It took a bit over two years to write this novel--which is pretty typical for me. It's a short book, with a stark narrative, and it seems as if that means it should have gone faster. But they never do. Each novel brings its own difficulties, and two years seems to me about right to wrestle with them all.
What do you hope readers will take away from ORBITING JUPITER?
First, that it's a good story that dragged them into the journey and left them breathless by the end. I think a novelist has to want that before anything else. If more comes, then that's wonderful. And perhaps in this case, that "more" might be the insight that we should never write anyone off, ever.
What's your writing ritual like? Do you listen to music? Work at home or at a coffee shop or the library, etc?
I think my writing life would seem pretty boring to most people. I get up early, start the wood stove in the study, walk the border collies for a good hour, and come back and write 500 words on a given project. I try to keep three projects going at once, and depending on where they all are, I might write 1500 words that day, or revise fifteen pages that day.
ABOUT THE BOOKOrbiting Jupiter by Gary D. Schmidt
The two-time Newbery Honor winner Gary D. Schmidt delivers the shattering story of Joseph, a father at thirteen, who has never seen his daughter, Jupiter. After spending time in a juvenile facility, he’s placed with a foster family on a farm in rural Maine. Here Joseph, damaged and withdrawn, meets twelve-year-old Jack, who narrates the account of the troubled, passionate teen who wants to find his baby at any cost. In this riveting novel, two boys discover the true meaning of family and the sacrifices it requires.
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ABOUT THE AUTHORGary D. Schmidt is an American children's writer of nonfiction books and young adult novels, including two Newbery Honor books. He lives on a farm in Alto, Michigan,with his wife and six children, where he splits wood, plants gardens, writes, feeds the wild cats that drop by and wishes that sometimes the sea breeze came that far inland. He is a Professor of English at Calvin College.
Have you had a chance to read ORBITING JUPITER yet? Does it make you feel better or worse knowing an author who has won many prestigious awards still wrestles with difficulties in writing? Do you work on more than one project at once like Gary?
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