April 1, 2010

Ann M. Martin Interview

Posted by at 10:22 am in Authors, Reads | Permalink

BSC_prequel_130If you especially love Baby-sitters Club books, then we have a couple of cool new features on the STACKS. In honor of the newest Baby-sitters Club book, The Summer Before, we have a new BSC website.

The Summer Before is a prequel to the Baby-sitters Club series and will be in bookstores starting today. You can read the first chapter online right here!

If you have ever read any Ann M. Martin books, then you know she is a beautiful writer, but I had the chance to actually talk to her and discover that she is also a beautiful person! Read on to find out more about the Baby-sitters Club, Ann’s advice for writers, and how she deals with her shyness!

Sonja: Why do you think The Baby-sitters Club is still so popular after all these years?
I think the books resonate with kids because, although kids today are very different, I think what kids relate to is still the same. The Baby-sitters Club characters are very easy to identify with. The main thrust of the series is family, friendship, school. . . those things haven’t changed. They still affect most kids today. Kids today may have iPods, computers, and text messages, but the themes of the Baby-sitters Club books are timeless.

Sonja: Why did you decide to revisit these characters in your new book?
A lot of readers wrote to me and asked for a sequel to the series describing the girls when they were older. But I wanted to write a prequel because the slightly younger age group appeals to me. I wanted to delve more deeply and go back in time to think about what led the girls to come together and form the Baby-sitters Club. What was going on with their families? Where were they in their lives, and where were they literally because Stacey hadn’t moved to Stoneybrook yet.

Sonja: Are the characters based on real people? Did any of things that happen to them in the books happen to you in real life?
Most of the characters are made up. But Kristy is based on my best friend, Beth, and Mary Anne is based on me. Growing up Beth and I were complete opposites. I was the much shier, quieter one, and Beth was much more outgoing. Yes, a few of the incidents that happen in the books are real. One of the most horrifying babysitting incidents I ever experienced happened when the kids I was babysitting asked if they could wash the car. By the time I got outside, they had already started, but they were washing the car with brillo pads, and they scratched all the paint off the car!

Sonja: Which character do you relate the most to?
Of course I relate most strongly to Mary Anne since she is based on me, but Kristy is the most fun character to write about. After all, the Baby-sitters Club was her idea!

Sonja: Do you have any advice for kids who want to write?
It is important to be a reader and become familiar with all kinds of writing. I also recommend that kids keep a journal. Kids think they have to have some incredible experience to write about, but keeping a journal is a good way to keep track of the everyday experiences that can make your stories more real.

Sonja: I read that you are very shy. It can sometimes be difficult for shy people in a world of outgoing people. (I know because I’m shy too!) Do you have any suggestions for other shy people?
Even some people who don’t seem shy are really shy underneath! My advice is to become familiar with the situations that make you uncomfortable. I do better in small groups 2 or 3 instead of 10 or 12 so I try to avoid being in big groups of people if I can. I hate public speaking but I realized that I feel more comfortable doing
it when I have a PowerPoint presentation to work from. You have to know what makes you feel more comfortable and try to put yourself in those situations instead of the situations that will make you feel worse.

Sonja: You are so loved by so many readers. That must be such an amazing feeling. Do you get lots of fan mail? What are some of the most moving things your fans tell you?

Ann: It is a wonderful feeling. I love hearing from readers. It helps me feel more connected with them. The most moving thing is hearing about kids who were not into reading until reading one of my books. . . and now they are avid readers. It’s wonderful to hear from adult readers who read my books when they were kids and were inspired to become writers, librarians, teachers, editors or bloggers. That is very gratifying.

image from kids.scholastic.comSonja, STACKS Staffer

  1. readingberry

    OOMMG!!ANN you rock!i love A

  2. *Maddy*


  3. jenga

    i luv your books soo much some people say your books are stupid but i dont think that at all :]

  4. Ashley

    I luv your books! Our library has SO many books from you! My fav book is “A Dog’s Life!” I LOVE THEM ALL!

  5. Jordan (BSC's #1 fan)

    OOMMG!!! ANN thanks for writing another book in that series i have evry book in the BSC series in my book shelf. my fav 1 is the super special#1 where they go on that crusie and then to disney world 4 3 days and they all make new friends!!! it would be a dream come true to meet you!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Sydny

    I just LOVE!!! Ann Martin is my favorite author. For my birthday I got the first 30 Baby-sitter Club books, and I still borrow some from the library.

  7. Irmajo

    I reeeeeealy want to read these books! (I am only going by what I’ve heard about them!)

  8. 12cutie3

    i love your books so much. my favorite are the baby sitters club. i use to hate them but now i love them i cant stop reading them because they’re so good you rock ann m.martin

  9. mintchocolatechip100

    i read the summer before.it was an AWSOME book. though frankie is just plain werid.

  10. JustinBieber'sFan

    srry s.snape2000 but i think that a dog’s life is one of Ann Martin’s best books an d i love her baby sitter books

  11. katyp25

    i totally disagree but any ways hi everyone and daddy and mommy miss you so much i hope you come get us soon

  12. s.snape2000

    I kinda like Ann M. Martin.
    A Dogs Life was probably one of the worst books I have ever read!A lot of my friends say they dont like it because it is sad,I dont like it because,well,it’s just a BORING book.I like the babysitters club though:)

  13. michelle

    these books are the bomb!!!!!! when i start reading one of the bsc books i can’t stop!!1

  14. Candysplash

    WOWEEZ! I can’t wait to read ‘The Summer Before.’
    (Excuse me for being so excited…..)

  15. Julianna

    Oh, Ann! I absolutley positively LOVE your books! I actually got the chance to read your biography. You and Beth, your little sister Jane, oh it was so fun to read! I would really love to meet you! I am your #1 fan!I am sure of it. I also read you’re a baby-sitter. You were so cute when you were a kindergartener. Any BSC fans that are reading this post, see if your school library, or any type of library has Ann’s biography. It tells just about every little detail there is-you’ll read that M in Ann M. Martin stands for Matthews-I believe. Sorry if I got out of hand-I’m just so excited!

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