I didn’t think it would ever get here, but it is finally time for the grand kick off of our new mission, Operation Story Share! Today we are going to talk about the book, Elliot and the Goblin War by author extraordinaire, Jennifer Nielsen.
Remember how I stowed away when Cindy went to that retreat for all the clients of the Erin Murphy Literary Agency? Well, while Cindy was busy chatting with Jennifer, I was meeting a GOBLIN named Grissel! It was enough to raise my hackles, let me tell you. I found out that Goblins like to eat Brownies (not the chocolate kind, but the elf-like kind, except with bigger, pointier ears). And he loves pickles as much as I love meatloaf. I didn’t stick around long enough to find out if he also ate cats.
Then I met Elliot Penster. He’s the human boy who saves a Brownie from a group of Goblins on Halloween night. Then he ends up becoming the Brownies’ king and must help them in a war against the evil Goblins.
Wow! This story sounded so exciting that I had to read the book. I’m guessing that’s what you’re thinking about now, too. So, if you want to run out to the bookstore or the library to get a copy right now, I’ll wait till you get back. And if you’re one of the lucky people who have already read it, you might want to know that the second book in the series just came out. It’s called Elliot and the Pixie Plot. And if that’s not enough, Elliot and the Last Underworld War will be out in February 2012!
Okay, is everyone back? Good. Because now it’s time to give a warm welcome to Jennifer Nielsen, author of Elliot and the Goblin War, who has kindly agreed to join us today. I thought of asking her if she’s written any other books or how she became a writer or where she lives, but you can find out the answers to all those questions on her website. (Click here.) Finally, I thought of the perfect question to ask her.
Jennifer, as you know, I’m the main character of Cindy’s book, Flash Feline Extraordinaire. I’m also her “Mews.” Do you ever listen to your characters when you’re writing their stories? Or do you prefer to be the boss all the time?
Excellent to meet you, Flash, and thanks for a great question! My background is in theater, so I tend to approach my writing with the characters as actors in my head. They are all of them alive to me, enough that if I saw them on the street I would recognize them. Most of the key scenes are first written in my head as an improvisational performance. I might run the scene several times, strengthening key moments or working out the exact line of dialogue that the character would want to say. In that way, I suppose I listen to them quite a bit.
And now a question for Elliot. What’s your favorite thing about getting to be the King of the Brownies?
I can tell you what isn’t my favorite. Which is getting scared mostly to death, having my house blown up, getting pulled away from class to solve everyone’s problems, keeping secrets from my family, being kidnapped, trying not to get killed by Goblins, Pixies, or Shadow Men, and knowing that if the Demon Kovol succeeds in destroying the earth that I’ll probably get blamed for it. I mean, who’d be friends with me after that?
So why am I still the King? Because the Brownies are my friends, and they need my help. I don’t know if I have any favorite thing about being King, but I definitely know it’s where I belong. Besides, they make this drink called Mushroom Surprise – I know it doesn’t sound that good but it really is – and there’s a great surprise a few minutes after you drink it. I’m not sure if cats should try it though. Can cats burp?
Finally, I have a question for Grissel if he promises he’s not hungry for a cat-flavored snack. Can every Goblin scare people to death, or is it a special talent that only some Goblins have?
Lucky for you, Goblins don’t eat cats. But it’s also a lucky thing I liked your question or you might’ve found out exactly what Goblins can do. Yes, every Goblin can scare people…or Brownies….or small furry animals… to death. Some are better at it than others, and every so often a really stupid Goblin will practice in the mirror and end up scaring himself to death.
One talent not all Goblins have is the ability to blow things up. Few Goblins can do it as well as me, which is one reason I’m their leader. In fact, not long ago I blew up the house of that human king, Elliot Penster. Good times.
Many thanks to Jennifer Nielsen, Elliot and Grissel for visiting us today. (And especially to Grissel for not scaring me to death or blowing up my blog!) I hope you enjoyed the debut of Operation Story Share as much as I did. There will be lots more story fun next Friday—don’t miss it!