Monday, June 6, 2016

AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT: Stacy Davidowitz

 Stacy Davidowitz is the amazing author of the Camp Rolling Hills series. 


Why did you write about summer camp?

BECAUSE I LOVE IT. Anyone who knows me knows that I tend to write a lot about sleepaway camp. It’s been a major part of my life since I was ten. Also, my family is in the camping industry. My mom runs a day camp in Long Island, my brother is the Assistant Director of the camp we grew up at, and my sister-in-law runs girls’ side there, too. Plus, this series has given me the opportunity to write about kids living together, growing together, and learning together away from their parents. How special is that? Camp is a place where friendships blossom, self-confidence is fostered, and the high jinx is endless. The real question is: Why wouldn’t I write about camp?

Did you go to camp when you were younger?

Yup! I grew up at a camp in Pennsylvania called Tyler Hill. I went there as a camper, and then stayed to be a Junior Counselor, Counselor, and Head Staff! I still technically work at summer camps...

Who is your favorite camper in your book(s)?

Melman. She’s brave, athletic, funny, and a really great friend. In the second book of the Camp Rolling Hills series, she really shines! I also love Sophie’s weirdness. Writing such a wild card oddball is super fun. 

Is there going to be a whole series? If so, how many books? I would love to review them all for you!

There IS going to be a whole series. The first two books of the series, Camp Rolling Hills and Camp Rolling Hills: Crossing Over launch together on May 10, 2016. The third book, titled Breakout!, is all about Color War (a weeklong, amazing campwide competition) and will be released in April 2017. The fourth book will be released in April 2018. After that, there might be two more. There are twelve kids total, and the idea is that each book is told from the point of view of one girl camper and one boy camper. So the first book is told from the perspectives of Slimey and Smelly. The second book is Melman and Steinberg. The third book is Jenny and Play Dough. The fourth book is Missi and Wiener. And if there are two more books, the fifth will be Jamie and Dover and the sixth will be Sophie and Totle. The campers grow from 12-years-old to 14-years-old as the series progresses. And yes, I would LOVE reviews for each book! That would be amazing!

What is your favorite camp activity?

Color War, for sure. That’s the weeklong, amazing campwide competition I mentioned earlier. The whole camp is divided into two teams that compete in everything from sports to trivia to apache relays to rope burn to singing to dancing to scavenger hunts!

If you could become any character in your book(s) who would it be? Why?

Slimey. She’s sweet, artsy, sensitive, optimistic, and has an undying love for camp. Maybe Play Dough for a bit, too. He’s adored by his friends and gets to eat snacks he hides in his socks.  

Who is your all time favorite author? Book?

All time favorite author...hmm...that’s super hard. I love Tim Federle. And Dr. Seuss. And John Green. And I truly love the book Wonder by R.J. Palacio. I read A LOT of plays, probably more than books actually, since I’m also a playwright. So if you have any top recommendations for middle grade or YA books, let me know, and I’ll recommend you some plays:)

Advice for young writers?

Let your imagination ride the train to where miracles happen. Allow your characters to be your best friends. Have them join the circus. Be patient. And kind to yourself. Let your friends in on what you’re writing. Be bolder than bold. Learn to love revising. Treat yourself to good snacks while doing all of the above. If you’re ever stuck, email me, and I’ll send you a very random prompt.  

Any other interesting facts/info you would like to share about yourself and/or your book?

Sure! Did you know that Camp Rolling Hills was originally a musical?! That’s right. Camp Rolling Hills is a musical with music and lyrics by Adam Spiegel and book and lyrics by David Spiegel and me. You can listen to the music and check out some recent production photos on the Camp Rolling Hills website. We premiered in March in San Diego and have an upcoming production in June in Connecticut!

Thank you so much Ms. Davidowitz for allowing me to read your books and interview you! I can't wait to read the next books in the series.

You can find more information about Stacy Davidowitz at her website.