Q&A with Danette Vigilante

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Get to know Danette Vigilante, author of The Trouble With a Half Moon and a Sunshine State Young Readers Award nominee who lives in Staten Island…

What author or book inspires you most, now and/or at any time in your career?

I love anything Jacqueline Woodson writes! Growing up though (and way before any career), I’d have to say Judy Blume. Her books got this terrible reader, reading.

What is your favorite part of participating in book festivals?

My absolute favorite part about participating in festivals is meeting readers and fellow book lovers. They’re MY people!

When did you realize you wanted to write this book?

Well, The Trouble With Half a Moon is loosely based on something I experienced as a kid. I kept that experience tucked away inside my heart and when I reached my forties, I knew I had to write about it. So I unpacked, and got to work.

Which part of the book are you most proud of?

I’m most proud of the loving community I was able to create. Children will always benefit from a community who looks out for them.

What are you working on next?

I’ve just finished another middle-grade novel called, The Summer I Let You Die. In it, Tia, an asthmatic thirteen year old, witnesses a murder late one night from her bedroom window. The killer sees her, points the knife in her direction and demands her silence. Tia is terrified that the killer will come back to hurt her or worse, her family or Julius, her best friend, if she doesn’t heed his warning.

Desperate to be “protected,” Tia decides to visit the Home Depot of spirituality, otherwise known as the neighborhood botanica. To her embarrassment and her dad’s disapproval, Tia’s gram shops there on a regular basis for things like religious figures, spiritual candles, medicinal oils, spiritual cleansing soaps, etc. Surely Tia will discover something there that will provide safety. She finds a little more than she bargained for inside the botanica when an old, bowlegged, cigar smoking woman, who may or may not be a witch, performs a spiritual cleansing on her.

Tia finally realizes she has no choice but to fight back. Her life literally depends on it.

Don’t miss Danette Vigilante at the 2017 Virginia Festival of the Book in Adventures in the Middle: Friendships and Mysteries in Middle School with Casey Lyall (Howard Wallace, P.I.) and Ali Standish (The Ethan I Was Before).