Guest post: "The Story behind Diary of my Real Payne series," by Annie Tipton
My guest today is children's author Annie Tipton. She's here today to talk about the inspiration behind her middle-grade series, Diary of a Real Payne. She's currently touring the blogosphere with the National Writing for Children Center. Please give her a warm welcome!
I didn’t have a manuscript that I’d been polishing since I first penned it in college. I hadn’t gone through rounds and rounds of rejection letters from agents and publishers. No, what happened was that my boss came up with the concept of a series for 8–12-year-olds staring a lovable character named EJ Payne who lives in a small town but dreams of bigger and better things—Diary of a Real Payne, she called it. (Side note: I guess I can’t chalk the whole thing up entirely to fate. After all, I do work in the editorial department at a book publisher.) And when she pitched the idea in a meeting, I heard myself volunteering to write it. “Give me a chance,” I said. “I would love this opportunity.”
And she said yes.
So EJ and the rest of the Payne family started taking shape. And I knew they would be a family that looked a lot like mine: loving parents who “get” their kids; (mostly) good-natured sibling rivalry between EJ and her younger brother, Isaac; a deeply rooted faith that is the foundation on which the family to loves, lives, and grows. From the older sister/younger brother dynamic to the everyday antics of a girl who has such a vivid imagination that sometimes she doesn’t know what’s actually going on right in front of her, the stories are a slice-of-life that sometimes looks a lot like photos from my family albums.
There’s something so refreshing and so encouraging about a family dynamic that, though not perfect, is good and bursting with love. I know I am blessed to count those things as a part of my upbringing, and it’s an important part of what I hope to leave with readers of the Diary of a Real Payne series.
Title: Diary of a Real Payne Book 2: Church Camp Chaos
Genre: Fiction – Children / Juvenile
Author: Annie Tipton
Publisher: Barbour Publishing, Inc.
Purchase link: www.barbourbooks.com
ABOUT THE BOOK: In this second fabulous release in the Diary of a Real Payne series for 8- to 12-year-old girls, young readers will find themselves ROTFL as EJ ismore than ready to be done with Ms. “Picky” Pickerington, CoraLee McCallister, and fourth grade in general. Hello sunshine, hello 11th birthday party, hello free time, hello. . .CAMP! It’s EJ’s first summer to spend an entire week at Camp Christian: friends, swimming, bunk beds, games, campfires, s’mores, hiking, and even a gigantic zip line. In classic EJ form, she dreams up even more fantastic adventures for herself. It’s colossal fun and Church Camp Chaos for EJ fans!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Award-winning author Annie Tipton made up her first story at the ripe old age of two when she asked her mom to write it down for her. (Hey, she was just two—she didn’t know how to make letters yet!) Since then she has read and written many words as a student, newspaper reporter, author, and editor. A native of Wooster, Ohio, Tipton received a bachelor’s degree in Communications at Milligan College in Northeast Tennessee. She currently resides in New Philadelphia, Ohio.