Sarah Frances Hardy and PUZZLED BY PINK

27 Mar

Today on the blog Sarah Frances Hardy, author of Puzzled By Pink, which comes out this April, stops by to write about the inspiration behind her Wednesday Adams-esque Izzy.

**Sidenote: can we talk about how much I loved Wednesday Adams as a kid? I mean, the snark and the braids and the all-black clothes. Amazing. 

I can’t wait for Sarah to introduce a whole new generation of readers to Izzy, an amazing new little budding goth heroine. Here’s a little more information about PUZZLED BY PINK:

Not every girl loves pink

Izzie hates pink as much as her sister, Rose, loves it. So when Rose plans an all-pink birthday party with the guests dressed in fairy costumes, Izzie decides to give her own alternative party in the attic, where the guests will be monsters, spiders, ghosts, and the pet cat. But some powerful magic triggers the appearance of yet another guest – an unexpected one. This will be a party nobody forgets!

And now, without further ado, Sarah Frances Hardy: 

Thanks so much for having me here, and I must say that your main character in ZIP sounds fantastic. I agree that girl main characters need to have a little moxie–enough with the Bella Swans and passive princesses!

My all time favorite female character from literature is Harriet M. Welsch in Louise Fitzhugh’s HARRIET THE SPY. When I first read this book in fourth grade, I was blown away. Completely. Blown. Away.

Immediately, I scoured my house for an empty notebook and I began writing about everything that was happening around me, and when I decided that none of that was very interesting, I started making stuff up. The fictionalized journal ended up being a very good thing because (just like in the book) some friends of mine found my journal and read it. Worst nightmare, right? At least I hadn’t been writing mean things about them!

But poor Harriet! Her friends found her journal and were hurt by the things that she had written, and for that, she was very publicly shunned and ridiculed–worst of all, her friends wouldn’t let her be part of their very cool club.

Like any child would do, Harriet spent a lot of time plotting revenge, but in the end with the advice and guidance of her beloved nanny Ole Golly, Harriet apologized, got a writing gig and everything turned out all right.

So . . .  how did Harriet influence my main character in my upcoming picture book release?

Puzzled by Pink; Viking Children’s Books; April 2012

My main character Izzy is a budding goth (think Wednesday Addams) who is ousted from her little sister’s birthday party because she refuses to wear a pink tutu. So in an “I’ll show them” act of independence and defiance, she heads to the attic to have her own party. All alone.

The story ends with the sisters coming together and learning to accept each other–Izzy gets to go to the party sans pink tutus or fairy wings–and they all have a great time.

 

It’s that feeling of being left out of the group that Louise Fitzhugh did so well in HARRIET THE SPY that I was hoping to tap into in PUZZLED BY PINK. My main character uses anger (much like Harriet did) to hide her intense hurt over being told she can’t join the group because she’s different. And can’t every child identify with being left out? It’s awful stuff! But it happens and it’s something that you have to learn to deal with. You can’t run away and pout and drown in misery forever. You’ve got to make the best of your situation AND stay true to yourself.

Which is what Harriet did . . . and my beloved Izzy!

You can learn more about Sarah Frances Hardy, and Izzy, here!

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