Friday, November 14, 2008

What's Fresh with Leslie Margolis's Boys Are Dogs

Middle-school boys act like wild animals.

That’s what Annabelle discovers on her first day in her brand-new life. Birchwood Middle School is totally different from her old all-girls elementary. In fact, lots of things in Annabelle’s life are totally different now that she’s back from summer camp. There’s mom’s new boyfriend, a new house, new friends—even a new puppy that likes to chew on Annabelle’s clothes. Well, at least the puppy comes with a leash and a training manual! If only she could say the same for the boys . . .

Featuring Annabelle’s hilarious take on friendship, boys, and her all-new life, this novel / survival guide perfectly captures the joy—and agony—of junior high school. And it might just teach you how to tame the wildest beast of all, the teenage boy.

Hello Leslie, thank you for sharing on YA Fresh! Could you please tell us a little about your writing background and how you made your first sale?

Leslie: Before I sold my first novel, I wrote freelance. I did a bit of magazine writing, and ghost wrote for a couple of popular mystery series. (I'm not allowed to reveal which ones.) I also wrote a bunch of movie novelizations, under a pen name. Eventually, I sold two young adult novels to Simon & Schuster.

FIX came out in October, 2006. It's about two teenage sisters, in Los Angeles, dealing with issues related to plastic surgery.

Price of Admission is about Jasmine Green, a seventeen-year-old, who writes a screenplay about her dysfunctional family, which accidentally gets sold to her movie-producer father. He's no idea that Jasmine wrote the screenplay, or that it's all about their life.

They sound great! Readers and writers often like to get a behind the scenes peek of an author's writing routine. It would be great if you could please share your typical writing day schedule.

Leslie: My typical schedule is extremely unglamorous. I work at a writer's space in Brooklyn. Most days, I write first thing in the morning, until I'm exhausted. Often, I spend afternoons or evenings editing whatever it is I wrote. And when I get stuck, I take my dog for a walk. (I walk her when I don't get stuck, as well.)

Please tell us about your latest novel Boys Are Dogs and what we can expect from your characters.

Leslie: BOYS ARE DOGS was published by Bloomsbury in September. It's about a sixth grader, named Annabelle Stevens, who uses puppy-training techniques to tame the troublesome boys in her life.

What's up next? Do you have another project in the works? If so,please tell us about it.

Leslie: Yes. I'm currently revising GIRLS ACTING CATTY, the second novel in the Annabelle Stevens series. In it, Annabelle has a hard time with some mean girls at school, and finds that her new problems are too complex for simple puppy-training techniques.

Thanks for sharing with us, Leslie! Would you like to close with a writing tip?

Leslie: Write what you love, not what you think will sell. And read as much as possible.

Leslie Margolis is the author of Fix, Price of Admission and Boys Are Dogs. She grew up in Los Angeles, California and now live in Brooklyn, New York. Visit her website,

4 fresh comments:

HeatherMarie said...

Sounds like a great book. :) I remember reading the review about this in PW. And you know, some dog training techniques do work on boys. I used to be able to get my boyfriend to stop annoying me using the same little noise that Cesar Millan uses to get dogs to stop bad behavior. It worked until he watched Cesar's show and caught on to what I was doing. lol

Jessica Burkhart said...

I'll add that to my list! :)

Micol Ostow said...

Hooray for Leslie! Can't wait to read the book! Great title, and great cover, too!

TinaFerraro said...

I love the premise of this book and will look for it, too!