Author Interviews

Ask My Sister (#4)

Dear Roz,

You’ve got to help me. My parents are making me miss my friend Fiona’s minicamp to go on a boring family vacation in Mexico. They just don’t understand all the things I’m going to miss: makeovers, swimming, tons of junk food, rating cute guys. And inside jokes–so many inside jokes. Eighth grade will be totally ruined for me if I get kicked out of Fiona’s Five. I came up with a list of 34 reasons NOT to go, but that didn’t work (it just made my mom cry).

I need some serious help here–I’m either going to die of heat stroke in Mexico or be a total outcast when I get home. Please answer soon!

Kat (nothing like those vicious jaguars that live in Mexico)

Dear Kat,

What a disaster! Have you thought of a sneakier strategy than a list? Shakespeare said, “Look the innocent flower, but be the serpent under’t. Translation. A devious mind is a terrible thing to waste.

Here are some ideas:

3. Write a fake newspaper article about how the civil unrest in Chiapas has spread to the Yucatan. Email it to your mom.

2. Develop a rare illness. I recommend tiredness, slight fever (which can be faked in so many ways), and a sore throat that won’t go away. These symptoms cannot be disproved by a doctor (unlike lesions drawn on with a marker.) Of course, as soon as the plane tickets have been canceled, you heel miraculously.

1. Plant love letters around the house from your (fake) boyfriend in the Yucatan. Make the letters a little stalkerish and scary.

On the other hand, maybe you’ll meet the boy of your dreams in Mexico. And, to be honest, the Fiona 5 sounds a bit scary. Fiona must be just a bit megalomaniac to name the group after herself. Besides, you might want to get along with your mom, so that she trusts you by high school where the real fun begins.


Letter courtesey of Sydney Salter, author of Jungle Crossing

*email letters to Roz or Eva at

Categories: Ask My Sister, Author Interviews | 1 Comment

Ask My Sister (#1)

Dear Eva,
There’s this girl, Valerie, at my school. We’ve always been enemies, but… well, something really awful happened at our school… and she sort of saved my life that day.

The problem is, I never liked Valerie before. We never got along. And now I kind of owe her. Plus, I have a feeling she’s not as bad as everyone thinks she is. I’ve changed a lot since that day, and I think maybe she has, too.

Everyone pretty much hates Valerie now, and she knows it. She hangs around like a ghost at school, all by herself, never talking to anyone. I can tell she’s really lonely and sad.

I think maybe we could be friends, if she’d just let me in. I’m trying to get through to her, but I’m having a really hard time getting her to trust me. How do I get her to see that I’m not out to hurt her? Should I just leave her alone?


Dear Jessica,
Trust is a hard thing to give. I know because I totally didn’t trust my sister, Roz, until recently. She didn’t deserve it. She chased after every boy I ever broke up with. Plus she had/has a serious blabbing problem.

It sounds like Valerie could use a friend right now. Sometimes the best way to earn someone’s trust is to show that you’ve changed. That’s what Roz did. Actions speak louder than a whole bunch of hot air, if you know what I mean :D.

There are risks of reaching out to her, of course. Fwooosh! Yes, that’s the sound of your rep going down the toilet. But you said you owed her. The course of true friendship never did run smooth. *
Best of luck!

*Apologies to Shakespeare (who is dead, but you never know)

Note: This letter comes courtesy of Jennifer Brown, author of the amazing and intense debut novel HATE LIST. For more about Jennifer and her novel, visit her website at

If you have any other advice for Jessica, please leave a comment.

* please email Ask My Sister letters to

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