Summer of Series: Heidi Schulz Interview & Giveaway

This MG series cannot be ignored, and because of that I am super excited to welcome Heidi to the blog today!

The Pirate Code
second in the Hook's Revenge series
To be published September 15, 2015 by Disney Hyperion
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Fresh off a fearsome encounter with the Neverland crocodile, Jocelyn Hook decides the most practical plan is to hunt down her father's famous fortune. After all, she'll need the gold to fund her adventuring in the future. (And luckily, Hook left her the map.)

But the map proves to be a bit harder to crack than Jocelyn had hoped, and she's convinced that the horrible Peter Pan might be the only one with the answers. Of course, he doesn't really feel like helping her, so Jocelyn takes the only reasonable course of action left to her: she kidnaps his mother. Evie, though, is absolutely thrilled to be taken prisoner, so Jocelyn's daring ploy doesn't have quite the effect she'd planned for.

Along with the problem of her all-too-willing captive, Jocelyn must also contend with Captain Krueger, whose general policy is that no deed is too dastardly when it comes to stealing Hook's treasure. And with the ever-shifting Whens of the Neverland working against her as well, Jocelyn, Evie, Roger, and the rest of the Hook's Revenge crew have their work cut out for them.

In this rambunctious showdown between characters new and old, Jocelyn puts her own brand of pirating to the test in a quest to save her future and those she loves.
 
What has been your favorite part of writing the Hook’s Revenge duology?
Sometimes writing feels like accessing magic. Like those moments in revision when I realize there is a purpose for some detail added previously, that at the time I thought was inconsequential, but then, I realize that object was supposed to be there all along.

For example, in Hook’s Revenge, Jocelyn writes a note to Roger torn from the page of his favorite book, 1001 Poisonous Jungle Plants and How to Use Them. The book itself was, at first, just a fun detail, but in revision, I realized it was important to both the plot—that particular page, and what else what written on it, comes up again near the end of the book—and to Roger’s character.

His love of horticulture comes into play even more in The Pirate Code, to near disastrous results. I love when little details grow into something significant like that. Aside from the actual writing though, my favorite thing is connecting with readers, especially at school visits. It’s such an honor to see that my books are being read and enjoyed by kids. I love that so much.

Did you always plan for this to be a series? How did it take shape in your mind? 
From the beginning I felt there should be at least two books. Even in the first draft of Hook’s Revenge, I found myself setting Captain Krueger up to be the villain in a possible sequel. I knew I wanted Jocelyn to go on a treasure hunt and have a Goonies-like* adventure in part of the second book, and I knew I wanted to further explore her friendship with Roger, but the real heart of the story didn’t take shape until I was finishing up book one. The nature of time on the Neverland, that people can come from as many different Whens as Wheres, came to me late in the development of Hook’s Revenge, but it plays a major part in the second book.

*I love The Goonies. I’m actually wearing a Never Say Die t-shirt at this very moment.

What inspired you to write this duology?
When my daughter was little she was obsessed with Peter Pan. He was both her imaginary friend and her alter ego. We spent many happy hours fighting pirates, escaping the crocodile, and being nearly drowned by cruel mermaids. I was a permanent resident of the Neverland for several years. One day, when she was six, I had the flu. I put on movies—Hook and the 2003 live-action Peter Pan—to occupy her while I slept on the couch. The movies must have been working on my subconscious, because when I awoke the first thing I thought was, “What if Captain Hook had a daughter?” I wrote Hook’s Revenge to answer that question.

With book two, The Pirate Code, releasing in mid-September, can you tell us anything about it?
The Pirate Code is about 20% longer than Hook’s Revenge. (Yes, I did have to Google to remind myself how to figure out percentages.) It’s a much bigger story, where readers will see a lot more of the Neverland and meet more of its denizens. Readers will get to see more of Jocelyn, Roger, Mr. Smee, and the rest of the crew of the Hook’s Revenge, that irritating Peter Pan and his Lost Boys. They’ll also get to know new characters, both familiar like Tiger Lily, and completely original, like Evie: Peter Pan’s newest mother, kidnapped and held for ransom (to Evie’s great delight) by Jocelyn. I think this book is every bit as funny as Hook’s Revenge, but more emotional. It made me cry every time I worked on it. And, It addresses two of the things readers have asked about most: It has more backstory about Captain Hook’s great romance with Jocelyn’s mother, and more about the narrator. In fact, careful readers should be able to figure out his identity.

What is the most interesting thing you have Googled in the name of research?
I think that would have to be a three-way tie between facts about crocodiles, invisible inks and their reagents, and booby traps.

What is one series you would recommend to readers?
I’d recommend the All Four Stars series by Tara Dairman. Gladys Gatsby is a foodie kid who is mistakenly hired as a restaurant critic for the New York Times. She has to find ways of completing her assignments without anyone, including her parents, finding out what she is up to. It’s fun and funny and smart and stars a MG heroine who makes a lot of mistakes, but doesn’t stop going after what she wants.

Thor, Iron Man, or Captain America? GO!
I don’t even have to think about it: Iron Man. Cleverness and wit always score big points with me. __________________________________________________________________________________

Giveaway!

Heidi is offering up one ARC of THE PIRATE CODE to one winner!

All entrants must be 13 years or older and this giveaway is open to the US only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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It is not too late to join the fun as we celebrate our favorite series and welcome new ones! Sign up for Summer of Series and knock down that TBR! 

Don't forget to check out Danielle's blog where Jessie Evans is stopping by!

2 comments:

  1. i am such a huge fan of Heidi's!! I am a lover of pirates and Hook happens to be my favorite villian! I love her answer about Iron Man since i feel the same way. he is just perfection and i love his cockiness! The answer about why she wrote this duology was also really sweet. Im sure her daughter will cherise this series even more than usual since it revolves around her favorite childhood tale. That was such a sweet thing. Fever dreams can be inspirational sometimes.
    <3 Britt

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    1. I try to push this series on everyone because it is so worth it! And hearing that she wrote it for her daughter made me smile so big! So cute!

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