Get to know Augusta…
Augusta Scattergood spent most of her career as a school librarian. Although she never stopped loving, reading, and recommending kids books, in 2001 she gave up being a librarian to follow her writing dream.
Her first novel, GLORY BE, was sold to Scholastic Press in 2010. It has been named one of Amazon’s Top Twenty Middle Grade Books of 2012, a Children’s Book Council Notable Social Studies Trade Book, and is on both the Mississippi and the Pennsylvania state lists of outstanding children’s books for this year.
She reviews books for the Christian Science Monitor, Delta Magazine, and avidly blogs about writing and books. She’s now editing her next novel, coming from Scholastic in the fall of 2014. For more info, visit her website.
Let the conversation begin!
How did you choose the genre you write in?
It chose me. I’ve always loved reading middle-grade fiction. It seemed like a no-brainer when a young girl turning twelve whispered in my ear.
How do you recharge your creative batteries?
Long walks. Talks with friends. Traveling. Reading. Especially reading.
Can you tell us about the book you’re working on? Is it coming easily or have you run into road blocks?
I’ve been playing around with a character whose names seems to be Azalea. I see her clearly and the first chapter just poured out. I suspect when I sit down and ask her to tell me a story, the roadblocks might vanish. Right now, the character seems to be seriously in search of her plot!
Is any material in your books based on real life experiences or purely imagination?
Much of GLORY BE is based on things that happened in the South in the 60s. I did a lot of research but I’ve always been fascinated by what went on in my own backyard, so to speak.
True= I’ve visited Elvis’s house in Tupelo.
True= I know a lot about libraries and even worked in a similar situation to Miss Bloom’s library.
True= I was in the Pep Squad.
True= My college roommate knew how to twirl a fire baton.
False= The swimming pool in my town didn’t close.
True= Many others did.
How many words have you written in one writing session?
I don’t really do the word count thing.
Are you a person who makes the bed in the morning?
If nobody’s looking? Actually, I do make the bed. Sometimes not the minute I jump out of it.
Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?
The biggest problem I had was not realizing it wasn’t quite a “book” yet. The newbie’s error. Submitting it before it was ready. Once it was close to ready, I found the perfect agent and we worked some more. When she submitted it to the perfect editor, things went very smoothly.
What is your very favorite part of the day?
Early morning. Hands down.
What was the worst advice you’ve ever been given?
- Don’t write from the point of view of a boy.
- Kids don’t read historical fiction so it’s a hard sell. Give it up.