Blog Tour With Danette Haworth, author of Violet Raines Almost Got Struck By Lightning
Today, I welcome Danette Haworth, author of Violet Raines Almost Got Struck by Lightning. Read on for more information about this heartwarming, hysterical look at a girl who is trying to figure out what a best friend and puberty is all about.
****Anyone who leaves a comment on today’s post for Danette or about Violet Raines will be automatically entered into a drawing for a chance to win this book. The drawing will take place on Saturday, June 6 at 8:00 p.m. CST, so leave your comments before then!
*Middle-grade novel, set in 1970s Florida
*11-year-old girl as main character
*Rating: Danette Haworth has written a laugh-out-loud funny, coming-of-age novel with a character that will remind some of us of an older Ramona or Clementine.
Short, short summary: Violet Raines likes her life just the way it is–she likes hanging out in old tree trunks with her buddy, Eddie, and going to a fish fry every week at her best friend, Lottie’s house. She even likes to play Barbies with Lottie’s little sister. She’s a true tomboy at heart with a little girl thrown in. But Violet’s happy life gets uprooted when new-comer, Melissa Gold, moves into town and wants to be Lottie’s best friend, too. Violet and Melissa are pretty much opposites since Melissa cares about boys, soap operas, make-up, and bras. Then Lottie starts to care about those things, too. Things get even worse for Violet when Lottie’s house gets struck by lightning, and Melissa’s house is big enough to take Lottie and her siblings in for awhile. And to top it all off, Melissa keeps saying that Eddie is Violet’s boyfriend. What will Violet do to get her life back the way it was, or will she ever be able to?
INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR: DANETTE HAWORTH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Margo: Hi Danette! Welcome to “Read These Books and Use Them.” Thank you for taking time to talk with us today. What made you want to write Violet Raines Almost Got Struck by Lightning?
Danette: I sat down to write a book, and the idea that wouldn’t let go of me was a story I heard over the years from my mom: Growing up as the youngest of three, my mom always felt shortchanged and overworked. That’s why she loved the family next door. Every Sunday, they invited her over for a fish fry, and it was a lot of fun. But one of the best parts for my mom was that her older brother and sister were NEVER invited! She loved that!
So when I first conceived the idea, I thought it would be an adult book with sibling rivalry and other family issues. I’m glad it turned out the way it did, though. Violet Raines was so much fun to work on.
Margo: And so much fun to read. I hope someday there might be a Violet Raines sequel. That being said–What projects are you working on now?
Danette: I’m in revisions with my second book, The Hotel of Blueberry Goodness, which comes out with Walker Books in 2010. Blueberry Goodness is set in Central Florida and much of it takes place on the grounds of a long forgotten, antebellum hotel, where twelve-year-old Allie Jo Jackson lives. This particular summer, she meets an eclectic group of friends, including a teenage runaway.
After that, my editor and I will work revisions on Me and Jack, featuring a twelve-year-old boy who moves to an unfriendly town in the Endless Mountains of Pennsylvania.
I’ve also got a few short stories making the rounds; I hope they find new homes!
Margo: Those projects all sound AWESOME, and after reading Violet Raines, I can’t wait to see what you have in store. What are two or three activities that teachers and/or parents could do with their children or students while reading Violet Raines Almost Got Struck by Lightning?
Danette: One big tie-in is lightning. When I researched lightning for Violet Raines, I discovered all kinds of mind-blowing facts! Did you know that lightning is, on the average, only an inch wide? Or that one strike has the explosive power of a one kiloton bomb? Striking at 54,000 Fahrenheit, lightning is six times hotter than the sun. Whew!
Oh, and that myth about lightning never striking the same place twice? The Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty are hit by lightning more than a hundred times a year, and I even found reports of people being struck by lightning more than once in their lifetimes.
Another exciting topic to explore from the book is alligators. They’re exciting, as long as you don’t get too close to one! I learned that alligators have eighty teeth; and that when an alligator loses a tooth, there’s always another tooth under it, like a stack of cups. As long as the socket remains healthy, that alligator will always have all of his teeth. I recently learned that male alligators close their mouths with 3000 pounds of pressure—WOW! The girls are strong, too, clamping their jaws shut with 1500 pounds of pressure.
I hope the biggest thing students get out of Violet Raines is the sense of outdoors and friendship I felt while writing it. I had fun, and I hope they do too!
Margo: Danette, thank you so much for visiting my blog today. Readers, if you haven’t checked out Violet Raines yet, make sure you do and soon. For a chance to win a free copy, remember to leave a comment below.