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M.M.Vaughan (Monica Meira Vaughan) is the author of THE ABILITY (Simon & Schuster, Apr.2013), a middle-grade novel described by Publishers Weekly as "a fast-paced, superhero-tinged spy novel" and picked by TIME for Kids as one of its '12 Books For Summer'. Her second book, MINDSCAPE, will be on sale March 2014. Monica likes to start writing after midnight and it has been, until recently, her secret hobby. On the weekends, she dedicates her time to building cardboard cities for her three-year-old daughter and catching up on sleep. She lives in London, England. Learn more on her website.
1. What is your favorite color? Bright blue.
2. Favorite food? Tortilla (spanish omelet). My mother would make this for me whenever I wasn't well, or to celebrate anything. Actually, she still does.
3. Favorite movie of all time? Wizard of Oz. I have to say that, because my three-year-old daughter wouldn't forgive me otherwise!
4. Favorite song? "Me and Bobby McGee", the version by Janis Joplin.
5. Favorite book of all time? I have about two hundred favorite books! I'm sure you don't want the full list here so I think I'll choose 'Brave New World' because of the profound effect it had on me when I first read it at the age of thirteen. I still take it out from time to time to reread.
All about Writing
1. How did your interest in writing originate?
Although I'd always been an avid reader, I only started writing when I left school and began my teaching degree. I wanted to get children inspired to read more and decided to try writing stories for my pupils. They weren't very good, but the children liked them!
2. What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
I try to write at least 1,000 words a day. It doesn't always work out that way; sometimes I write more, sometimes less, but having that target gives me something to work towards. When I'm writing, I try not to take any days off as I find it very difficult to get back into the story after a break.
3. Do you work with outline or just write?
Definitely with an outline. I always have a new notebook for every project and work everything out before I actually start writing the story. I start with a rough outline; a simple beginning, middle and end and build up from there. Once I have a sentence or so for each chapter, I start writing the story. The outline will always change as I progress with the story.
4. What was the hardest part in writing your book? The easiest?
As THE ABILITY was my first book, the hardest part was making the time to write when I had no idea if it would be published - everything else in my life took priority. The easiest, unexpectedly, was doing the first edit for my editor. Although it took up a lot of time, I was so excited by the prospect of my book actually going to print that I just didn't want to stop!
5. What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I don't read when I'm writing, as I find myself getting too distracted. So, when I'm not writing, I'm reading.
Finish the sentence
1. The difference between fiction and reality is, ideally, not always obvious.
2. Research is what I'm doing when I can't pretend I know something.
3. I can write better when I set goals for myself.
4. Sleep is an excellent way to recharge. That's what I have to keep myself when I find I'm still working at 3am!
5. A room without a book is not a room in my house!
Title: The Ability (The Ability #1)
Genre/s: Middle Grade, Fantasy
Publisher: Margaret McElderry
Released Date: April 23, 2013
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Delve into the extraordinary abilities of the twelve-year-old mind in this thrilling start to a middle-grade series that expands the possibilities of power.No one has any confidence in twelve-year-old Christopher Lane. His teachers discount him as a liar and a thief, and his mom doesn’t have the energy to deal with him. But a mysterious visit from the Ministry of Education indicates that Chris might have some potential after all: He is invited to attend the prestigious Myers Holt Academy.When Christopher begins at his new school, he is astounded at what he can do. It seems that age twelve is a special time for the human brain, which is capable of remarkable feats—as also evidenced by Chris’s peers Ernest and Mortimer Genver, who, at the direction of their vengeful and manipulative mother, are testing the boundaries of the human mind.But all this experimentation has consequences, and Chris soon finds himself forced to face them—or his new life will be over before it can begin.