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Interview with middle grade SKY JUMPERS author Peggy Eddleman

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Peggy Eddleman is the author of ‘Sky Jumpers’, an action / adventure book for middle grade readers. ‘Sky Jumpers’ was chosen as one of New York Public Library’s 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing, and as one of the American Bookseller Association’s Best Books of 2013. Peggy lives with her husband and three kids at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, where she can be found making lists, playing games with her family (especially her favorite– laser tag), and occasionally painting murals on walls.

For what age audience do you write?

I write middle grade action / adventure books that are aimed at readers ages 8-12 primarily, but I have gotten emails from readers of all ages who have enjoyed it.

Tell us about your latest book.

‘Sky Jumpers’ is a post-apocalyptic tale, but it’s not dystopian. It’s about a girl, Hope, who stinks at inventing, in a town where it’s the most important thing. Her town, after all, is trying to rebuild from the green bombs of WWIII that wiped out nearly all the world’s population. When bandits invade and take her town hostage, inventions won’t save them, but along with a couple of friends, the daring and risk-taking that usually gets Hope into trouble just might save them all.

Henry: When I read “green bombs”, I imagined a Chia Pet bomb that overgrew everything.

What do you hope readers will get from reading that book?

Excitement and adventure, of course! But beyond that, the feeling that just because you can’t do the same things that everyone else seems to be able to do, doesn’t mean you don’t have some pretty amazing skills yourself. And sometimes those unique skills will be more handy than the ubiquitous ones.

Henry: Very true. We all have our role to play. I’ve drafted a picture book about a superhero school where some of the students’ powers are not all that super.

What aspect of writing do you find most challenging, and why?

Hands down, first drafts. I’m a huge fan of revising— I love working with a book to make it more interesting, more layered, and more polished. I love seeing a book transform from the ugly draft stage to its beautiful finished stage. And none of that can happen until the draft is finished.

Henry: I feel the same way.

What is a powerful lesson you've learned from being a writer?

To look at the world through other people’s eyes more often. As an author, you invariably write characters that are very different from yourself. You have to spend time inside their head to find out what makes them tick, and it gives you a better understanding of how other people might look at the same things in a very different light.

Henry: So, in college, you majored in literature, and minored in psychology? You raise a very good point that I don’t hear mentioned very often.

Read the complete interview at Henry's KidLit, SciFi & Fantasy literature blog.

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