Tabletop Publishing recently had the pleasure of interviewing the author of "Doomsday Dani," a middle-grade novel about a 12-year-old girl named Dani who is preparing for Y2K, the end of the world, according to her survivalist blog, Professor Prepared. Here are some highlights from our conversation with the author:
Q: What is the message to kids and parents?
The author explained that the book deals with a lot of themes, including speaker reliability, which is an essential lesson for young people in the digital age. Doomsday Dani gets a lot of information from a mysterious online blogger named Professor Prepared, who turns out not to be a trustworthy source. The author hopes that young readers will learn to discern whether or not they can trust online sources. Additionally, the book can be used as a conversation starter for parents and kids to discuss unprecedented and scary times.
Q: What inspired your story?
The author, who is a middle school language arts teacher, said that her students' conversation about the year 2000 inspired her to write the book. She jotted down the idea after school one day but didn't think much about it until the COVID-19 pandemic. In the atmosphere of fear and uncertainty, she finally sat down and wrote "Doomsday Dani."
Q: What was the hardest part of your journey in creating this book?
Ensuring that she represented the era correctly was the most challenging part for the author. She had to do a lot of research to ensure that the details were accurate. However, the process of research turned out to be more fun than challenging.
Q: What was the most inspiring part of your journey in creating this book?
The author said that the most inspiring part of her journey was talking to people about their Y2K experiences. Most adults who were around at the time remember the event with a degree of skepticism and good humor, while most kids remember at least some anxiety. The author found these conversations to be enlightening and fun.
Q: Who helped or inspired you through your journey as an author?
The author has been inspired by many young adult and middle-grade authors, including Rainbow Rowell, John Green, and Angie Thomas. She has also received a great deal of love and support from her family, students, and writing communities.
"Doomsday Dani" is an exciting and relatable story for young readers, and it teaches a valuable lesson about the importance of reliable sources in the digital age. We highly recommend it to anyone looking for an engaging and thought-provoking read. Thank you to the author for sharing her story with us.
Excerpt from Doomsday Dani:
Not long after Dad moved into his apartment, Shelby and I came for a visit. Dad and Shelby watched some kid movie on TV. I was bored, so I went to our room and sifted through Dad’s magazines.
One of the pages immediately caught my eye. There was a picture at the top of a giant cartoon bug with three legs and a long antenna. It had red eyes, and on its blue back were three symbols: Y2K. It appeared to be crawling on top of a desktop computer. The screen of the monitor was blue, and a giant red X stretched from corner to corner.
The title of the article was printed in bold, black letters beneath the picture of the bug: Are We Ready for Y2K?
I was intrigued. Most of the articles in the magazines were about the best brand of printer or how to make money selling your stuff on eBay. So, I read on, and discovered, with horror, that the world was months away from total collapse, and no one had ever told me. I thought of my computer at home, in my bedroom. I imagined it swelling and getting bigger the closer we got to December 31st until it was ready to explode. I imagined bugs seeping through the cracks and lines of the monitor, spilling onto the keyboard, tumbling onto the floor of my bedroom. An absolute infestation.
Carissa Turpin was born and raised in Eastern Kentucky, though she lived briefly in Phoenix, Arizona. She currently resides in Louisville, Kentucky, where she teaches seventh-grade Language Arts and Social Studies. She's a dog mom, book hoarder, and proud Y2K survivor. Doomsday Dani is her first novel. You can follow Carissa on Instagram: @carissaturpinbooks or on Facebook at the link below.