Sunday, May 19, 2013

Blog Tour & Interview: Gadget Girl (Suzanne Kamata)

Gadget Girl: The Art of Being Invisible by Suzanne Kamata
Publication: May 17th 2013
Genre: YA Contemporary

Aiko Cassidy is fourteen and lives with her sculptor mother in a small Midwestern town. For most of her young life Aiko, who has cerebral palsy, has been her mother's muse. But now, she no longer wants to pose for the sculptures that have made her mother famous and have put food on the table. Aiko works hard on her own dream of becoming a great manga artist with a secret identity. When Aiko's mother invites her to Paris for a major exhibition of her work, Aiko at first resists. She'd much rather go to Japan, Manga Capital of the World, where she might be able to finally meet her father, the indigo farmer. When she gets to France, however, a hot waiter with a passion for manga and an interest in Aiko makes her wonder if being invisible is such a great thing after all. And a side trip to Lourdes, ridiculous as it seems to her, might just change her life.
Gadget Girl began as a novella published in Cicada. The story won the SCBWI Magazine Merit Award in Fiction and was included in an anthology of the best stories published in Cicada over the past ten years.

Five-time Pushcart Prize nominee Suzanne Kamata is the author of the novels Gadget Girl: The Art of Being Invisible (GemmaMedia, 2013) and Losing Kei (Leapfrog Press, 2008), and editor of three anthologies - The Broken Bridge: Fiction from Expatriates in Literary Japan, Love You to Pieces: Creative Writers on Raising a Child with Special Needs, and Call Me Okaasan: Adventures in Multicultural Mothering (Wyatt-Mackenzie Publishing, 2009). Her short fiction and essays have appeared widely. She is the Fiction Co-editor of

What gave you the inspiration to write this book?

Ever since my daughter was small, I’ve dreamed of taking a trip with her to Paris. She has cerebral palsy, and I’ve written about her in essays and stories. I thought, what if one day she doesn’t want me to write about her anymore? The mother in the story is a sculptor who makes sculptures of her daughter. When the daughter, Aiko, is about fourteen, she decides that she doesn’t want to be her mother’s model anymore. 

Who is your favorite character in the book?

Aiko, the main character. She’s not perfect, but she’s willing to work hard for what she wants!

Which came first, the title or the novel?

Definitely the novel. I always struggle with titles.

What scene in the book are you most proud of, and why?

Hmmm. Maybe the scene in the restaurant? When this story first occurred to me, I pictured a mother and daughter, with a disability, having dinner in a restaurant in Paris and trying to bond. I rewrote that scene many times. I don’t know it it’s the scene I’m most proud of, but it’s one of my favorites.

Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you’ve learned as a writer from then to now?

I’ve learned to trust the process. In the middle of writing a story, I often lose my confidence, but I know that if I keep going I’ll figure out a way to finish the story and make it better. I’ve also learned that patience is important. And that you can’t please everybody.

What do you like most about the cover of the book?

Ooh, I love everything about it! I love the bold colors, the font, the suggestion of mystery, and the humor of the gadgets. 

What new release book are you looking most forward to in 2013?

Can I name two? ;-) I’m very excited about the verse novel The Language Inside by Holly Thompson, which features poetry and Cambodian dance and romance and other good stuff. I’m also looking forward to Jet Black and the Ninja Wind, by Leza Lowitz and Shogo Oketani, about a hapa female ninja in modern-day Japan. I’ve read excerpts of this in various books and magazines over the years, and I’ve loved it. I’m so glad it’s finally being published as a book in October!

What was your favorite book in 2012?

Again, can I name more than one? I loved Time Between Us by Tamara Ireland Stone and The Whole Story of Half a Girl by Veera Hiranandani. Also, The Jade Notebook by Laura Resau and Beth Kephart’s Small Damages.

What’s up next for you?

I’m revising a baseball story set in Japan for middle grade readers. I’m also working on a mother/daughter travel memoir, which involves robots and Hello Kitty, and a sequel to Gadget Girl, which will be set in Japan. 

Is there anything that you would like to add?

Please read my book! ;-) If you don’t want to buy it, ask your library to buy a copy! And if you like it, tell your friends!

Thanks so much for having me on your blog!!!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for featuring Gadget Girl on your blog!!