Friday, May 6, 2011


by Debbie Sue Bass Williamson
For ages 9-12
156 pages

ENTER TO WIN Journals of the Big Mouth Bass

~ Simply be a follower of this blog or become one! Then leave a comment to this post to add your name to the drawing. BE SURE TO ADD YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS SO I CAN CONTACT THE WINNER!

This giveaway will end on June 1st, 2011 The winner will be chosen by Random drawing from all valid entries submitted. The winner will be notified via email and will have up to 48 hours to contact me with their mailing address before another winner is chosen. Open world wide! No P.O Boxes please.

As a parent I’ve discovered many things about myself. One of which, is the fact that I truly love children’s literature. The best part of my day is story time. Every night before my children go to sleep, we spend time cuddling in my bed with a good book. Recently, story time has changed a bit. We have graduated from picture books such as The Very Hungry Caterpillar to chapter books like Harry Potter and the Magic Tree House Series. Therefore, when I was recently approached to review Journals of the Big Mouth Bass I was thrilled. I thought it would make a great addition to our story hour and I knew my children would like it.

And like it they did! In fact, we all fell in love with Debbie Bass; a sweet tomboy who not only has a hard time keeping secrets but dreams of someday becoming an astronaut. Journals of the Big Mouth Bass is a refreshing tale dealing with the growing pains of a 9 year old girl who hates her freckles, is experiencing her first crush and is learning some hard life lessons; “If a secret can hurt someone than it is bad.”

What I enjoyed most about this book is that it’s based on reality without all the cynicism that seems to prevail in popular children’s books today. (I’ve stated many times that I’m not fond of the recent trend in literature whose hero/heroine is a jaded adolescent who prides themselves on being disrespectful to their elders.) Furthermore, this book is more than your typical coming of age book. It also teaches a little about history. Since it takes place in 1963, we learned about the assassination of John F. Kennedy, astronauts landing on the moon and the dawning of feminism.

My 8 year old daughter deeply related to Debbie Bass.Every night she asked to read another chapter of Journals of the Big Mouth Bass. She couldn’t wait to find out what Debbie was going to do next.

I had the tremendous opportunity to interview the author of this wonderful book.
I would like to introduce you to Debbie Sue Bass Williamson:

Tell us a little about yourself:

I was born in SLC, UT. My family moved to Southern California when I was three. I grew up surfing and swimming in the ocean. I moved backed to Utah when I was in my late teens with my family. I have four children and eleven grandchildren. My husband Gary was the love of my life, my best friend and my inspiration for many things. I said goodbye to him after a year and a half long battle with cancer. Our journey together is one that will never end and is unforgettable. I now live in both Utah and California. I love to sail, garden, travel, golf and play in the ocean. Reading has always been my favorite pastime.

What was the inspiration for Journals of the Big Mouth Bass?

I wanted to share stories with children; I have always been a story teller. My husband was my inspiration for putting my stories into words on paper. He thought my journals were inspirational and had the idea to make them into a book. And Gary knew how much it meant to me to share.

Is the story based on your own childhood? If so, what is fact and what is fiction?

Yes the story is based on my childhood. While most of the stories are true I have added small bits to add to them. The party at the Reagan's is fact, Jessie is fact, the gang is fact, chopper is fact, the only fiction really is a few added parts. Most of the events are very close to the way my childhood happened.

Tell us about your writing process. Do you write every day?

No I don't write every day. I write in blocks of time when inspiration is there. It can be long days with small breaks for naps, sometimes minutes when something pops up or I can go for weeks with nothing. Writing has never been organized time or planned it just comes and I go with it. I have learned to let the frustration go and creativity will come. Writing for me is creating; I have to allow myself the space to create. Which means I need to be close to nature, in my garden or by the beach where I can feel the words come. My office has been great at times but my best writing has always come to me when I am outside.

What do you find is the hardest part about writing?

The grammar.... I am a story teller not a scholar.

Are you currently writing other books? If so, can you tell us anything about them?

Yes, I am writing the second half to STAND, my memoir. Stand was a difficult book for me, to share such dark parts of my life was not an easy task. The second half is going to be an emotional journey that will not only be difficult but I am certain will be my greatest journey after saying goodbye to Gary. I am also working on the third book of the series to Journals of The Big Mouth Bass.

What advice do you have for young authors?

• Well first piece of advice would be, don't get caught up in the grammar too much. I believe good writing is the ability to tell a story. There are many great editors, leave the grammar to them.
• Second, you need to believe in what you are doing and never give up. Anything is possible when you believe in it.
• Let your words flow, try not to force them. If you can find an inspirational place to go to the words will come.

Questions from my 8 year old daughter:
Who was your favorite author while you were growing up?

I didn't have a favorite author when I was a kid. I did have favorite books though.

What sorts of books did you read as a girl?

My favorite book was Robinson Crusoe. I also loved Moby Dick, Peter Pan and Gulliver's Travels.

Explain the meaning behind Chapter 5; Magic. Did this really happen or did Debbie make up the story for her journal?

This really happened; something's in life have no explanation. It is up to you to believe or not believe. This is the magic part of life and my favorite part...

Does Debbie ever grow up to be an astronaut?

That will be revealed in the last book of the series...

Enter to win Journals of the Big Mouth Bass! Giveaway ends June 1st, 2011. See above for details.

1 comment:

  1. My granddaughter would love this book.
    I would love to win it for her.
    She would be thrilled.

    cenya2 at hotmail dot com