UP!: Q&A with “Neighbor Girl” Felicia Maziarz

Q&A-LighterSideUp_WriterSideUp.com_byDonnaMarie

 Felicia A “Lighter Side Up” Q & A:

Getting to Know

Felicia Maziarz

 

When I first became more active on social media by getting more involved on Twitter and following Kidlit-related blogs, an unknown and somewhat unexpected world opened up for me. What I totally did NOT expect was to find accomplished “kid” authors! Not only was I more than impressed, but witnessing this kind of creativity, passion and drive for something so worthwhile—which also takes perseverance to complete—filled me with a sense of hope.

For such a young author, Felicia Maziarz has a very distinct writing voice, and a sturdy grasp on her clearly fleshed-out characters. Writing “funny” is not an easy thing to accomplish, but this seems to come naturally; her keen sense of humor is apparent with every page turn. Her descriptions, whether from the narrator’s point of view, or from either pet, are spot on and her similes are very original. I believe I had a smile on my face throughout the read! I know I even laughed out loud at least twice. That’s saying something! The mischievous, slapstick antics of this “Pack of Pets” perpetually entertain the reader from beginning to end.

Perpetual Pets - coverFelicia’s first book The Perpetual Papers of the Pack of Pets was written when she was a mere 9  years old. It won the Silver Award for the 2014 “Best Book by Youth Author” given by Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards to authors under 18 years of age. She is now age 11 with the release of The Observations of the Obstreperous Animals, this outstanding sequel having received a 5-Star Reader’s Favorite review! If you’re looking for light, humorous reads, these are the books for you!
And if that wasn’t enough, she and her friend, Erik (another impressive young author!), started up The Write Chat blog for which they do monthly interviews with KidLit authors and illustrators such as Bart King, Chris Grabenstein, Matt Phelan, Julie Anne Grasso, and Michelle Isenhoff! Along the way they’ve also gotten to meet and chat with Rick Riordan, Cece Bell, Tom Angleberger and Jennifer L. Holm. We’re talking amazing talents, people!

AuthorsMetAndInterviewed

It seems to me, Felicia has already got a very bright present, so it’s easy to see that her future will prove to be glowing no matter what she chooses to focus on 🙂 And now that everyone—including certain pets—are settled in and comfy, let’s begin…

 

S&K book blast2FELICIA…

I’ve been told you’re an excellent student and enjoy school 🙂 When you’re not busy with school work or chores, which are your favorite pastimes? Games? Toys? TV shows? Movies?

  • My favorite games (video games count right?) are Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch, Rayman Origins, Terraria, and Minecraft. I am a HUGE fan of the Marvel movies, and I also love the Pirates of the Caribbean movies too. Toys wise it would probably be the same answer as for games. 🙂 Probably my favorite TV show would be the Amazing Race, it’s  really the only show I watch consistently.

DM: I’m totally with you on Minecraft, Felicia, and my favorite “Pirates” movie is “The Curse of the Black Pearl.” SO funny and entertaining…and the MUSIC! 🙂

Some of the most vivid memories from childhood are favorite books. Which ones are the most memorable for you from when you were younger?

  • Duck for President by Doreen Cronin  (I did a video about it for Jump Into the Book’s Family Reading Festival).
  • The Mixed-Up Chameleon by Eric Carle
  • The J Book (also known as “Little J Has no Pants” in our home) by Jane Belk Moncure

DM: I love the videos you make and this was a good one!

 

ReadingChristopherHealyBook

I know my pile of books-to-be-read is high. I’m thinking yours is, too! Which book/s are you reading now? Do you have favorite authors?

DM: I’ve read only the first book of the “Percy Jackson” series by Mr. Riordan, and you know, I OWN The Hero’s Guide to Being an Outlaw and still haven’t been able to read it. Oh, my TBR list is too long! *sigh*

As a reader, so much of the experience is to vicariously walk in another’s shoes. If you could be the main character in a story, which character would you be?

  • I would want to be Hermione because I WANTS MAGIC. 🙂

DM: As we know, she certainly was the most clever witch of her age 🙂 I can’t count the times I’ve wished I had a wand, too!

For anyone who’s had exposure to cartoons, whether through television, movies or comics, we can’t help having one or more favorite cartoon characters. Which are your favorites?

  • Peter the PandaWell, of course, you can’t beat Donald Duck and Goofy in my book, but I also like characters from “Phineas and Ferb.” You have probably never heard of my favorite, but he is Peter the Panda.

 DM: I’ve always loved Donald, but pretty much anything “Disney” is in my book, too 🙂

Though every minute of the day is a precious one, some tend to be more treasured than others—the times we most look forward to. When is your favorite time/s of day?

  • My favorite time of day depends on the actual day. If it is a school day, it is either my independent study or when I go to Drama Club. On a cyber day, it is when I am done with my work. On a weekend, it is all day because IT IS A WEEKEND!!

DM: Something tells me you’re quite a force to be reckoned with in Drama Club 😉

I happen to be a Disney fanatic, to say the least. Not everyone is, but many people have visited Disney World. If you have, which are your favorite Disney World attractions? If not, which were your favorite carnival and boardwalk games and rides? Feel free to answer both! 🙂

  • wd067wdw201407454101542_6945090927_18I LOVE DISNEY WORLD!  When I was younger, my favorite rides at Walt Disney Walt were (and still are) Peter Pan’s Flight and Winnie the Pooh. The last time I went to Walt Disney World, I found out that I LOVE roller coasters! So now my list has expanded to including Pirates of the Caribbean, Space Mountain, and Expedition Everest.

DM: Some of my favorite memories were made at Disney World. I was actually teary-eyed the first time I saw Cinderella’s castle in the distance. I couldn’t believe I was there! I kid you not lol And I’ll admit, the only place I really love roller coasters is at Disney World! I love these pics of you with your parents. Thank you for sharing them with us 🙂

Time spent with family is something to be cherished, from snuggling while sharing a favorite book to meal time to a camping trip. What type family activities are your favorite?wd050wdw201407052790863

  • I like going on walks and doing fun activities. Combine those two things, and you have Disney World:  that is my favorite family activity of all! 🙂

DM: I get the feeling you have a great time when you do things with your parents! After all, you DO have a 😎 “Cool Mom,” and I’m sure you’re Dad’s quite the hipster, too 😉

When it comes to music, I find it very difficult to narrow down my list of favorites, but there are always those musical artists and songs that bubble to the surface anytime I’m asked. For you, which musical artists and songs often rise to the top?

Ummm…I am not really a huge fan of pop music so here are my top 5 songs…

Life’s a Happy Song – The Muppets

The Medallion Calls – Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl:

You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown/Opening – You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown:

The Onceler’s Traveling Madness (Original Demo) – The Lorax:

Some Nights – The Yale Spizzwinks (?)

 

I know all the words to “The Backson.” Yeah, I am not a pop music person. 🙂

DM: You picked some great music here, Felicia!

You have many talents we, the public audience, know about, but chances are you have others! Do you have any unusual or unknown talents you care to share with us?

  • MINECRAFT - Paul Soares imageI actually am pretty good at video games; I am a HUGE Minecraft fan, and I like some platformers. I also enjoy Pokemon!! I like RPG games too! 🙂  I also do karate and am an orange belt with a blue stripe. Next stop green!

DM: I had never heard of Minecraft until my boyfriend, Mark, introduced me to it. I have to say, I was amazed by it! Especially how the worlds generate; I’m fascinated as the terrains form 🙂 I don’t know if you’ve heard of Paul Soares Jr., but he does a LOT with Minecraft. I became a fan of his “Man vs. Minecraft” series. Great stuff!

There’s something very satisfying about sandwiching something between two pieces of bread. Which sandwich/es do you eat most often?

  • Well, I mostly eat egg sandwiches. It’s like breakfast but for a second time at lunch! Two pieces of buttered bread with egg in the middle. Nummy….

DM: I have to say, I like breakfast food no matter what time of day it is 😉

When that sugar craving strikes, which candy bar/s would you storm the convenience store to buy?

  • I would run to the store to buy either a Kit-Kat, a Three Musketeers or an M&M bar. They are chocolate bars with M&Ms in them.

DM: So you’re a chocolate lover, too, I see 🙂 And I never heard of an actual bar made with M&Ms! Yet another thing to have to resist :/

I’m a lover of quotes, from the silly to the sublime! Do you have any favorites?

  • Midsummer Night's Dream - retold by Bruce CovilleOkay, I am just quoting something I find hilarious from Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer’s Night Dream.” (A play that I am currently in at my school as Hermia.)

“I hear my Thisby’s face. Thisby!”

Makes me laugh every time.

DM: I’ve never read/watched “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” (yeah, I know, I know…), but I can see why this would make you laugh. I mean, how can you “hear” someone’s face? lol

Other than a writer or film producer, which profession do you think you would you like to attempt when you grow up? Never attempt?

  • Zorg's DreamThe profession I would like to attempt when I grow up would be something involving computer coding. I really like making video games! I have made a game using youth digital and right now am working on a Minecraft mod! I would  never want to attempt to be some sort of doctor.

DM: I tried playing your game and it reminds me of one of the earlier “Mario” games my son used to play. You amaze me, Felicia!

Time travel is a popular genre, probably because most of us have wondered what it would be like to live in a time other than our own. Given the chance to experience any time in history, in which era and whose company would you choose to be?

  • Well, I would probably go back to the time of the pilgrims to see what it was like to live off the land. I don’t really know the names of any particular people so I would like to be in the company of the pilgrims.

DM: They lived a very hard life, that’s for sure. We often take for granted the many amenities and conveniences of modern life. You brought to mind a show based on colonial life (not exactly pilgrims) that aired on PBS: “Colonial House.” In 2004, Oprah and her friend, Gayle, spent a weekend at the site. I can’t find the link to the whole episode, but here’s an overview. Just love it 🙂

 

You’ve done lots of face-to-face and virtual school visits and your online presence is BIG! I’m sure all your fans want to know: will there be a third book? And if not starring your famous pets, then perhaps something else?!

  • Endergirl Video Game AficionadoWell, at the moment, I am not planning on writing another book. There is a chance in the future that I might put out some short stories, but in the meantime I have another project on my mind.

DM: I love your creative drive, Felicia 🙂 You will never know boredom!

Through your writing and the internet, you’ve gotten to talk to—and sometimes meet—some special people. Some are young like you, at least one quite famous, and I’m sure there are others. I’d love to hear whatever you’re willing to say about them:

  • ErikThey are all super awesome and do awesome things and are just awesome. XD It isn’t always easy for me to talk to adults, especially well-known adults. Being able to work with Erik makes it fun.

DM: For sure, Erik is fun! I’ve become quite a fan of his, too! He’s got an amazing blog, just like you do. I’m always impressed by the wonderful reviews he does on This Kid Reviews Books, and what he’s accomplished at such a young age. You’re both GREAT kids! 😀 oxox

You’ve taken publishing by storm and your aspirations now lean toward film-making. What is it about film that attracts you?

  • Well, my interests have already changed to another type of filming. I guess I will list what attracts me about both types of jobs…

Let’s Plays – Game Video Narrations

  • Less Pressure
  • Dont need to get a job to do it
  • Only have to deal with yourself
  • Don’t get blamed because there is no one to blame you.
  • More fun 😀

Movies

  • Awesome Special Effects
  • Movie Sets
  • Cool Scripts
  • Everyone Seeing what you Did
  • Getting all the credit 🙂
  • More money XD

DM: I can definitely see you working in the film industry—ANYwhere in the film industry! 🙂

And once you’ve become a big-shot movie producer/director, will you remember all of us—the ones who’ll be the first to buy tickets, sitting in the back of the theater [quietly] munching popcorn?

  • Well, with my new project you would probably be at a convention. I hope I would remember you… XD

DM: I’d make sure you did! lol

Felicia and ChristineCool Mom, a couple for you, too! Bet you thought you got off scot-free, eh? NOPE!

How old was Felicia when she first started showing signs of her obvious creativity (much of which I believe she inherited from YOU)? Can you remember the first thing she did that made you and your husband’s jaws drop? (I’m sure there have been many!)

  • You are so sweet, Donna. I believe Felicia has gained the combo of my off-the-wall, try-anything attitude along with the intelligence of my husband. It does make for a fun combo. There were many milestones along the way but since Felicia is my only child, I didn’t realize how advanced she was until later than I probably should have known. I did have friends tell me all of the time that she was an “old-soul”, “mature for her age”, “precocious” and such.

The earliest writing project she did was that she Theater_WriterSideUp.com_byDonnaMariewrote a full play at the age of four and a half. She dictated it to me, edited it, acted the parts out to make sure they worked, wrote lyrics for songs, and included details such as a prop list and costume notes.

The next big “Wow” that was writing related that I distinctly remember was when I handed her my iPod touch to play with while I was at an appointment. Later,  I found the message below written in my sticky note app.  At first, I even doubted that she wrote it. Felicia feels passionate about these words, and let me share them with you. Below are the words exactly as I found them in February of 2012:

“Yes of course the animals aren’t us people. They are living things so we should not refer to them as it, we should call them he or she. If it is a thing like a table or chair or basically still life. Animals are not still life they have emotions. They can move. They can speak.They have their own language. They are their own civilization.”

— Felicia, Age 8

DM: This is the type answer I was expecting—knowing Felicia had to have “shown her stuff” at an early age. Her full-scale play does not surprise me at all 😮 And I love this beautiful picture of the two of you 🙂

You have a very full life. I’ve long been in awe of how you accomplish so much, including managing—from top to bottom—your daughter’s young career, all her social media (the activity-filled StanleyandKatrina.com blog & more) AND doing it all so well, to boot! I can only imagine what your “to do” list looks like! I must ask—do you EVER sleep?!

  • I do sleep. Not a ton but I also don’t spend hours on end in the kitchen or cleaning. I have my priorities. Give me a computer task over meal-cooking any day, and I will jump on it. :0)

DM: I’m with you on not wanting to overdo how many hours I spend cleaning or cooking. Of course, we know it has to get done, but there are SO many other things I prefer doing, too. I thank God (and the inventors) for things like washing machines and plumbing 😀

And, of course, I save my favorite question for last! In the world of Harry Potter, there is a magical room hidden within the walls of Hogwarts known as the Room of Requirement. What would be in your Room of Requirement?

Felicia?

  • Roller Coaster - from morguefileWell, it would probably be a giant jungle gym with trampolines, some computer in the corner overlooking the grounds. Of course there would also be a roller coaster because, well, it’s a roller coaster.

DM: You obviously don’t suffer from motion sickness, Felicia 🙂

Cool Mom?

  • Hmm… this one isn’t clear to me. Honestly, I have everything I need right now. It is that word NEED that has me stuck.

I have a lovely family, a hard-working husband who enjoys spending time with us, and a sweet, creative daughter. We all have our health at the moment, we have a roof over our heads,  and we can pay our bills.

I guess, if I could add anything, it would be a part-time job that would allow me to work from home using my creative skills online, and pays me what I’m worth. You know… a bazillion dollars – ha! :0)

DM: You are truly blessed and that makes me happy 🙂 And, I have to agree about the bazillion dollars. Just remember me when that truck comes in! 😉

Felicia (and Cool Mom), I can’t thank you enough for taking out time from your busy life to share a bit of your Lighter Side. What a treat for us! And though I know you already masquerade about with other personas (a.k.a. Stanley & Katrina), I figured you’d like to know another one you could use. Although in this world you go by the name Felicia Maziarz, I have been informed by Professor Poopypants that, in the world of “Silly,” you are known as Greasy Bananajuice 😉 And Cool Mom, YOU are Buttercup!

FOR MORE INTERESTING INFO ON FELICIA MAZIARZ:

ABOUT FELICIA: 

  • Felicia’s (well, Stanley & Katrina’s) blog

Terrific interviews on:

  • Kate James’ blog 
  • Erik’s blog (Erik is another very talented “kid” author!)

CONNECT WITH FELICIA (Stanley, Katrina & Cool Mom):

GUEST SPOTS:

  • Felicia and Erik did an exciting spot with author Rick Riordan. Due to it being aired on Huffpost, I won’t link directly to it from here, but you can find information on StanleyandKatrina.com

THANK YOU FOR VISITING and I hope you have some comments and questions for Felicia, Stanley, Katrina and even Cool Mom!…

51 thoughts on “UP!: Q&A with “Neighbor Girl” Felicia Maziarz

  1. Donna and Felicia, this is a DY-NO-MITE interview! I am a huge fan of both Felicia and Erik’s work! Such an inspiration for kids and adults. Congratulations and much success on your next project, Felicia. Look forward to reading about it.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. We ❤ the Neighbor Girl, Cool Mom and gang! Reading about them and watching their videos always brings a smile. 😀 Felicia and Erik will be a force to reckon with as adults, if not already. 😉 Great interview, Donna! Inquiring minds want to know.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. YAY! Felicia! She (and her mom) is awesome! 😀 Harry Potter is awesome (do you know of Pottermore.com? It’s an interactive Harry Potter website! You can get sorted into the houses and get a wand! (I’m Ravenclaw – surprise! 😉 ))! 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Wow, this is a very thorough interview, I’m glad to learn more about someone who is clearly a primordial creative (I just made that up, but I like the sound of it 🙂 ). That’s an interesting interview style that you used to post a response to each answer, it certainly makes it unique. It saddens me that there aren’t more books in the works, but I’ve stopped writing for years at a time myself and have always come back, so I’ll still be holding out hope for the S+K gang!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This post went live on my 40th birthday, so I only popped in now. It’s been so hectic with Amanda’s 7th birthday a couple of days before mine. I’m a fan and online friend of Christine and Felicia. That’s why I really wanted to catch this post and you did an above and beyond job with the interview. My favorite things I learned about Felicia was what she was like when she was little and that bit she wrote at age 8 was great! Thanks for sharing! Tina from Amanda’s Books and More – American mom raising 4 kids in South Africa

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Donna, you kept me interested during the entire interview with your fun questions. Thanks to Felicia and her cool mom. Felicia, I loved your answer to the question about your favorite time of day, and I also liked your video : ) Good luck to you with your writing and with the rest of 6th grade!

    Liked by 2 people

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