Garen S. Wolf if the author of The Girlz of Galstanberry. We are offering The Girlz of Galstanberry as the first of our Guest Review Contests! Check out the interview with Garen and enter below for your chance to win a copy of The Girlz of Galstanberry and the opportunity to review it for BCM!
Book Synopsis (from the Galstanberry Girlz website): Galstanberry Girls (GG) Academy, an exclusive fictional private boarding school in Connecticut. As a preppie from Detroit, Garen draws upon her own experiences as well as the power of imagination to create this magnificent breath of fresh air. Garen weaves her educational background as a Detroit Country Day lifer and Wellesley College alum into a beautiful series about five girls from five different cities, socio-economic statuses, and ethnicities, who build a lasting friendship.
A refreshing alternative to books about tween vampires, liars, and sensuous love; characters from this series experience reaction to real-life situations, exposure to new and different cultures, and most importantly, the process of learning and accepting who they are. Throughout its dynamic personalities, GG explores an environment of real middle school-issues allowing readers to relate to the characters' journey and share in this celebration of maturation.
GG tells girls that is okay to still play with dolls, laugh at something funny and not someone's misfortune, and that it is okay to be loyal to yourself. GG leaves its impression on the reader, showing girls all over that we should celebrate our differences. In a world where the media constantly barrages middle-school-aged girls with adult issues, GG shares a different prospective: there is no rush to grow up, enjoy your middle-school years, and most importantly, embrace and celebrate who you are!
BCM: Tell us a little about yourself.
GSW: Hmm, how shall I begin? Well, I was born on a stormy day on January 3, 1985. Just kidding, I won't be THAT cheesy! As the Galstanberry site states, I am a CHANEL fanatic (luh-uve the purses and jewelry) and a bona fide preppie. From Pre-Kindergarten to twelfth grade, I attended Detroit Country Day, a prestigious (and trè expensive) private school in Michigan. Our alum range from Steve Ballmer (CEO of Microsoft) to Robin Williams. The ethnic diversity in, The Girlz of Galstanberry, reflects my cultural experiences at Country Day.
After graduation, I matriculated into Wellesley College, located in Massachusetts and known for its prominent alumni, such as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Diane Sawyer and Madame Chiang Kai-shek (first lady of China!) There, I met brilliant women from all over the WORLD and experienced traditions such as High Tea and HouseMothers; both of which are reflected in the series. Because I was a Neuroscience major, I conducted biological research every summer at institutions like Wayne State, MIT and Duke. I received my B.A in Neuroscience, and then received a Masters of Science from Wayne State School of Medicine. So, "Where does Galstanberry come in?"you might ask.
For the '09-'10 academic year, I was a research fellow at the National Institute of Health in Washington D.C. After long days at the laboratory, I retreated to my apartment to write about Galstanberry. When the manuscript was finished, the Detroit Public Library pre-ordered 100 copies, hosted 2 HUGE book signings on its release date, and The Girl Scout Council of Southeastern Michigan expressed interest in partnership!
BCM:What inspired Galstanberry Girlz?
GSW: The diversity of girls around the world--tall, short, blonde, dreads, spunky, shy, sassy, poise! In fact, while walking down the street, I see no two girls that look alike! Every girl has a story to tell due to their varied experiences, geographic location, ethnicity, family structure, etc. Therefore, I created The Girlz of Galstanberry to reflect these stories.
BCM: Will you share a favorite quote from Galstanberry Girlz with us?
GSW: Of course! This is the official Galstanberry motto, which is located on the first page of the book. "May all Galstanberry Girls pursue their dreams, stand their ground, and live without regret."
BCM: If you were a fictional character, who would you be and why?
GSW: Fei, the B-girl in my book! She's super confident and funky! The expression, "marches to their own drummer," really embraces her independent spirit. Additionally, she is a superb dancer-the back flip and head spin expert. According to John, my younger brother (whose dance skills are on par with Fei), my dancing ability is embarrassing. Therefore, I would LOVE to have Fei's ability to bust a move on the dance floor
BCM: Will there be more of the Galstanberry Girls? What can we expect next?
GSW: Yes!!!!! Since the book's October 13, 2010 release, I have received tons of emails from readers asking for the sequel. Currently, I am outlining and drafting the second book, which will be available early Summer 2011. It has to be released at that time because I will begin Indiana University School of Medicine in August 2011, and therefore will have little time to write. Regardless, my goal is to have at least 10 books in the series.
BCM: Thanks, Garen, for sharing with us!
Now, you have the opportunity to win The Girlz of Galstanberry and publish a review on Books Complete Me! Garen is providing a hard copy of the book for the winner. After receiving and reading the book, the winner can email his/her review to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will publish it on BCM (with your name, of course!). Enter below for your chance to win!