Today I’m shining the Author Spotlight on Kim Ventrella and her debut novel SKELETON TREE.
Title: Skeleton Tree
Genre: MG Fantasy
Age Range: 7-12
Launch Date: September 26, 2017
Please tell us a little bit about your book?
Twelve-year-old Stanly knows the bone is a little weird, but that’s okay, because now he’ll have the perfect photo to submit for the Young Discoverer’s Competition. With such a unique find he’s sure to win the grand prize.
But, oddly, the bone doesn’t appear in any photos. Even stranger, it seems to be growing into a full skeleton . . . one that only children can see. There’s just one person who doesn’t find any of this weird—Stanly’s little sister. Mischievous Miren adopts the skeleton as a friend, and soon, the two become inseparable playmates. When Miren starts to grow sick, Stanly suspects that the skeleton is responsible, and does everything in his power to drive the creature away. However, Miren is desperate not to lose her friend, forcing Stanly to question everything he’s ever believed about life, love, and the mysterious forces that connect us.
What inspired you to write this story and/or these characters?
I started by asking what would happen if a boy discovered a finger bone growing in his backyard, and the rest of the story evolved from there. I had no idea where my spooky skeleton story would go, but it ended up helping me through a difficult situation in my life.
Everyone says writing is a process. Could you share a little about your writing and/or research process?
I write fast and revise slow. By necessity more than by choice. I wrote the first draft of Skeleton Tree in two weeks, but the entire revision process took over a year.
We know no writer is created in a vacuum. Could you tell the readers about a teacher or a librarian who had an effect on your writing life?
J.K. Rowling! No, she wasn’t my actual teacher, but she did inspire me to start writing. And books are great teachers!
What makes your book a good pick for use in a classroom? Is there any particular way you’d like to see teachers use it with young readers/teens?
Skeleton Tree would be a great book to spark conversations about losing someone you love.
I’m a little dog obsessed here at www.patriciabaileyauthor.com. Would you tell the readers about your favorite dog (real or imaginary)?
My favorite dog is my dog, Hera! I even mention her in my acknowledgements. She’s super sweet and smart, loves to run in the snow and is great at spooning. She’s a rescue dog who was seized by the police from her original owners and is now what they call “severely damaged.” Despite being very fearful of people and dogs, she loves life and is a fantastic co-writer.
When she’s not writing, you might find Kim Ventrella working as a children’s librarian, hanging out with the best dog ever, or dreaming of snow.