Let the launch party (and book giveaway) begin. FOOTER DAVIS PROBABLY IS CRAZY is here.

This week it’s our great pleasure to introduce you to Footer Davis Might Be Probably Is Crazy. It’s funny, it’s got heart and it has characters that feel so real that if I met them at the grocery store, I’d just think, “Huh, there’s Footer and Peavine” and wave. To introduce this fabulous book, we have an interview with author Susan Vaught.

Footer Davis Cvr

One of the things that I loved about Footer Davis Might Be Probably Is Crazy is that there’s a strong visual component. In between the narration, we see copies of Footer’s homework, some of her drawings, interviews from her friend Peavine’s notebook, Footer’s lists, photos, emails, all kinds of stuff. All of which is really fun. Is this how you imagined the book from the start? Or is this something that developed as you went along?

Susan: This was how the book started! Before I had any other piece of the story, I made the drawing of the doodelbug and that homework sheet involving how Bugtussle–the town in the story–got its name. Footer’s voice came to me as I worked through that, a strong, funny girl who wanted to draw, loved to draw, really really STUNK at making art, but insisted on doing it anyway! After that, I just drew out or photographed or created any little bit of the story that Footer would want illustrated. Perhaps the funniest moment came when I decided to make a photo of the mysterious shoe in the woods, and I swiped my son’s tennis shoe for the picture. I can still remember his confused, worried voice following me out the door: “Mom, that’s my shoe. Hey, Mom, where are you taking my shoe? Have you lost your mind? Moooo-ooommm . . . !”

Hey, Mom?

Hey, Mom?

Was the title of this book always Footer Davis Might Be Probably Is Crazy? If not, whose idea was that very funny title? And who is responsible for this fabulous cover design?

Susan: I never get keep my original titles, so no. My lame initial title was, The Bugtussle Chronicles: Serial Killers Don’t Wear Plaid. I’ll have to give my brilliant editor, Sylvie Frank, credit for the very funny and much better version. The cover design belongs to John Hendrix. I loved it the moment I saw it!

Now, the book’s quirky inner art and sketches–the things Footer draws herself–were done by Jennifer Reinhardt, who was given the impossible task of drawing like an 11 year-old who can’t draw! 🙂

Something that I love about this book is the wholeness of the characters. Too often, when I’m reading a book that deals with difficult issues, I feel like the characters can become these cardboard cutouts, kind of role players who are just there so that the author can educate me on something they apparently feel I need to be educated about. It makes me a little cranky, because I suddenly start feeling like I’m reading a pamphlet in a doctor’s office instead of a story. And I signed up for a story.

Footer Davis Might Be Probably Is Crazy deals with all sorts of difficult things. It’s also hilarious. And the characters felt like real human beings to me. It’s life—funny, sad, happy, scary, everything all jumbled together and we’re watching the characters try to make sense of it. Since most of the people who read this blog are writers, I wonder if you could talk briefly about how you go about creating these kinds of characters.

Susan: The first component in the realness of my characters is that many of them carry some bit of my own experience, or the experiences of people I’ve worked with over decades of being a mental health professional. “Write what you know” rings true to me in this respect, that knowing many family members and other people who have bravely faced struggles and kept right on living beautiful lives, gives me many ideas, and lends a touch of reality to characters in my story. The second and even larger component of writing characters, for me, is voice. I have to have the voice of a particular character to move forward, and I tend to write in first person, which allows me the reality of that character, and how that character perceives his/her world. That has benefits and drawbacks, for sure, but for me, it allows the character to have a life of their own as I’m working through the writing.

Susan Vaught

Susan Vaught

We’ll be celebrating Footer Davis Might Be Probably Is Crazy all week on Emu’s Debuts. To enter the drawing to win a free copy, please comment on any post this week.

And if you can’t wait that long, treat yourself to your own copy right now at Square Books Jr., The Flying Pig Bookstore, Barnes and Noble or at your own favorite bookstore.

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17 Comments

Filed under Book Launch, Celebrations

17 responses to “Let the launch party (and book giveaway) begin. FOOTER DAVIS PROBABLY IS CRAZY is here.

  1. The story of borrowing your son’s shoe and his reaction was priceless. A writer will do most anything for the sake of story, even risk being considered crazy. Great interview! Thanks. Wishing you much success.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wonderful interview! I love the characters’ names, the cover, the plot – and especially how the author has used her own experience in the mental health field to write the book in first person. Congratulations, Susan!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Susan Vaught

      Thanks! I keep a list of names I hear or names that occur to me that just scream *CHARACTER.* Hope you enjoy the story!

      Like

  3. What a great interview!!! I can’t wait to read Footer! How cool that you started from Footer’s drawings, etc! So interesting! Congratulations, Susan!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Susan Vaught

      I seriously wanted to be Da Vinici when I was four. That, or a ballerina. Sadly, I had no talent for either. And sadly for my family and friends, that lack of talent hasn’t stopped me from drawing OR dancing. The poor people in my life. I swear.

      Like

  4. tamaraellissmith

    Excellent interview, Susan and Mylisa!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. kevanjatt

    I’ve just started it! And when I did, I reread the opening sentence about a half dozen times trying to figure out the secret that made it sooooo good!

    So far two words come to mind about this book: funny and brilliant. And engaging. Okay, that’s three words.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Janet Fox

    This sounds like such a fun, fun book – just the kind of book I would have devoured as a kid. Congratulations on the launch and can’t wait to see it!!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. mariagianferrari

    An amazing interview, Mylisa! Thanks for asking such great questions, and thank you to Susan for writing such a funny and fabulous book!!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Congratulations, Footer Davis sounds very interesting. Especially since it draws from your experiences in the mental health field. I had to laugh, I think my kiddo would have reacted the same way if I tried to swipe a tennis shoe, should be a fun story.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. great post – can’t wait to read Footer Davis. I love the anecdote about the shoe… and the doodle-buggy homework.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I can’t wait to read the words and see the pictures! I love your example of a book shouldn’t be a pamphlet!
    Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Very intriguing story line. The title and cover are perfect and I’m guessing the story is, too. Thanks for the great interview.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Susan Vaught

    Thank you all for the kind words. I’m so glad Footer’s out in the world!

    Like

  13. Lindsey Lane

    Love this interview. Thank you for taking us inside Footer Davis. I’m intrigued!

    Like

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