Today we have a special guest on the site courtesy of the great folks at Blue Slip Media (THANKS!) and featuring a newly released children's title that's quirky enough to capture your attention, yet touching enough to make its way into your heart. The book of which I speak is called The Map of Me and stars two characters with a glorious friendship, and one just so happens to have a rather interesting name. Curious? Thought you might be. ^_^ Without further adieu, please join me in welcoming author Tami Lewis Brown!
Peep, Margie, and The Name Gameby Tami Lewis Brown, author of The Map of MeI admit I’m a bit of a name nut. I picked names for both of my children years before they were born and one of my favorite parts of adopting a new cat or dog is what often turns out to be weeks of protracted name picking. So no wonder I’m a novelist. I get to make up as many characters as I want and name them all. And there’s more. Every book has a title, and what is a title but a name printed in bold words right across the cover.So it came as a bit of a shock to me that I “didn’t have a choice” when I named the two main characters in THE MAP OF ME Peep and Margie.Okay. Technically I did name them. It’s not as if I ran a contest where the prize was “your name in my next book” and I didn’t stick a random pin onto a list of baby names. One morning I woke up thinking “Peep and Margie never set out to be criminals.” Huh? I never known anyone named Peep or Margie and to tell the truth I’ve pretty much avoided child criminals, too.The names Peep (who’s named Peep, anyway, for goodness sakes?) and Margie were the first things I knew about this book—long before there was a Momma with a chicken fascination or a super-selling Daddy or even a single map. So who were these “unintentional” criminals? I had to know and at least at first all I had to hold on to was their names. I had to find out.
Once I realized Peep and Margie were pint-sized car thieves I knew they would be going on a road trip. A journey. And the most famous literary journey of all time is The Odyssey. Odysseus conquered everything from one-eyed giants to singing sirens to rescue Helen . . . and I never doubted that Peep and Margie were searching for their own Helen, in this case their mother Helen Tempest.But who was Margie? Even more puzzling who (or what) was Peep? The Odyssey gave me that answer, too. Penelope is Odysseus’ long suffering, steadfast wife. Peep, the brilliant little sister, the girl who can do no wrong, must be nicknamed after Penelope.Momma claimed she called her baby Peep because she looked like Little Bo Peep from our Mother Goose book—golden curls, rosebud lips. Daddy said she never made a peep when they brought her home from the hospital. But now she wouldn’t hush. I knew the truth. With that yellow blond outside, Peep was a candy chick in an Easter basket. Fake sugar sweet, with an alien brain whipped out of weird chemicals and marshmallow cream unknown to the natural world. Peep made me sick to my stomach.I may never understand exactly where her name came from but looking at Peep through Margie’s eyes made the character and the name my own. Sometimes the best names are a group effort.-----------------------------------Author BioTAMI LEWIS BROWN holds an MFA in Writing for Children from Vermont College. She has been a lawyer, and more recently, writer-in-residence and librarian at The Sheridan School in Washington, D.C.Elinor Smith’s story, which later became Soar, Elinor!, inspired Tami to become a pilot and a lawyer. “Everyone in my family flew. Each time someone told me “it’s a man’s world” I thought of Elinor’s unquenchable drive to be herself and live her dreams. Where others built barriers, Elinor saw nothing but wide open horizons.”As part of her research to write Soar, Elinor!, Tami and her ten-year-old son flew loops and spins in an antique Waco ZPF-7, similar to the plane Elinor flew.Tami Lewis Brown grew up in Kentucky and attended Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. Now she lives in one of the oldest houses in Washington, D.C.
Apparantly...A LOT more than we might think when it comes to the land of fiction. Isn't it amazing how some things come about? I mean take this story for instance....she just woke up with that one thought and BOOM, a novel was born. A fantastic share if I do say so myself and seriously, don't you just LOVE Margie's explanation of Peep's name origin? Oh, and that picture of the Peep cake, priceless! My thanks to Ms. Brown for providing us with such wonderful food for thought and putting a smile on my face (hopefully yours as well). Now, on to our second dose of fun for this particular post....
Thanks to the folks at Blue Slip Media, we have TWO copies of this new book up for grabs! Here's a little more about Margie and Peep's story....
The note Momma on the fridge says, “I HAVE TO GO.”
But go where?
Twelve-year-old Margie is convinced she knows the answer. Momma hasn’t run away—she’s run to the Rooster Romp at the International Poultry Hall of Fame, in search of a deluxe limited edition Henny Penny Coin Canister to add to her precious flock of chicken memorabilia. And it’s up to Margie to bring her home, Henny Penny coin canister and all. So she commandeers her Daddy’s Faithful Ford, kidnaps her nine-year-old sister, Peep, and takes to the open road.
On a long, rainy night, as she winds through the back roads of Kentucky with smarty-pants Peep criticizing her every move, Margie also travels along the highways and byways of her heart, mapping a course to Momma—and herself.
Sounds like an adventure in the making in more ways than one!
This book hit bookstores everywhere August 30th, 2011 from Farrar, Straus & Giroux...but now's your chance to win a copy all your own. Just fill out the form below and POOF...your entry is on its way to potential fame and glory.
One entry per person. U.S. and Canada addresses only.
Entries accepted Wednesday, September 14th, 2011 through midnight Friday, September 23rd, 2011 CST.
Be sure to check out the rest of the tour as it makes its way through the blogosphere. Today, Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers....tomorrow, There's a Book!
Special thanks to Danielle at There's a Book for the connection to this tour and to Barbara at Blue Slip Media for making it happen. My thanks once again to author Tami Lewis Brown for the fascinating post and congratulations on the latest release (The Map of Me)! (THANKS ladies!) For more information on any of these fabulous bookish people, feel free to check them out online, through Twitter, or even Facebook by clicking on the various links throughout the post.
Thanks for stopping by today and good luck to all that enter.
Until next time...happy reading!