Fourth Grade Journey

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

Monday, August 12, 2019

An Inside Look #99 (Author INTERVIEW)

An Inside Look with Tina Athaide
(Author of Orange for the Sunsets)

*During the summer of 2016, I added this feature to the blog which was called "Season #ONE".  This first season ran from June of 2016 to March of 2017.  

*I started up the interviews again in June of 2017.  It was great to get back to Season #TWO.  This season ran throughout the summer.  

*Season #THREE ran during the school year of 2017-2018.  

*The next season (season #FOUR) of interviews took place during the summer and fall of 2018.  With each interview I became more and more impressed with the authors I was having interactions with.  

*Season #FIVE ran during the 2018/2019 school year.  I took a little break during June of 2019.

*I'm thrilled to be back with season #SIX featuring all new books, authors, and conversations.  

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

*This is the EIGHTH interview of what I'm calling Season #SIX.

*Thank you to Tina Athaide for being the Ninety-Ninth author that I've had the pleasure of interviewing.  I truly appreciate it.  

*Here are links to the first Ninety-Eight interviews…

SEASON #ONE (2016-2017)

SEASON #FOUR (Summer 2018)

SEASON #FIVE (2018/2019)

Interview #81 with Tony Abbott (Author of The Great Jeff)

Interview #82 with Susan Ross (Author of Searching for Lottie)

Interview #83 with Gillian McDunn (Author of Caterpillar Summer)

Interview #84 with Rebecca Ansari (Author of The Missing Piece of Charlie O'Reilly)

Interview #85 with Ali Standish (Author of August Isle)

Interview #86 with Shaun David Hutchinson (Author of The Past and Other Things That Should Stay Buried)

Interview #87 with Greg Howard (Author of The Whispers)

Interview #88 with Lynda Mullaly Hunt (Author of Shouting at the Rain)

Interview #89 with Lynda Mullaly Hunt (Author of One for the Murphys)

Interview #90 with Laurie Morrison (Author of Up for Air)

Interview #91 with Jody J. Little (Author of Mostly the Honest Truth)

SEASON #SIX (Summer 2019)

Interview #92 with John David Anderson (Author of Finding Orion)

Interview #93 with Lisa Thompson (Author of The Light Jar)

Interview #94 with Keith Calabrese (Author of A Drop of Hope)

Interview #95 with Alicia D. Williams (Author of Genesis Begins Again)

Interview #96 with Kim Ventrella (Author of Bone Hollow)

Interview #97 with Natalie Lloyd (Author of Over the Moon)

Interview #98 with Cynthia Lord (Author of Because of the Rabbit)

*Tina Athaide was kind, gracious, and giving with her answers to the questions.  It is an honor to post her responses here on the blog. 

*Thank you Tina for writing this incredible and thought-provoking book.

*Here is my book review...

Orange for the Sunsets Book Review

Orange for the Sunsets

by Tina Athaide (April 2, 2019)

How did you come to know Asha and Yesofu?

I have lived with Asha and Yesofu in my head and heart for many years now. I feel like I know Asha very well since she is a mix of myself and other family members and friends, but as the story developed, she became her own person. Yesofu started as a quiet secondary character when I originally developed the story. When I decided to write the book from alternating points of view, he grew into his own person. Over several versions of the story, Asha and Yesofu emerged with strong independent personalities and often surprised me.

What do you think is Asha and Yesofus most admirable qualities?

Asha and Yesofu both value friendship, family, and loyalty.  It is what drives their actions throughout the book, even if at times it steers them in the wrong direction, but that is what makes the story interesting.

Is there anything you wish they would have changed or done differently in their story?

If there were one thing I wish Asha could have changed it would have been stepping outside of her privileged world to take time to understand what life in Entebbe was like for Yesofu and his family. It would have helped her to understand why her best friend saw President Amin’s actions as an opportunity.

What do you think these two children can offer to other children that are experiencing similar situations to what they went through?  

At the core of this story is a friendship between two children. Asha and Yesfou offer different points of views, which show readers that there are always two sides to a situation and it is important to pause and empathize with the other person.

How did you research the characters and the circumstances they found themselves in?

My research took me to different continents, where I spoke to people, either in person or through email that had connections to the expulsion of Asian Indians from Uganda. This really helped me to understand the Ugandan perspective, so I could give Yesofu an authentic voice. Additionally, newspapers covered this political event and I read articles from all over the world. It was very interesting to see how the situation was viewed in different countries.

Do you and the two children share any similarities?  

It is always hard to lift the veil and reveal the secrets underneath, but if I were to give you one similarity, it would be that Asha and I are both persistent. With Yesofu, I would say that he and I share our loyalty to friends.

What was the hardest scene to write about them?

Honestly, there was so much about this book that was difficult to write, since I have an emotional connection to that historical event, but that final farewell used up a tissue box and went through several revisions. Hope was the lifeline.

Who do you think were their biggest supporters and why?

Asha and Yesofu supported one another, until they couldn’t.

Why do you think culture/heritage/religion have to play such a major part in young people’s relationships/friendships?

Who we are…where we come from…our beliefs make up our identity. The friendships that children make are important given that this is some of the first opportunities in which they will begin to develop understandings of social and ethnic as well as individual differences. My hope is that readers will see the importance of respecting the differences and similarities in their friendships.

What do you think Asha and Yesofu are doing as the present time? 

If we jump forward in time to present day, I would love if Asha and Yesofu reconnected through social media. I imagine they would have a lot to tell one another!               

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