1st Flag of NH – 1st stop
REGINA: I’d like to welcome fellow author, Stephanie Burkhart, here to kick off her blog tour for her latest YA/MS release, “First Flag of New Hampshire.”
STEPH: I’m so excited to be here, Gina. I’ve done several blog tours now and I’ve noticed I always start off my tours by visiting your blog in little Rhode Island first so I was glad for the opportunity to do so again.
REGINA: You’re welcome! Tell us about the book.
STEPH: Alyssa and Miguel are high school seniors at Central High in Manchester, NH. As part of their assignment for American Studies, they’re tasked to find out the four times in NH history when the first flag flew and where it is now. Their friends, Greg and Karen, challenge them to a friendly race, adding a sense of urgency to the project.
REGINA: What was the inspiration behind the plot?
STEPH: My American Studies class. I rarely get inspiration from dreams, as I’m a very heavy sleeper. It’s funny, I can still remember sitting in the class and my teachers, Mrs. Hussey and Mr. Lord saying this would be a class that would stay with us the rest of our lives. At the time, I was 17 and just laughed, but they were right. At the end of the school year, I knew this class would resonate with me.
REGINA: How long ago was American Studies?
STEPH: 25 years. Can you believe that?
REGINA: Is there really a ‘first’ flag of New Hampshire?
STEPH: Not really, but I wanted to write a young adult/middle school mystery so I made up the first flag. What I was striving to do was seamlessly blend fact and fiction and I hope I’ve done that.
REGINA: How long did it take you to write?
STEPH: About a month including the research.
REGINA: How did you come to pick the setting?
STEPH: I grew up in New Hampshire. It just felt right to me. Actually, this is going to be a series. Alyssa and Miguel are going to visit all 6 New England states solving mysteries along the way.
REGINA: What are Alyssa’s strengths? Weaknesses?
STEPH: She’s determined and focused. Alyssa has a plan. I would say when a wrench gets thrown into her plan, it takes her a bit to work through it.
REGINA: What does Miguel like about Alyssa?
STEPH: Miguel finds her kind with a pleasant disposition. Her determination and focus helps him do the same. His ability to work through a problem helps her do the same.
REGINA: Who did the illustrations?
STEPH: Ginger Nielson. Ginger is a true blessing. She’s from New Hampshire, as well. I love how her illustrations bring Aly and Miguel to life. They’re perfect!
REGINA: How long have you been writing?
STEPH: About 10 years now.
REGINA: What do you find rewarding about young adult writing?
STEPH: The ability to inspire others – especially young adults and children – to read. I love watching young people embrace a good story.
REGINA: Would you care to share a blurb with us?
STEPH: I’d love to.
BLURB FOR: FIRST FLAG OF NEW HAMPSHIRE:
Alyssa has to take American Studies for college prep, and she hurries to the first class. She’s paired with classmate Miguel De Soto to find the first flag of New Hampshire, but the flag has flown only four times in New Hampshire’s past. Can Alyssa and Miguel track the flag through history before time is up?
Hunt For the Flag Giveaway:
Answer the follow questions about the NH flag. I’ll pick a winner to receive an Easter/Spring book bag (made by my talented friend, Lori Powell), full of goodies to include a copy of the book, chocolates, a magnet and more.
What’s the name of the ship on the New Hampshire State flag?
BONUS: Why are there 9 stars dispersed between the laurel leaves on the NH State Flag?
BARNES & NOBLE:
Romance Under the Moonlight