Fourth Grade Journey

A Fourth Grade Teacher's Journey Through the World of Books

Monday, February 19, 2018

Inside Look #46 (Author INTERVIEW)

An Inside Look with Leslie Connor
(Author of The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle)

*This was a new feature I added to the blog during the summer of 2016.  It was a shot in the dark that it would work, but much to my surprise; it took off and over first season I conducted 22 interviews with a variety of authors.

*It has been such an honor to connect with authors and "chat" about their novel, characters, and thoughts about the story.

*I ran a series of interviews for Season #TWO over the summer of 2017.  It was great to get back to these conversations, that I decided to run Season #THREE during the 2017/2018 school year.  

*Thank you to Leslie Connor for being the THIRTEENTH author of the third season.  I truly appreciate it.  

*Here are links to the first FORTY-FIVE interviews…


*I remember when I first saw the cover of the book via Twitter conversations.  I was so drawn to it and knew the story within the pages would be incredible  While at NCTE, I was lucky enough to obtain an ARC of the novel.  When I began the story, I could not put it down.  The story of Mason was a beautiful one that will stay with me for quite some time.  I was thrilled when Leslie agreed to answer some of my "interview questions" for this blog feature!  

*She was kind, gracious, and giving with her answers to the questions.  It is an honor to post her responses with my "Inside Look" feature.   

*Here is a link to my review of The Truth Told as Told by Mason Buttle

*Thank you Leslie Connor for writing this story for readers and taking the time to share your thoughts with us here on the blog...

The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle
by Leslie Connor (Released January 23, 2018)

Leslie Connor Website

How did you come to know Mason Buttle?  
For me, characters are composites of people I’ve met, read about, or can imagine but it’s not a calculated thing; it happens organically. With Mason, I knew who that earnest, worried, big-hearted kid at the back of the room was.

What do you think is Mason's most admirable quality?
His honesty.

Is there anything you wish Mason would have changed or done differently in his story?
I don’t think so. I’m pretty comfortable with how he and I walked through his story together.

What do you think Mason can offer to other children that are experiencing similar situations to what he went through?
Perhaps he models staying true to oneself even in times of adversity. He’s a good model for keeping the faith that things will get better.  

How did you research Mason and the circumstances he found himself in?
I did some research on dyslexia and synesthesia to get closer to Mason’s daily experience. As for the situation, I hooked into several news stories as jumping off points but did not stick to specifics.

Do you and Mason share any similarities?  
Oh, yes. I think we are both worriers, and I think we’re both good hands-on learners.

What was the hardest scene to write about Mason?
Any of the scenes in which the dog, Moonie, was being mistreated—hands down. I avoided those scenes for days.

Who do you think was Mason's biggest supporter and why?
Ms. Blinny and Calvin played big parts in bolstering Mason, and both provided him some tools. But in the end, I think Mason was his own best advocate.

How do you think children like Mason are able to find one, or two, real and true friends when they might not fit in with the rest of the “crowd"?  
Kids on the periphery are often excellent observers; they see who else is suffering or lonely and gravitate toward them.

What do you think Mason is doing as this present time?  
He’s probably trying to fix the farm tractor! (I’m sure it’s stalled out again.)

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