away to 13 Battington Lane, home to the Monstrous League of Monsters. The kind-hearted monsters vote to adopt Theodora, risking Headquarters’ wrath if they’re ever discovered. They get away with it, too – until a series of anonymous, ear-wax coated letters arrive, threatening to reveal their secret. Now, ten-year-old Theodora, joined by Sherman, the talking tarantula, and her best friend Dexter, is on a mission to discover the letter-writer; if she fails, she’ll lose her monster family – not to mention her freedom – forever.
I had a blast writing it, and I hope readers have a blast reading it!
Q: I believe this will be a trilogy? What can we hope to see in the next book?
There will definitely be three books, but if readers like them perhaps there is room for more 😉 – I’ve got many adventures planned for Theodora! In the next book, you can expect to see the return of (what I hope are) some of your favorite characters: Georgie, the guitar-playing zombie, Bandit, the clever vampire-cat, Mummy, the knife-wielding, cupcake-baking mummy, and my favorite, Sherman, the talking tarantula. You can also expect to meet some new monsters! And the stakes are higher, as Theodora faces a new, powerful enemy while she and her best friend Dexter continue to struggle against their head teacher’s strict, increasingly iron-fisted rule at school. I’m really excited to continue Theodora’s journey, and can’t wait to share it with everyone next year!
Q: How are you adapting to the balance of writing, edits and your day job?
It’s definitely a challenge! I have a very demanding day job and tend to work long hours during the week, so I do most of my writing on the weekends. Prioritization and time management are key; it can be hard to say no to getting together with friends, or going to the movies, or doing any other number of enjoyable activities, but I do my best to set a writing schedule and stick to it. So far, I’m managing pretty well!
Q: Being a debut author is such an exciting adventure- how have you found the process of getting published?
It is exciting, and a bit overwhelming (in the best way)! There’s so much more that goes into getting a book published than I had realized, and seeing it all come together is incredible. I’ve been very lucky to work with a truly fantastic team at Walker Books, and have had a lot of support and encouragement from them leading up to the big day.
Q: The illustrations are superb! How much do you love them? Do they fit in with the image you had of Theodora and her family while writing?
I. LOVE. THEM. I am very lucky to have a top-notch illustrator, the extraordinary Chris Jevons, attached to the series. The illustrations definitely fit in with the image I had of Theodora and her family – some of them were so exact, my jaw actually dropped. Chris and I collaborated really well together, and we are eager to team up again for Book Two!
Q: Earlier this month you tweeted, “Good writing comes from good reading”. Are there any other tips you have for promising young writers?
Yes! In my experience, there are three things that aspiring authors can do to jumpstart their literary careers:
1. As you mentioned, I tweeted earlier this month that “Good writing comes from good reading”, and I truly believe that. If you want to write well, you have to read well – and often: read in your genre, read outside of your genre, read critically: what did you like about a specific book? What worked well, and what could have worked better? Once you begin asking and answering those questions, you can start applying those learnings to your own writings.
2. If you want to be a writer, you have to write! Write as often as you can; writing is a muscle that can be flexed like any other – the more you write, the easier it becomes to write.
3. Do your homework! Take the time to learn as much about the craft of writing as you can. I’ve found Plot and Structure by James Scott Bell to be very helpful, as well as free online resources like Writer’s Digest.
Q: Did you have a favourite book growing up?
I don’t know if I can choose just one! The first book I remember truly loving was Matilda by Roald Dahl. I also adored The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis and The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling. I’ve always had a preference for fantasy novels with a contemporary setting – perhaps because growing up I imagined that I might one day stumble across some magic myself!
Q: Being from NYC- is there anything in particular you miss about “home”? (I ask as I am a Canadian living in the UK and there are certain traditions, food and scenery that I miss!)
Definitely! I miss the convenience of NYC – being able to grab a late-night bite to eat, 24-hour dry cleaners, and the like – it truly is the city that never sleeps! I also miss the restaurants: Uva on the Upper East Side in Manhattan, Aurora in Rye, NY and Vivolo in Harrison, NY (I’m a total foodie, and Italian food is my absolute favorite). And, of course, I miss my friends and family. But while I miss NY, my husband and I love our life in London. Living abroad has expanded our horizons and helped us to create some wonderful new traditions, like celebrating Thanksgiving with our neighbors and kicking off the holiday season with an annual visit to Winter Wonderland (well, maybe not this year…). And since Italian food is my favorite, it’s rather convenient that Italy is only a two-hour flight away!
Q: What is currently at the top of your TBR pile?
So many books! At the very top of my TBR list are: Molly Thompson and the Crypt of the Blue Moon by Nick Tomlinson, The Orphans of Saint Halibut’s by Sophie Wills, and The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennet, which all look fantastic.