I used to be a lawyer, but I quit about two years ago to become an author. I’d wanted to write for years and was always frustrated that I didn’t have enough time. Toward the end, every day I had to spend not writing was slow torture. Finally, I couldn’t take it any more, and I decided I’d come to The New School to get my MFA in Writing for Children. Over the summer before school started, I found out that I’d sold my first book, Wuftoom! So it looks like I made the right choice. Wuftoom is about a 12-year-old boy who’s slowly turning into a disgusting worm-like creature. As he changes, he learns about the underground world of the Wuftoom and their enemies, the Vitflys, and he has to figure out where he fits in. It’s a little bit scary, but also a little bit fun and fun-gross. Hopefully it also has a lot of heart.
What is your favourite thing about writing?
I can do it in my pajamas. Just kidding. My real favorite thing is that it can take me absolutely anywhere. As a writer, I’m only limited by the size of my imagination. There’s no other job where everything that you want to happen, happens.
What is one thing you'd like your readers to take away from your book(s)?
I hope they’ll take away more than one thing. I’ve tried to make Wuftoom not just an adventure, but something deeper. I want people to ask questions like: Who are we really—our minds or our human bodies? What is it acceptable for us to do to protect our families or our friends? How can we learn to accept things about ourselves that we don’t like?
How do you balance storytelling with real life? Is there a line somewhere or do your realities get blurred?
It may seem like a funny question in relation to a fantasy book, but even fantasy books are usually, at their hearts, about regular people. I definitely get caught up in my characters! For some reason my characters end up in my hands. Evan is struggling with membranes pulling his hands closed, so I feel that!
Is there a dedication at the beginning of your book? Who did you dedicate it to and why?
The book is dedicated to my mom. Since this is my first book, I had to dedicate it to the person who’s done the most for me. She’s not only supported me through all my life choices, but she’s done it with a straight face. That’s a tall order. Thanks, Mom!
What will your next book be about?
My next book is a lighter-toned sci-fi called Escape From the Pipe Men! It’s about a couple of kids who have grown up in an alien zoo and go on an adventure across the universe. Watch for it in Spring 2013!
Who is your hero? Why?
I don’t believe in having heroes, and I feel pretty strongly about that. Everyone should be their own hero. But I do admire a lot of people. Anyone who has picked a life goal and gone after it has my respect.
You are stuck in a time loop. Do you a) try to brainstorm your way out of it b) be content knowing you'll live forever (even if they are the same moments over and over again) or c) none of the above (in which case you would...)?
How long is the time loop? I’d definitely try B for a while if it’s long enough to go find a good book and read it!
Is there a Y.A. novel you wish YOU wrote?
Feed by M.T. Anderson. It’s the perfect blend of science fiction and emotion—a very realistic portrayal of both the way the world could be in the future and how people are right now.
If you could live in any time period (other than the current one) which one would you choose?
The future! Freeze me and bring me back in, say, 300 years. I can’t wait to find out what’s going to happen!
What was the last thing you ate? Did you enjoy it?
A Braeburn apple. Mmm mmm!
What advice would you give your teen readers about life?
Watch where you’re walking so you don’t step in something gross.
Thank you for sharing, Mary! Here is some more information about Mary and Wuftoom:
Everyone thinks Evan is sick … Everyone thinks science will find a cure. But Evan knows he is not sick, he is transforming. Evan’s metamorphosis has him confined to his bed, constantly terrified, and completely alone. Alone, except for his visits from the Wuftoom, a wormlike creature that tells him he is becoming one of them.
Clinging to his humanity and desperate to help his overworked single mother, Evan makes a bargain with the Vitflies, the sworn enemies of the Wuftoom. But when the bargain becomes blackmail and the Vitflies prepare for war, whom can Evan trust? Is saving his humanity worth destroying an entire species, and the only family he has left?
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Mary G. Thompson was raised in Cottage Grove and Eugene, Oregon. She was a practicing attorney for more than 7 years, including almost 5 years in the U.S. Navy, before moving to New York to write full time. She attended Boston University and the University of Oregon and will graduate from The New School Writing for Children Program in 2012.
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Official website: www.marygthompson.com
Don't forget to enter this month's giveaway for a chance to win an Advance Reader's Copy of Wuftoom, signed by Mary!
This post was part of my New Year's Signature Collection event.
Watch out for more guest posts, lists, reviews of January releases, author interviews, and more throughout January.