20 Questions with Vikki Vansickle!!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

This is a brand new feature for the blog! This is where I ask publishing professionals (authors, marketers, and bloggers) some awesome questions!

Today I am happy to have Vikki Vansickle on the blog! She is the author of many Middle Garde books, and she is also a part of Penguin Random House Canada! Without further ado, here is Vikki!

1. Explain what part of the Publishing world you are a part of (ie. Publisher, Author, Blogger etc.)
Author (Summer Days, Starry Nights; Words That Start with B; Love is a Four-Letter Word; Days That End in Y)

Marketing & Publicity Manager for the Penguin Canada Young Readers program

Occasional blogger (I haven’t posted in a long time)

2. Who is your favourite author of all time, and why?
I cannot possibly narrow this list down, but Alice Munro, Kit Pearson, Meg Wolitzer, Cynthia Rylant, J.K. Rowling and E. Lockhart are in my top 10. All of these authors have created characters and phrases that have stuck with me as a reader.

3. Who would you chose to play you in the movie depicting your life?
Tina Fey

4. What was/is your favourite candy or snack from your childhood?
I ate so many Mars bars as a child I can barely stand them today. Now I’m more of a Twix girl.

5. Who is your favorite fictional character, and why?
Kiki Strike (the main character from Kirsten Miller’s The Bank Street Irregulars series) is the perfect teen sleuth (sorry, Nancy Drew!)…although Flavia de Luce (from Alan Bradley’s fantastic mystery series) is a very close second. Generally I prefer my protagonists prickly and smart.
6. Do you have a TV show that is your guilty pleasure? If so which one is it?
I cannot get enough of VEEP right now, but ask me this question in one week and I’ll be totally absorbed in Game of Thrones.

7. Do you have a bucket list? If she what is one item on that list?
I don’t have an official bucket list, but lately I’ve been itching to go to Berlin.

8. Are you a Mac or PC

9. Do you have a favourite fictional couple?
Do Mulder and Scully count?

10. What is your most anticipated movie you cannot wait to see, and why?
The Fault in Our Stars- not simply because the book is amazing, but I’m a long-time John Green fan and it’s so wonderful to see how the world is embracing his work.

11. What season is your favourite, and why?
Spring- the snow is melting, you can un-do your coat, patios open up and everyone is smiling again.

12. If you could do any profession, other than your own for a day, which would it be and why?
I would love to adapt my favourite books into HBO miniseries or write musicals for Disney.

13. Who was your first ever concert?
Sharon Lois & Bram

14. Where is your favourite reading spot, and why?
Bed. I have excellent pillows, there are few distractions, plus I get to cuddle with my cat at the same time. Multi-tasking!

15. Did you have a nickname as a child? If she what was it?
SO many- both my first and last name rhyme with everything; Sticky, Picky, Icky, Van Pickle, Van Nickel. . .if it rhymed, I heard it.

16. What posters did you hang on your wall when you were younger?
When I was very young I had this amazing painting of a candy factory hanging on my bedroom wall. All of the factory workers were different animals. It was very detailed and I remember staring at it and making up stories about who the animals were and what fun things they got up to in the candy factory as I fell asleep.

17. What is your favourite genre to read, and why?
Middle grade fiction is my favourite genre, but I also love contemporary YA, magical realism, big juicy family sagas, novels set during periods of historical strife and literary mysteries.

18. If you could describe yourself as a potato chip flavour, why would it be and why?
I prefer chocolate to chips, but I suppose Miss Vickie’s Original…classic, curly, and they have a GREAT name.

19. Do you agree with the notion that over time, ebooks will eliminate print books?
Nope- I think both will continue to exist side by side.

20. What book are you most looking forward to reading this year?
E Lockhart, Jandy Nelson and Meg Wolitzer have new YA novels that I’m eagerly awaiting, and over in the world of adult fiction Lee Henderson, Miriam Toews and Ann-Marie MacDonald have some exciting projects on the horizon. 

Books By Vikki


Brilliant. Best-ever. That was how grade seven was supposed to be, but so far things aren't turning out as well as Clarissa Delaney had planned. It's hard enough being the unexceptional daughter of a bona-fide beauty queen, but lately her best friend Benji can't seem to stand up for himself, Michael Greenblat keeps giving her strange gifts and Mattie Cohen, world-class goody-two-shoes, seems to think they are friends. Things can't possibly get any worse ... or can they?

In this year of surprises, you'll laugh as Clarissa takes on boys, bullies, and the one B word she can't bring herself to say.



Clarissa Delaney has never given the word love much thought, since she is worried about her mother's illness and losing her best friend Benji to a bunch of musical theatre nerds. But when she meets Michael, everything changes.

Clarissa tries to find her happily-ever-after in this clever, heartfelt follow-up to Love Is a Four-Letter Word!

One summer. That's all the time it takes to set your world spinning — or so Clarissa learns. Feeling abandoned by Mattie (camp), Benji (drama school), and even Michael (babysitting), Clarissa feels even more alone when her mother tells her she's marrying Doug. This announcement gets Clarissa thinking about her father, and her search for answers leads to her stumbling upon information about the secret teenage life of her mother, and more importantly, about Bill, her absentee father.

Will Clarissa be able to move beyond the past and take part in Annie's vision of the future? Happily ever after has never seemed so impossible.
A famous rock star, a family secret and a boy with a great smile make for one unforgettable summer.

It's 1962, and thirteen-year-old Reenie Starr comes alive the minute guests begin to arrive at her family's summer resort. She dreams of the day she can run Sandy Shores, and she spends her time helping out at the resort, swimming, climbing trees, and singing under the stars.

One day, Reenie's mother announces that she thinks the resort could use some entertainment. She invites Gwen, her best friend's almost-grown daughter, to come and teach a dance class. Although Gwen seems sad and remote, Reenie's thrilled to have her there.

As Reenie starts to learn more about the world beyond Sandy Shores, she comes up with a plan that could really put it on the map. She also finds herself caught between the simpler world of her childhood and all of the wonderful new discoveries (boys) and heartaches (boys) that growing up can bring. Reenie thought she wanted Sandy Shores to never change, but after this summer nothing will ever be the same again.

With the same humour and insight that she brought to the acclaimed Words That Start With B, Vikki VanSickle expertly captures those lazy, hazy, crazy days of the last summer before high school. Though set in a different time, Summer Days, Starry Nights is sure to resonate with all young readers on the verge of adolescence

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