Synopsis:THE CHALLENGE: Piper has one month to get a paying gig for Dumb—the hottest new rock band in school.
THE DEAL: If she does it, she'll become manager of the band and get her share of the profits, which she desperately needs since her parents raided her college fund.
THE CATCH: Managing one egomaniacal pretty boy, one talentless piece of eye candy, one crush, one silent rocker, and one angry girl who is ready to beat her up. And doing it all when she's deaf. With growing self-confidence, an unexpected romance, and a new understanding of her family's decision to buy a cochlear implant for her deaf baby sister, Piper just may discover her own inner rock star.
Hi Antony, thank you for being here. Could you tell us a little bit about yourself and your upcoming novel Five Flavors of Dumb?
Hi Lisa! I’m a YA author and full-time stay-at-home dad. I used to teach music at university, so music has always been a big part of my life. (Specifically, I was a composer.) When I switched careers and became a YA author, I was determined to write a book about music. FIVE FLAVORS OF DUMB is the result!
I really enjoyed FIVE FLAVORS OF DUMB, was it tough to write a book about the deaf?
You know that saying “Ignorance is bliss”? Well, I think that applies to DUMB. When my wife suggested that I write about music from the perspective of a deaf person, I thought: “Yeah. Great idea. I should totally do that.” If I’d known how complicated deafness is, I might have changed my mind.
See, people think that losing your hearing is sort of like losing your sight. You just get a pair of glasses and you have 20/20 vision again. Only, a hearing aid rarely recaptures ALL lost hearing. Depending on the severity of the deafness, it may only enable the wearer to hear a fraction of all the sounds around us. I found all this out from talking to deaf people, audiologists, sign language teachers, etc. But getting it right in the book was another challenge entirely . . .
Above all, I had to imagine what it would be like to experience music not just as something heard, but as something felt. I was a professional musician before I began writing, and so I have a lot of knowledge about what makes music work the way it does. I couldn’t assume Piper would know what I know, or feel the same way about music as I do. Because of that, yes, it was tough to get inside her head; but it also gave me a real appreciation for the awesome physical power of music.
I imagine having your book published is exciting, how has the process been for you?
A dream. I began writing when I became a stay-at-home dad, mostly as a creative outlet to take the place of music. But then BUSTED landed me an agent and a publisher. DUMB followed, and now I have five books coming out with Dial/Penguin over the next few years. To me, the best thing about being a published author is that it gives me the opportunity to continue writing. I literally have dozens of ideas for books, and the thought that I’ll be able to write them all one day is thrilling.
I have to admit that there’s nothing quite like connecting with readers, too. I always try to write back to anyone who drops me a note, because writing is a really solitary experience, and it’s beyond amazing to know that someone out there is reading my book and—gasp!—enjoying it enough to write to me.
If you could pick two characters from any two books and put them together (not necessarily for romantic reasons), who would you pick and what do you think might happen between them?
Katniss Everdeen and Bella Swan. Katniss would kick Bella’s butt, but not before telling her to get over herself already and ditch the sparkly guy. Seriously, how long would Bella have lasted in THE HUNGER GAMES?
Thanks for stopping by Antony! It was great to have you.
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Hi, I’m Lisa and I'm a proud bibliophile.
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