What is The Trouble With Half A Moon about?
The Trouble with Half a Moon is about thirteen year old Dellie who lives with the guilt that her little brother's death was her fault. Her mother cries all the time and because she wants Dellie to stay safe, she keeps her inside as much as she can. It doesn't matter that Dellie longs to go outside to be like other girls or that there's a boy she likes and he likes her too. All that matters to her mother is that she's safe at home. So, Dellie has no choice but to watch the world of her housing project through her second story window.
Things start to change soon after new neighbors move in on the first floor. Trouble like this has never happened in Dellie's building before. Now there are men fighting on the stoop, gunshots echoing through the night and Corey, a hungry and abused five year old boy knocking on her door looking for something to eat. Corey reminds Dellie of her brother and even though their friendship is dangerous, she wonders if this time, she'll be able to do what needs to be done. Will she be able to save Corey?
How did you break into publishing?
I broke into publishing after years of slowly scratching away at it the same way someone might try to escape from jail! Seriously, I learned what I could about the business and I was persistent. Also important was taking what I could from rejections and using it. I’m the type of person who could spend the day cleaning then when company comes, I see everything through their eyes—ugh, I missed a spot! And, why didn’t I straighten out this or that! So when it came to rejections I was able to see my story through a different set of eyes which was very helpful.
What was the inspiration for The Trouble With Half a Moon?
Trouble has lived inside me since I was a young teenager. Corey, the little boy in the story, reminds me of a little boy I knew growing up. When I sat down to write this story, I wasn’t sure where it was going. All I knew was that I wanted to give that little boy a chance.
That's so cool that you've known the story you wanted to tell since you were a teenager. I'm so glad you finally get a chance to share it with everyone. I hope that little (well not so little anymore) boy reads it!
What book would your book date?
(Interesting question! Could my book date a few? There are so many to love!) Okay, okay. I’d have to go with Paris from The Road to Paris by Nikki Grimes.
I'm glad your book is mongamous, we've had a few playas in the past :pIn a previous interview, you mention that you wanted to be an archeologist. Do you foresee archeology being in any of your future books? What drew you to (and eventually away) from archeology?
I would love for Archeology to play a role in a future book! For the life of me, I don’t remember what drew me to Archeology. I just know that I have this thing for imagining the people who were here before me and how they might’ve lived. As for being drawn away, it just happened. It’s like walking on a certain path while admiring something off in the distance without stepping off to explore it.
I've had an interest in archeology since watching the TV show Bones (since that's what temperance Brennan originally was before she turned to forensic anthroplogy I think). I agree, there is a strong appeal in learning about the people of the past, especially as it gets harder to imagine the further away from the time period we get.
What are some of your current favorite YA reads? What fellow '11 debuts are you looking forward to?
Right now I’m enjoying Lena by Jacqueline Woodson and just before that, Handbook for Boys by Walter Dean Myers. For 2011 I see that I’ll be a very busy reader. I think I’ll start off with How Lamar's Bad Prank Won a Bubba-Sized (Love that title!) by Crystal Allen and Across the Universe by Beth Revis.
6. What two PoC characters would you love to hang out with?
Lahni from When the Black Girl Sings and Rhonda from My Life as a Rhombus.
I always felt so bad that Lahni was so loney (at first anyway), I would totally hang out with her too. Rhonda is awesome (I'd like to hang out with any main character from one of Varian Johnson's books!) and I have lots of questions for her....
7. What is one issue you have with YA/MG? What is something you love about YA/MG?
I don’t think I have any issues. I absolutely adore everything about YA/MG and probably always will.
Where can readers find out more about you and your books?
You can come and visit me at these places: Danettevigilante.com or, danettevigilante.blogspot.com or, facebook.com/danette.vigilante
Thank you for stopping by Danette and hooray for your upcoming debut!