Hey everyone! Today’s post is a special one because the lovely Tori Sharp is here to answer some of my questions. I am beyond excited to have them here with us today! Before we get into the interview, here is a bit about her debut graphic novel; Just Pretend.
(Synosis from goodreads)
Tori has never lived in just one world.
Since her parents’ divorce, she’s lived in both her mom’s house and her dad’s new apartment. And in both places, no matter how hard she tries, her family still treats her like a little kid. Then there’s school, where friendships old and new are starting to feel more and more out of her hands.
Thankfully, she has books-and writing. And now the stories she makes up in her head just might save her when everything else around her—friendships, school, family—is falling apart.
Without further ado, here is the interview!
1. Hi there Tori! I’m so excited to have you here with us today. Before we begin the interview, do you mind sharing some random facts about yourself?
Tori: So nice to be here! Sure, random facts are a specialty of mine. My favorite socks have stars on them, I prefer iced coffee to hot even when it’s snowing, I can bend my thumbs down to touch my wrists, and I’ve been a swing and blues dancer for nine years. Besides being a children’s author and illustrator, I’m also an associate literary agent, and I live in Seattle, WA!
2. Congrats on debuting your first graphic novel! Just Pretend is amazing, and I can’t wait for other people to read it as well. May I ask, what inspired you to write it?
Tori: Thank you—you’re making me blush! I decided to write Just Pretend because I wanted to tell a story that sympathizes with kids whose parents are divorced, and is simultaneously a fun, sparkly romp. Almost every kid is going to know someone whose parents split up, but you don’t realize how that situation impacts every aspect of your life unless you’ve actually lived it. It’s not unusual to have divorced parents, but it can be complicated for a kid to try to express what it’s like. I hope this book will encourage kids to actually talk about it with people they trust.
Saniya: I love the message, it’s so sweet.
3. The cover is so pretty! What was the cover design process like?
Tori: I’m incredibly happy with how the cover turned out—honestly it was the most daunting part of making the book! I feel confident drawing sequential art (like comics), but struggle sometimes with composing static illustrations. So, naturally, I started by enthusiastically staring at graphic novel covers on Pinterest. Next, I walked around my neighborhood and tried to visualize the coolest possible cover for Just Pretend. Daydreaming is a crucial, foundational step to any illustration. Then I drew a whole bunch of thumbnail sketches and showed about a dozen of my favorites to the team at my publisher, and they preferred this concept out of all the options. I think it’s perfect, and I love the fonts and the background color that the design team landed on.
Saniya: It’s so cool that you illustrated the cover yourself!
4. If I may ask, could you please describe the storyline of Just Pretend in emojis?
5. Lastly, what do you hope young readers will take away from your novel?
Tori: If kids read Just Pretend and then spend some time creating something of their very own, whether that’s through writing or drawing or a fully embraced daydream, then I’d be so happy. Making things is its own kind of magic.
Saniya: That’s such a heart warming message, I love it!
About The Author
Tori Sharp is a Seattle-based author-illustrator and swing and blues dancer with a BFA in sequential art from SCAD. You can find her online at www.noveltori.com and on Twitter @noveltori. Just Pretend is her debut graphic novel.
Add Just Pretend to goodreads here!
Thank you once again Ms. Sharp for taking the time out of your busy schedule to answer some of my questions, and thank you all for reading! Have a fabulous day everyone!