Brianna DuMont is owning 2016. She has a very exciting two-book deal with National Geographic, and the second book in her Changed History series,FANTASTIC FUGITIVES, published last week on January 5 and was the #1 New Release in Amazon's Children's General Social Science Books. FUGITIVES is also an Illinois Reads pick, which is amazing!!! Check out her interview below and be sure to pick up a copy! You can also read Brianna's interview for the first book in the series, FAMOUS PHONIES :)
Tell us a little bit about FUGITIVES!
Fugitives follows the fast-paced lives of twelve rebels who changed history. I am super proud to include an equal number of women and men who stood up for their beliefs (whether that was money as in John Dillinger's case, or equal rights in Nelson Mandela's). It's so much fun to write about the rule-breakers in history; the monk who took on the Catholic Church and started the Reformation; the queen who stood up to the Roman Empire; the female WWII spy who the Gestapo insisted, "...is the most dangerous spy. We must find and destroy her." Getting to write snarky jokes about famous people is just a bonus.
Things have definitely snowballed for you since FAMOUS PHONIES (the first book in your series) was published. Can you talk to us about what you did to promote your book and how the press, etc. you received helped make this series so popular?
I pounded the pavement, digitally speaking. I contacted bloggers, was active on my own blog, and didn't say no to any event. Of course, having Scholastic pick me up helped with visibility. But then I used that to continue putting myself and Phonies out there. I also joined SCBWI and went to every event in the Chicago area to meet up with other local authors. It's important to support each other.
What do you think is the most important things for a series author to do that authors with standalone books don't have to worry about as much?
It's hard to focus on the previous book while you're working on the next one, so I'd say that's an extremely difficult thing to juggle. You're so excited for the research and people and concept of your newest book that you forget to promote your first one. You've got to switch gears between the books, even though it's all the same series. I'd be at a book signing for Children's Book Week and totally immersed in Fugitives even though it was Phonies I was signing. It's a nice problem to have, though!
Any advice for authors that you'd like to share?
Don't give up for anything. Practically speaking, read at least one grammar/writing book a year, and find an honest critique group to get involved with--listen to thoughtful feedback and take criticisms to heart. They only help you grow as a writer.
Thanks, Brianna! And, everyone, don't forget to post any questions you want me to answer in the comments section with the hashtag #IHAVEAQUESTION!