Are YOU the middle of your sisters? No, I’m the oldest. Even so, I’ve experienced many of Joan’s feelings about her sisters. Both of my sisters are very lively and funny and energetic, and sometimes I just sit in a corner quietly and watch them entertain everyone with their jokes and interplay. They’re both active in the performing arts (school, community, and even semi-pro theater), while my creativity tends to find quieter outlets, like writing. At times they seem to have a special bond that occasionally make me feel a little like an outsider, as Joan does in Stuck in the Middle. And at other times, I feel a special bond with one or the other of them, depending on what we’re going through at the time. But at ALL times, the three of us are best friends.
What are some of the traits in the book (well, at least one) that is based on real life? Any scenes in there borrowed from real life? Our parents divorced when we were young, and like the Sanderson sisters, each of us have had to come to terms with that divorce, and how it has impacted our adult relationships. So that aspect is straight from real life, though my parents’ divorce wasn’t for the same reason as the one described in the book. And Gram’s quirky OCD traits are something my sisters and I all have to varying degrees, and tease each other about. Joan’s midnight mug-arranging episode is straight from real life. I have a thing about having coffee mugs all uniformly placed in the cabinet. I like their handles to all be facing the same way, and the matching ones have to all be grouped together. It drives me nuts if they get out of order or out of alignment! But this is better than I used to be. I used to carefully arrange them in pairs so the designs faced one another – so they could ‘talk’ to each other during the long lonely hours of the night! LOL! But I got over that. (Yeah, our quirks can be a little weird. You should hear some of my middle sister’s funny quirks!)
Have there ever been romantic rivalries between you and your sisters? My middle sister, Susie, is only 19 months younger than me, so we had a couple of instances growing up. The first happened when we were in junior high and starting to get interested in boys. Susie and I both had a crush on a guy who was exactly between our ages. He bounced back and forth between us for a while, and there were some hard feelings. But then he did something utterly repulsive, as all seventh grade guys will eventually do, and we got over him. Then when we were in high school I met my first serious boyfriend. He would come to visit, and we would sit in the formal living room with Mom popping in to check on us every so often (being a proper chaperone!). Susie would put on her cute little shorty pajamas and parade through the room to get a drink of water from the kitchen, the little flirt! We had some major blow-ups over that, and Mom finally had to step in. A couple of years after we broke up, that guy actually asked Susie out on a date. When she refused him, he asked my youngest sister Beth on a date! She didn’t go either, I’m happy to say.
Do your sisters enjoy your books? Either of them write too? Neither of my sisters write books, though both are school teachers so they do writing of a different kind. But they read everything I write, and they love my books. They’re so incredibly supportive, and between the two of them they’ve probably sold hundreds of copies because they tell everyone they know, “This is an awesome book! You’ve got to read it!” They’re both extremely excited about the Sister-to-Sister Series. They keep giving me suggestions for funny things to include, or traits to give the characters. Honestly, though, the Sanderson sisters aren’t completely based on any one of us. Instead, there are pieces of each of us in each of the Sanderson sisters.
I'd love to tell folks a little about your own sister-to-sister relationships during the tour! I’d love that, too! My sisters are the most incredible women I know, and I love them fiercely. We laugh together and cry together and support each other through everything in life. No matter what happens, I know there are two incredibly talented, beautiful women in this world who love me unconditionally and will always be there for me. As I will be for them!
You might also want to mention the giveaway contest I’m conducting to help promote this book. I’m giving away a $500 shopping spree, in the form of a Visa gift card. All they have to do is sign up for my eNewsletter. (And if they put your e-mail address down as the one that referred them, you get an extra entry in the drawing!)
Thank you so much, Kim! I can’t tell you how thrilled I am that you liked this book. (And isn’t the cover beautiful, too??? I think the publisher did an amazing job with it!)Visit Virginia's web site to enter your chance to win the $500 shopping spree! Here is the information!