Every series comes with its own behind-the-scenes story. Here are some things you might not know about the process of creating and writing the Dirt Diary books.
- The original idea came from something I heard on the radio. I was listening to a story about teen mortification, and it mentioned a girl who cleaned houses with her mom and had to clean some of her classmates’ houses. That premise seemed perfect for a book, and I knew I had to try writing it!
- Even though Rachel hopes to be a pastry chef one day, I’m actually not a very good baker. When it comes to baking (and cooking in general) I only attempt recipes that are idiot-proof. I had to do a lot of research to make sure that Rachel’s baking endeavors were plausible in the story since I didn’t have much baking knowledge to pull from.
- Originally, Rachel was a year younger (thirteen) and she wasn’t interested in baking at all. I wound up making her a year older so that I wouldn’t have to worry about the legal issues of someone under fourteen working, and I added the baking element to give Rachel a break from all the embarrassing things she was dealing with in her life.
- The diary in the first book didn’t become part of the story until I’d been working on it for almost a year. I wound up introducing the diary because I needed something that tied all the different plot threads together, and I also wanted to give Rachel a physical secret that she was hiding from other people.
- The Dirt Diary was written as a standalone with series potential, which meant that I could continue Rachel’s antics in other books but that her story in the first book would be satisfying on its own. When the book sold in a two-book deal, I was excited to work on the sequel, The Prank List, but I also made sure to give the second book its own story arc, so that if we never sold a third book, readers wouldn’t be disappointed. Luckily, the series turned into three books, and I was able to tell one more chapter of Rachel’s story in The Gossip File.
The Gossip File by Anna Staniszewski
January 6th, 2015; ISBN: 9781492607854; $6.99; Trade Paper
Sourcebooks Jabberwocky– Juvenile Fiction, Social Issues
Ages 10-14, Grades 4-8
The Gossip File:
- Chandra lets little kids pee in the pool.
- Melody stole $ from the café register.
- Ava isn’t who she says she is…
Ava is cool. Ava is confident. Ava is really Rachel Lee who is lying her butt off.
Rachel is visiting her dad at a resort in sunny Florida and is ready for two weeks of relaxing poolside, trips to Disney World – and NOT scrubbing toilets. Until her dad’s new girlfriend, Ellie, begs Rachel to help out at her short-staffed café. That’s when Rachel kinda sortaadopts a new identity to impress the cool, older girls who work there. Ava is everything Rachel wishes she could be. But when the girls ask “Ava” to help add juicy resort gossip to their file, Rachel’s not sure what to do…especially when one of the entries is a secret about Ellie.
Author’s Short Bio:
Anna Staniszewski lives outside of Boston with her husband and an adorably crazy dog. She was named the Boston Public Library’s 2006-2007 Writer-in-Residence and a winner of the 2009 PEN New England Discovery Award. When she’s not writing, Anna spends her time teaching, reading, and not cleaning her house. Visit her at www.annastan.com.
You also can read my interview with Anna here.
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Anyway, have I mentioned that you can win 1 complete set of the Dirt Diaries series? Well, now you know!
Follow the steps on the Rafflecopter and I wish you a best luck!
( for US residents only, sorry! 😦 )
Thanks Sourcebooks and Anna Staniszewski, to let me be part of this virtual tour! Hope you all have a good time 😉