The Glitter Trap is the first book in the Oh My Godmother series, published by Disney-Hyperion Books for Children, launching May 14th, 2013.
Middle school is far from a fairytale for adorkable misfit Lacey Unger-Ware. When Lacey ends up with popular girl Paige Harrington’s smart-mouthed fairy godmother, Katarina, trapped in her hair, life gets more magical-just not in a prince charming’ kind of way.
Katarina’s wings are too damaged to continue her fairy duties, and Lacey must take over as Paige’s fairy godmother. Distracted by her new responsibilities, Lacey’s in danger of losing her best friend, Sunny. Can Lacey get the hang of magic, make Paige’s dreams come true, and survive middle school?
In case you missed my review, let me sum it up for you: this books is A.D.O.R.A.B.L.E. Quirky, fun characters, lots of magic, and some seriously laugh-out-loud scenes. Barbara and James were nice enough to answer a few questions for KLN readers!
1. I love the concept of a girl forced to take over as fairy godmother for the snobbiest girl in her school! What first sparked the idea for The Glitter Trap?
We were working together on a screenplay, and one morning Barbara was driving over to James’ house and saw a teenaged driver almost run over an old woman in a crosswalk. (The old woman was fine, although much cursing was involved—and not from the teenaged driver.) Barbara told James the story and joked, “What if that old woman had been somebody’s fairy godmother?” So our book series started with those ten words.
2. So many scenes in this story had me tearing up laughing, like Katarina and the cat, or Lacey and Paige on the moped. Was there a particular scene that really had you cracking up as you wrote?
James always laughs at the scene where the mean cheerleaders are trying to figure out why their friend Paige, who’s under a magic spell, can’t talk: “Maybe she’s got a brain tumor. I saw this HBO movie where this girl stopped talking and started barking. By the end, her boyfriend had to howl like a dog to tell her he loved her. And then she died.” James is probably a bad person.
Barbara’s favorite funny moment is when the mildly delusional music teacher thinks he’s going to have to fill in as Prince Charming in the school play and shows up dressed in a tunic, tights and a wig: “Wow, that’s something you can’t un-see!”
3. It’s so cool that you write as a duo! I try really hard to be a plotter, but sometimes my stories get a little…unorganized. Can you tell us a little bit about your writing process and how you work together?
We write everything together. (We’re writing this together right now.) When our book sold to Disney-Hyperion, we told our editor that she was getting two people and one brain. We think she might have preferred one person and two brains, but that wasn’t an option.
Barbara comes over to James’s house five or six days a week to work. James types; there’s endless discussion. Luckily, we have very similar writing styles and senses of humor. We’re strong believers in outlining. (For us, there’s nothing more terrifying than not knowing what happens next.) But, as we go along, we’re also open to changing things when something fun comes along. For example, the moped scene you like wasn’t in the original outline, but was an addition to the story as we were trying to illustrate how Lacey convinces Paige that she is, indeed, her fairy godmother.
4. What’s your absolute favorite thing about writing for the middle grade reader?
That our characters are old enough to be articulate and funny, but young enough that they still have a sense of wonder about the world.
5. You both have experience writing screenplays. How has that translated over to writing a novel?
See above: outlining! We’re obsessed with story structure, which is definitely a key to screenplay writing. Also, we like to think we’re good with dialogue, but perhaps we’re just as delusional as Mr. Griffith the music teacher.
6. What was your path to publication like? Did you start by querying agents with your novel, or did you take another route?
We were lucky. We already had a film agent, and he was able to pass our book along to the head of the agency’s literary department. And, also luckily, the literary agent liked the book and was able to sell it. (Thanks Bayard! Thanks Joe! We owe you, big time.)
The next three questions are for 12-year-old James and Barbara!
1. What’s your dream job?
12-year-old James: I want to be either a scientist or a writer.
12-year-old Barbara: I want to be an actress, and would change my name to Babs if my brother Tom would just stop laughing.
2. If you could have any magic power, what would it be?
12-year-old James: Being able to fly would be really cool.
12-year-old Barbara: To make my brother stop laughing about the Babs thing.
3. Your fairy godmother shows up and asks you what you want the most. Go!
12-year-old James: World peace. And also to be able to get into R-rated movies.
12-year-old Barbara: Would it be too much to ask to look like Jane Seymour?
Thanks so much, James and Barbara!