We’ve all had those moments, when we’ve made a whimsical wish knowing that it won’t come true, but are secretly hope that it does anyway. But what if on one of those days, the wish…does come true? Kim Tomsic was kind enough to send us an advanced copy of The 11:11 Wish, and answer questions in our interview below.
In the book,Megan is having trouble fitting in as a new student in middle school from day one after she is “zapped” by a classmate as she arrives in the office. A new student hazing of sorts, Megan needs to plan something exciting by the end of the day. Feeling lost, the memory of a rhyme her grandmother once recited while wishing on a cat clock comes back to her as she notices the same type of clock in her classroom. One wish leads to another and before she knows it, Megan is in way over her head!
The 11:11 Wish tells the timeless struggles of going through middle school, while taking on a modern, fanciful feel. Middle grade readers will definitely be able to relate to the characters and picture themselves in the novel. Read below to hear from Kim Tomsic.
3 Questions about The 11:11 Wish
Is Megan’s character based at all off of your middle school experience? My father was in the military, so I spent much of my life as the new girl, which felt fine when I was younger, but not so fine when I moved from Texas to a new school in Arizona. Somewhat like Megan’s experience of moving two weeks after the start of her seventh-grade school year, my move happened three weeks after my freshman year of high school. Yep, school had already begun which made for one tough experience! Everyone already had their friend groups, and I spent my time worrying that I’d be sitting alone at lunch. I’m not sure why that felt like it would be the worst thing in the world, but the thought of everyone seeing me sit by myself felt humiliating. The funny thing is, now I can’t remember who I ate with during those first few months or why the idea of people seeing me eat alone mattered. I have no problem sitting by myself now, but that experience serves me today as a reminder to reach out to someone in case they feel awkward or alone.
The problems that Megan faced have been problems kids have faced in middle school for years and years. What research did you need to do to make her experience authentic and realistic in current times?
My research came from having a front row seat to the inside skinny with my kids—I was a good listener when I carpooled my children and their friends to school, to soccer, to dance, to the mall, to lunch, to anywhere! Furthermore, I was an active volunteer at their school. My main character Megan has a “wenis” incident in the story; well, a “wenis” is something my son came home from school laughing about. He thought it was the funniest thing he’d ever heard. Megan’s worry that she might be dressed like a forest ranger—I swear I heard those very words from my daughter’s own lips. Many of the funny moments in the story contain a kernel of real life.
What was the inspiration for your book? Do you personally own a cat clock?
When I grew up, my family had cats but never a cat clock. Oh, how I loved those clocks, especially the ticking-tocking eyes and moving tail, so fun and whimsical! The notion of saving my money and purchasing a cat clock didn’t even occur to me, because it felt untouchable, like an item too magical to own.
As an adult, my niece and my daughter loved to announce that it was time to wish whenever the clock (any clock) ticked to 11:11. That’s when the idea struck me—I needed to write a book about wishing at 11:11, and naturally the magic had to be leveled by the magical cat clock of my memories.
You’ll be happy to know that after I turned in my final edits for The 11:11 Wish, I made a special celebration purchase: One authentic black and white Kitty-Cat Clock!
3 Questions about You
If you weren’t a writer, what would you want to be and why?
I love this question and the possibilities that spring to mind. I think my answer changes every week. This week’s answer: if I weren’t a writer, I’d study to become an illustrator! I love to sketch and draw, and though I only have minimal skills, it’s satisfying to take out my colored pencils and watch a shape take life. I find it fascinating when I go to a conference and listen to an illustrator give a presentation about the artistic choices he or she made to produce magic in their art. Professional illustrators are true wizards and I’m awed by their craft.
What is one book that has stuck with you since you’ve read it?
I recently read an advance copy of a book releasing in June, 2018 called The Boy, The Boat, and the Beast by Samantha M. Clark. I found the book similar to Hatchet meets The Wizard of Oz. I can’t stop thinking about how it all comes together in the end.
What is one item in your fridge that tells us about you?
Hmmmm, probably my tangerine LaCroix—I don’t mind being bubbly!
Kim’s upcoming events…
Tuesday, 5 June 2018
|nErDcampKS 2018 Hesston, Kansas
The Storymamas review board books, picture books, chapter books and middle grade novels. The majority of the books we review on our site and social media are purchased from a bookstore or checked out from the library. However, at times when we receive Advanced Readers Copies of books from authors, illustrators, publishers, or publicists we will note that in our review of a book. We are not and have not been compensated for our reviews. For every review, all opinions are our own regardless of how we received the book.