Hi, all, Sher here with a guest post from Stephanie Faris, author of 30 Days of No Gossip. We’re joining Shannon Messenger’s Marvelous Middle Grade Monday blog hop this week, so please join us for the interview in which Stephanie talks to her main character, Maddie Evans. First, take a look at the cover. One girl looks a little embarrassed, and the other looks like she’s scheming. Familiar?
Can a middle school gossip queen change her ways, or will she lose her BFF for good? Find out in this M!X original novel.
Maddie Evans prides herself on being the gossip queen of Troy Middle School. She is the first person her classmates go to when they need the latest news on the ins-and-outs of TMS—and Maddie never disappoints.
Her best friend since birth, Vi, isn’t crazy about Maddie’s penchant for passing on rumors, but it’s never been an issue in their friendship. Until the day Maddie lets slip who Vi is crushing on—in front of her crush.
Vi is furious, and she confronts Maddie with an ultimatum: no gossip for 30 days, or twelve years of sisterhood goes down the drain.
I’m going to turn the time over to Stephanie now for a little background information and the interview. Go, Steph!
In 30 Days of No Gossip, Maddie Evans has a bit of a gossip habit. All of her friends love the fact that she always knows what’s going on, but her best friend Vi thinks it’s a problem. When Maddie takes it a step too far one day, Vi wants to walk away from their friendship. The only way they can repair things is if Maddie promises to go without gossiping for 30 full days. If she fails, her friendship with Vi is over for good.
Recently I met up with Maddie over milkshakes at her favorite ice cream shop to learn a little more about her. Since I tend to gossip from time to time myself (who doesn’t?), it was fun to hear her perspective on things.
Thank you for meeting with me today, Maddie. I won’t be asking you to gossip, don’t worry.
(Laughs.) That’s okay. A little gossip never hurt anyone, as long as it’s positive.
What’s this “30 days of no gossip” challenge? What happened that made your friend dare you to stop gossiping?
My best friend Vi got mad at me because I told this guy she liked him. I thought I was helping, but apparently she didn’t see it that way. She said I have a gossiping problem.
I didn’t think I did at the time. I mean, I knew I gossiped and all, but I didn’t think it was really a problem.
I hear you published a gossip newspaper that you handed out to people at school.
Yes, the Troy Tattler. It told everyone at my school, Troy Middle School, what was going on with people in our grade. It was all in fun, but I can see now how it might hurt some people.
How did you stop yourself from gossiping?
It wasn’t easy and, believe me, I had a few slip-ups. But I couldn’t give up my friendship with Vi. She’s always been such a good friend to me. Plus, she’s right. When you say bad things about people, even if they can’t hear them, you’re hurting them. I just have to think about how I’d feel if someone was saying bad things about me behind my back and it makes me think twice about doing that myself.
How are you doing with gossip now?
That’s the thing. She dared me to stop for 30 days, but it’s more about learning to be nicer to people in general. You can talk about people—that’s part of life—but if you’re just trying to make yourself feel better by saying bad things about others, it just makes you look worse.
Thank you to Maddie Evans for talking to us today. If you want to learn a little more about her, pick up a copy of 30 Days of No Gossip.
Stephanie Faris knew she wanted to be an author from a very young age. In fact, her mother often told her to stop reading so much and go outside and play with the other kids. After graduating from Middle Tennessee State University she somehow found herself working in information technology. But she never stopped writing. When she isn’t crafting fiction, Stephanie is indulging her gadget geek side by writing for online technology sites. She lives in Nashville with her husband.
Sher again with a few closing words to tweens, teens, and anyone who has ever said or heard something hurtful said behind another person’s back. I remember my teenage years believe it or not. My older sister told me how much she disliked one guy after he called me a bookworm in junior high. Even though I was a bookworm and wouldn’t mind the nickname now, my sister knew it wasn’t a complement, and she came to my defense. I think it’s important for everyone who ever hears such gossip to stand up for the person being degraded. You can do it. And it would help if you read 30 Days of No Gossip.
If you have a minute, please leave a comment before you go hopping off to the other MMGM posts. Thanks for visiting!