The Summer We Saved the Bees is my 18th novel, and my 4th for middle grade readers. It’s about a twelve year old boy, Wolf, whose mother– convinced that the world is headed for major environmental disaster– is obsessed with saving the bees. She announces that she’s taking her Save the Bees show on the road— with the whole family. Wolf thinks it’s a terrible plan, and is horrified at the thought of wearing a bee costume in public. His teenage stepsister doesn’t want to leave her boyfriend, and one of his little half sisters has stopped talking altogether– but Wolf’s mom doesn’t seem to notice. She’s convinced that the world is doomed unless ordinary people take extraordinary action. So Wolf decides to take some drastic action of his own.
Are you a plotter or a free writer?
Definitely a free writer. I often wish I was a plotter— usually when I’m bogged down somewhere in the murky middle of an uncooperative first draft—but it seems I figure things out in the process of writing them down. I do end up doing a fair bit of rewriting though. I suspect there may be an inverse correlation between plotting and revision.
Is your book part of a series or a standalone?
Neither, actually. Silence tends to make me restless and squirmy, and music with lyrics distracts me. I like some movement and noise: coffee shops, with people coming and going, background chatter, and maybe some music– though preferably nothing I like too much. When I write at home I’m usually listening to my kid and his gamer friends shouting about zombies and spaceships. That works too.
Are you writing your next book? Can you share a little about it?
My next book is really different. It’s also aimed at middle grade readers but it’s my first foray into non-fiction. Pride: Celebrating Diversity and Community will be published in 2016. The book explains the beginnings of Pride and the history of the LGBTQ rights movement, introduces some of the diverse identities that make up the community of folks who celebrate Pride, looks at some of the challenges and struggles for LGBTQ people around the world, and includes tons of gorgeous photographs of Pride celebrations. I’ve been taking part in Pride celebrations since my late teens and I am super excited about this book.
How long were you writing before getting a publishing contract?
I started writing on maternity leave in the spring of 2005 and got a contract a little over a year later. My first YA novel, Out of Order, was published in the fall of 2007.
When does your book release?
The Summer We Saved the Bees will be released in September 1 2015.
Robin Stevenson is the author of 18 novels for kids and teens. Her books include the Silver Birch Award winner, Record Breaker, and the Governor General’s Award finalist, A Thousand Shades of Blue. Robin lives on the west coast of Canada with her partner, son, and cats. She is a former social worker who now writes more-or-less full-time (while also being a full-time parent, and with a bit of teaching and editing thrown in for variety.) She’s a feminist and an avid reader who is interested in gaming, learning, and unschooling.