Sunday, June 4, 2017

Augusta Scattergood

Augusta Scattergood is a former librarian turned book reviewer turned middle-grade author. Her books include Glory Be and The Way to Stay in Destiny.

Her latest book is Making Friends with Billy Wong.

From Scattergood's Q&A with Deborah Kalb:

Q: How did you come up with the idea for your most recent book, Making Friends with Billy Wong?

A: The town I grew up in had a large number of grocery stores run by Chinese Americans. That didn’t seem at all unusual to me!

Then I read an essay by one of my high school friends about what it felt like to grow up there as a young Chinese American during the Civil Rights era. It was powerful. When I read it, I felt there was a story and a history to share with middle-grade readers.

Q: You tell the story from the perspectives of two characters, Azalea and Billy. Why did you decide to tell Billy's story in verse?

A: Billy’s chapters are more poetic than poetry! They are letters, lists, notes. I worked so hard on those pieces and I hope they give a sense of what Billy’s world was like.

I relied heavily on my friends for advice, for their own words. But it was hard to capture the southern voice of a Chinese boy in straight narrative. Then one day I sat with a legal pad under a tree and started doodling, and Billy’s...[read on]
Learn more about the book and author at Augusta Scattergood's website and blog.

The Page 69 Test: The Way to Stay in Destiny.

The Page 69 Test: Making Friends with Billy Wong.

Writers Read: Augusta Scattergood (September 2016).

--Marshal Zeringue