Interview with Sybil Nelson

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Favorite television show? So You Think You Can Dance

 

Chocolate or Vanilla? Vanilla

 

Cats or dogs? Cats

 

Favorite superhero? Rogue

 

Can you tell us about your book, Priscilla the Great?

 

Priscilla is a quirky 12 year old tomboy who is still in touch with her feminine side. One day she discovers that she can shoot fire out of her fingers along with a few other enhancements. She knows this isn’t normal so she and her genius best friend have to discover why she suddenly has these powers.

There are currently 6 books in the series. Do the books follow a storyline throughout the series or could they be read individually?

 

Books one through five definitely follow a storyline. There are also a few short stories that can be read out of order like Priscilla the Great Versus the World, Priscilla the Great Vampire Slayer, and Twin Shorts. I’ve also released a prequel to the series that is from the point of view of Marco. Book two of that series will be out shortly.

How did you come up with the series?

It’s a funny story actually. Priscilla the Great was originally going to be called The Adventures of PMS Girl about a girl who got superpowers along with her first period. I just thought it would be cool for your period to being you something besides cramps and cravings. But then a major publishing company sent me through three edits and convinced me to take out the whole period angle.

Why did you want to write a middle grade series?

I never thought I would write for middle grade. Let’s just say middle school was not the best time of my life. But the character of Priscilla just popped in my head and wouldn’t leave me alone until I wrote the story.

Can we assume you love superheroes?

Oh, definitely.  I was obsessed with everything sci-fi when I was growing up. My favorite was XMen. I think my first crush might have been Gambit.

What has been the best compliment you’ve received about the series?

I used to think the best compliment was having Priscilla the Great called a cross between Percy Jackson and iCarly. But I have gotten a lot more heartfelt compliments since then.  For example, this is part of a review for Vampire Slayer:

 

” For an author to get an 11-year old reader (who also has an interest in computergames, iPOD’s and online chatting with her friends) so engaged is an achievement in itself. It is because of books like these that we can instill a love for reading in our children and I commend the author for this.”

Two of your students inspired you to write about Priscilla. How on earth did they make you think of a 12-year-old girl who could shoot fire from her hands?

They inspired her personality and her look. Helen would come in to class every day with some ridiculous story about something that happened to her. One of her stories about armpits became the basis for Vampire Slayer. It’s pretty funny.

What’s next for you? Is there more in store for Priscilla and friends or will you be moving on to a different project?

I’m currently working on the next saga in the Priscilla the Great series. It’s an episodic adventure called The Alien Chronicles.

Is there anything you would like to say to your fans?

Just that I have the best fans in the world and I love them all!

 

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