Check out an author interview... The Rubber Band by Christy Hoss (Interview & #Giveaway) #middlegradefiction #middlegradebooks @celebrate_lit

Welcome! Check out an interview with the author and enter the tour giveaway below...

The Rubber Band
By Christy Hoss
Middle Grade Fiction
Paperback & ebook, 181 Pages
July 29, 2020 by Elk Lake Publishing, Inc.


THE RUBBER BAND What do Roadkill Rocky, Bossy Becca, and Pinhead Eddie have in common? Nothing. A rag-tag bunch of elementary school kids come together to form a rock and roll band and enter the Sun Valley talent contest. Will they be strong enough to overcome prejudice and see the dream of winning through, or will an unforeseen medical emergency break the bond of the band?

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What inspired you to write THE RUBBER BAND?

As a teacher, I watched a third-grade rock band perform “Born to be Wild” in a school talent show. I had so much fun enjoying their performance, I asked the Rubber Band to play at my 50th birthday party. I couldn’t shake the idea of what a great middle grade book this would make. Correcting papers one day, my eyes wandered to a forgotten rubber band on the floor. It was then I connected the dots to come up with the main premise for The Rubber Band of Eddie getting in trouble for shooting a rubber band at Becca, then sitting in the principal’s office and seeing the contest sign. I was an elementary school teacher for 12 years then quit to work as a substitute to support my writing career. I am unemployed now because of COVID. When I was working, I derived my characters and the outrageous situations from the many children I encountered over the years. It’s not hard to describe characters or choose them when I have yearbooks full of faces and stories, some of which actually happened to me.

Would you tell us a little more about the main characters?

Edison Taylor is the main character who narrates the book. He plays lead guitar in the band along with his fraternal twin Oliver who plays the keyboard. Together, they are in third grade with Bossy Becca Chang, a spoiled rich girl with a gold-buzzer voice and Emmanuel, Eddie’s best friend who plays the bass guitar. Eddie convinces the school bully, Roadkill Rocky Espinosa a fourth-grader who is never without drumsticks in his hands, to play the drums. They are a rag-tag bunch of culturally diverse children on a mission to win a talent contest despite their social differences.

Which character do you most relate to and why?

I relate to Eddie. We share a few things in common. He loves rock and roll music, strives to fulfill his dreams and lives with an incurable disease.

What one piece of advice/tip would you give?

Dare to dream big dreams and work hard to achieve them.

What part or aspect of this story do you love the most?

The aspect I love the most about this story without giving spoilers is the fact that these kids are willing to get over their differences and challenges for a common cause. They don’t care about their diversity. They just want to win the contest. Every rehearsal brings new challenges, and they face them head-on, sometimes reluctantly, but all for the sake of fulfilling their dream. Challenges bring out wisdom beyond their years that adults should pay attention to.

What challenged you about writing THE RUBBER BAND?

My biggest challenge was the fact I based the book on a school I taught at for ten years. I wasn’t sure how the tight knit community would feel. But so far, they are excited and happy I have fulfilled my dream of authorship. I have gotten nothing but good thoughts and comments from them and this small country town paper did a feature article on me to prove their support.

What’s one of your hobbies or something we might not know about you?

I was diagnosed with diabetes 31 years ago and my son was diagnosed when he was Eddie’s age. I have a diabetic alert service dog, Aiden who is with me 24/7 and smells my blood sugar dropping, alerting me before it becomes an emergency. I am learning to play the accordion, something my grandmother did with great joy.

What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

I’ve dreamed of being an author since I was in second grade. It’s fun to write, but hard work being an author. People will instantly think you are making loads of money. NOT! Writing is a God-given gift and unless you happen to hit the NYTimes bestselling list overnight, (and most authors on that list have put in their time and worked hard) you have to be willing to do the grunt work. Attend conferences, learn the craft. Write and rewrite. Write and rewrite! I can’t say it enough. Even after publishing a piece, you’ll still want to change it There is always room for improvement. Don’t judge yourself on another’s success or you’ll be discouraged. This is your personal journey. Enjoy the adventure.

When you reach for a book to read, what genre do you grab and what are some of your favorites in that genre?

I love reading middle grade because I can finish a book quickly. It’s a great way to escape the world and relax. It keeps me young at heart. I love finding a good middle grade series like The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street by Karin Yan Glaser. I absolutely loved the point of view voice in Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper.

What are you working on next?

The Rubber Band Stretches-Rocky’s Story will be out in early 2021 and I am currently working on a summer camp adventure involving Becca taking the band to a rich-persons summer camp that happens to be across the lake from the diabetes camp Eddie is attending. Oh what mischief ensues!

About the Author

Christy caught the writing bug in second grade after winning a prize for a five-page story about her dog, Noodles. Mrs. Olson told her she was destined to be a writer and that dream never left her thoughts. After teaching elementary school for fifteen years, Christy fulfilled her childhood dream with her debut novel, The Rubber Band. She substitute teaches to support her writing career, deriving writing inspiration from the students and situations she encounters.

At age twenty-five, she was diagnosed with type-one diabetes but refuses to let it limit her. Her diabetic alert dog, Aiden, has saved her life uncountable times and will appear in future installments of The Rubber Band. Christy lives by this equation: Living + diabetes = LIVE-abetes.

Christy is a freelance editor and writes children’s Bible stories for Focus on the Family ClubHouse magazine and has written articles for Guideposts. She is a featured speaker for conferences, retreats and special events.

Christy lives in Northern California with Kevin, the love of her life. They have three grown children.

More from Christy

Noodles is the reason I am a writer. Noodles was my childhood dog’s name. I loved her oodles and oodles. She was a dachshund, not a poodle. I often drew her in my doodles. (Can you tell I’m an elementary school teacher?) A few short years ago, when I was in second grade, I entered a class writing contest. My story was five sentences long but won first place. The teacher told me I was destined to be a writer. That encouragement never left me. I grew up in the small town of Thief River Falls, Minnesota, and always loved writing in school, especially fiction. I wrote stories for my friends and for myself to create situations I could only dream of. As an adult, I moved to California, determined to live for God. He led me back to college where I fell in love with writing again. I won a state-wide award for my feature article in the JC’s newspaper, confirming my heart’s desire. Fast forward through marriage, kids, and a teaching job—my friends begged me to write about a recurring night dream I had, which was like watching the ending of a suspense thriller movie. Through writing conferences, critique groups and late nights, I wrote Palms of Death by starting at the end and working my way backwards. After rewriting it several times, I self-published it in 2018. At my first major writers’ conference, the Lord undeniably called me to write. So, the real reason I write is not because of Noodles, but because I want to always be a faithful follower of Jesus Christ and wholeheartedly follow His direction. That’s my story, just a bit of the whole kit and caboodle.

Tour Schedule

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, February 21 (Author Interview)
Texas Book-aholic, February 22
Tell Tale Book Reviews, February 24 (Author Interview)
Sara Jane Jacobs, February 25
Wishful Endings, February 27 (Author Interview)
Artistic Nobody, March 4 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Tour-Wide Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Christy is giving away the grand prize of $25 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

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