Tune It Out | Jamie Sumner | A Word on Words | NPT
“There were plenty of books in middle grade that had kids with differences but they were side characters. I wanted to create a kid that had these differences who wasn’t just this passive person you park in a corner.” Author Jamie Sumner talks to host Mary Laura Philpott about TUNE IT OUT on NPT’s A Word on Words.
- [Jamie Sumner] Hi, I'm Jamie Sumner,
and this is "Tune It Out."
A book about 12 year old Lou Montgomery,
who has the voice of an angel and a mother
who wants to make her a star.
Unfortunately, performing in public places
is Lou's worst nightmare,
because she has an undiagnosed sensory processing disorder.
- I'm wondering at what point
in your career as a writer,
you decided that writing about kids for kids
is something that you wanted to do.
- [Jamie] When my oldest son, Charlie was born,
he was born with a lot of health complications.
The non-fiction that I started to write for adults
came kind of out of my experience
in parenting him and the words that I would wanna say
to a fellow parent going through that.
When Charlie got to a place that
he was stable and healthy
the fiction then came after that,
because I could let myself explore other ideas.
- [Mary Laura] What weren't you seeing in literature
that made you wanna write the books that you write?
- [Jamie] There were plenty of books in middle grade that
had kids with differences, but they were side characters.
They're like, let's just throw this person in
to further the plot.
They were very one dimensional
or if they were the main character,
they just felt too sweet and innocent and cuddly.
And I think if you ever meet kids that have gone through
like what my son has gone through,
they're so tough.
I wanted to create a character that had these differences.
Who wasn't just this passive person
that you park in a corner.
- [Mary Laura] You seem also amazingly capable
of putting yourself into the mind of a child.
How do you do that?
- These are all things that like everybody feels,
it's not like just this person in this situation,
because they are different feels this.
So it's not like it's particular to the situation.
It's just, we're all feeling all the things.
- For more of my conversation with Jamie Sumner
visit awordonwards.org and keep reading.
- [Jamie Sumner] I was such a theater kid.
I was the one that would follow everyone
around with the binder and tell them when
they got their line wrong and where to stand.
And I would wear the headset during the production.
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