Please help me welcome author Erin Dionne and her newest release, Moxie and the Art of Rule Breaking! Erin is the author of several fabulous middle grade novels, and I’m thrilled to shine the spotlight on her today! Stay tuned below to enter for a chance to win a copy of her new novel.
Moxie plans to have the most awesome summer ever, hanging out with her best friend Ollie before they go off to separate high schools in Boston. All that changes when a mysterious (and rather rude) redhead shows up at Moxie’s apartment asking for her grandfather. Moxie’s grandpa used to be a “made man,” though he claims only to have helped hide stuff in his years doing carpentry. Now he’s got Alzheimer’s and lives in a nearby assisted care facility. When The Redhead says Scully demands all his stuff back by the 4th of July “or else”, Moxie takes it upon herself to solve the mystery, which turns out to be priceless stolen art from a Boston museum. Moxie and Ollie work together to solve the mystery and find the hidden art, but time is running out and The Redhead isn’t playing nice. Fun mystery that had me rooting for Moxie all the way!
Spotlight on Erin Dionne:
I love Moxie’s spunk and the adventure she and Ollie embark on – even if they are scared. She’s determined to solve this mystery because of the great love she has for her family. How did this story come about? What was the initial spark for Moxie and her story?
I’m so glad that you enjoy these characters! This story came together from a few different places. The main catalyst, of course, is the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum art heist itself. I moved to Boston after the theft took place, and so from the first time I visited the museum, the spots on the wall where the paintings hung were empty. That sight–the empty frames hanging there, fine threads of canvas still stuck to the sides–has stayed with me for years. I knew I had to write about it. From there, it was a matter of coming across a character and a scenario that would comprise a book. I *thought* about the book for a long time before I started writing it.
Boston and art and geocaching play big parts in the story. How much research did you have to do for Moxie and the Art of Rule Breaking? (Great title, by the way!)
I did oodles of research, all of which was really interesting and a lot of fun. I’d never geocached (GPS-coordinate based urban treasure hunting), so I had to learn all about that (I used geocaching.com a lot!). I had to learn about not only the Gardner heist (which you can read about at http://www.gardnermuseum.org/resources/theft ), but art theft in general. I read a bunch of books, notably THE GARDNER HEIST, by Ulrich Boser, and STEALING REMBRANDT by Anthony Amore (Director of Security at the Gardner) and Tom Mashberg. There’s also a great documentary film about the Gardner theft, entitled “Stolen,” which was super helpful. Lastly, although I have lived just outside of Boston for two decades, there was still research that I needed to do to detail some of the landmarks in the story. – So glad you like the title! It took us a while to come up with it. 🙂
I’m guessing you are very familiar with the city of Boston. What’s your favorite spot and why?
Great question! I have lots of favorite places–Fenway Park, the Public Garden, Faneuil Hall–but I think the place that most encapsulates Boston for me is Copley Square. It’s bordered by the Boston Public Library (*such* an institution and beautiful to look at), Trinity Church, and the Hancock Tower. There’s a big fountain, a park, and it’s the finish line of the marathon. It’s a singularly Boston place, made all the more powerful by the tragedies that happened there this year. You can see my “tour” of Copley here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eob8JtPCzR0)
Erin lives outside of Boston, where she writes, reads, teaches, and juggles family life. Her latest book, Moxie and the Art of Rule Breaking (Dial Books) is a race-against-the-clock adventure set in Boston. Her other three novels for tweens have been called “smart with heart.”
Erin has two young kids, so she writes most of her books in her local coffee shop or local library. She’s also an associate professor of Liberal Arts at Montserrat College of Art in Beverly, Massachusetts. When she’s not writing or teaching, she’s having dance parties with her kids, spending time with her husband, or managing the expectations of their disgruntled family dog.
Win a copy of Moxie and the Art of Rule Breaking! Just follow these rules to enter the drawing:
1. Comment on this post, and for fun, tell me what your favorite city is and why. It’s hard for me to choose since I love so many cities, Tokyo and Paris come to mind, but if I have to be absolutely honest, my favorite city in the world is New York – for the fabulous food (hot dogs, fine dining, chocolate, etc.!), great shopping, the Broadway musicals, the hustle and bustle, Central Park, etc.
2. Leave your comment and email address by midnight EST Friday, July 26th. The lucky winner will be drawn at random and announced here on Tuesday, July 30th.
3. Entrants must have a U.S. or Canada mailing address.
Thanks for stopping by! Good luck and happy reading!