Creative Kid Thursday! Kid author Gabriella Webster!

I have another Creative Kid author to tell you about today! 14-year-old Gabriella Webster has written and self-published an awesomely funny story!

nerdConfessions of a Middle School Nerd

By Gabriella Webster

82 pages – ages 9+

Published by Gabriella Webster on September 1, 2013

Much like the “Dork Diaries” and “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” series, (Hmm – side note – what is the plural of series? )  this is a series that follows the life of teenager Kylie Wattson, who was glad that she got her braces off before she got her glasses, or else she would have been a complete Nerd, without a doubt. The story follows her ups and her downs, good and bad middle school days, and her downright clumsiness.

This is a hilarious book that made me laugh at the right moments (out loud, people! Out loud!!!), and feel sorry for Kylie at the right moments, too. The story was a quick read and is just perfect for middle grade kids who want a fun story to read. Gabriella’s writing style is just what I like, loads of humor wrapped around a great story. I can’t wait for a sequel!

I give Confessions of a Middle School Nerd 5 out of 5 bookworms! fivebooks

Pick up a copy of the book at Lulu – click HERE!

Like Confessions of a Middle School Nerd on Facebook HERE!

Gabriella also let me interview her about herself and being a writer!

bloglogoErik – Can you tell us a little about yourself? What do you like to do besides writing?

nerdGabriella – Aside from writing, I’ve been acting since I was five, yodeled and played the violin since I was seven, played volleyball since I was eight, played the ukulele since I was eleven, and danced on and off since I was two. In addition, I’m really involved in extra-curricular activities at school and participate in Chess Club, Math Club, GSA, the I Am Second Club, Creative Writing Club, Interact Club, Key Club, Signing Broncos (the deaf club at our school), and Latin Club, as well as orchestra (for which I am a class officer), dance, and Latin as a course. With the help of some wonderful friends, I’m also learning more and more sign language, and really love school. With my family and friends, I’m also very involved in community service, particularly at the local nursing homes and homeless shelters, and love giving back to the community I’ve grown up in. Outside the community, I’m a St. Jude’s Pal—and have been since I was seven—and babysit in my free time. It’s a crazy life, but I like it that way.

bloglogo Erik – I totally enjoyed “Confessions of a Middle School Nerd”! How did you get the idea for Kylie Wattson, Nerd expert, Geek extraordinaire, clumsy professional?

nerdGabriella – Confessions of a Middle School Nerd was originally an eighth grade writing assignment. The concept followed the guidelines of National Novel Writing Month (although the process took place in February) and was assigned as an 8,000-word fiction paper, though it evolved into so much more than that over time. When searching for a topic, I wanted a challenge. I had done the “fiction” thing for years, and been tested with non-fiction and persuasive papers in every class since third grade, but a memoir was something I had never attempted before, and I wanted to use the opportunity (writing my own novel) to grow as much as I could as a writer before high school; expanding my repertoire, if you will. I also really struggled in middle school with finding books that I could relate to, as most books directed towards girls my age are mushy-gushy love stories that use basically the same plot with different characters every time: the girl gets the guy, everything works out perfectly, and some cliché message that we’ve heard a billion times is revealed. The thing is, life never turns out that way, and I wanted to write a book that I would be willing to read: honest and full of life and curiosity. As it says in the book, Kylie Wattson’s character is based on me and (mostly) things that have actually happened to me over the years. As a result, writing was therapeutic, in a way, because Confessions of a Middle School Nerd is the story of my life, and writing it at the end of my eighth grade year gave me the opportunity to reflect on the past nine years of my life and understand who I really am based on where I’ve come from before entering high school: a place where it’s all too easy to forget who you are. At the same time, it brought with it tough decisions about what I did and didn’t want to share with the world. Whatever I published would never go away, and the book almost exactly reflects who I am. I had to tell my story humbly, and do my crazy life justice, and I really appreciate having had the opportunity to do so. I’ve grown so much as a person in writing this book, and my intentions are that whoever reads it will, too.

bloglogoErik – NaNoWriMo’s young writers program is a great opportunity for kids. I think it is great that you wrote a book about your own experiences.  I really liked the scene when Kylie had to go dumpster-diving for her retainer. It was pretty funny. Did that ever happen to you, or did you just make that up?

nerdGabriella – That actually did happen to me my eighth grade year. In fact, everything in that chapter is true, except the part about finding my retainer stuck in the rivets in my court shoes. I actually never found my retainer and spent three months babysitting to pay for a new one

bloglogo Erik – UGH – going dumpster diving and never finding it! Are any of the characters based on people you know/knew?

nerdGabriella – Actually, all of them are. Some characters are combinations of more than one of my friends, while others are people that I’ve broken up into two characters. For instance, my little brother inspired both Toady and Boogers in COAMSN. Aside from changing names, I also changed the genders of some of my friends in the book. For example, my best friend and co-illustrator, Megan Vennell—to whom the book is dedicated—was the inspiration for Kylie’s best friend, Lucas Roder. Having based COAMSN characters off of people in my life has also made my freshman year especially interesting, for some of the characters from Confessions of a Middle School Nerd (i.e. the geometry story in “Why This is Not a Rom-Com”) actually go to school with me this year, and are really excited to hear that they are in my book and may play a crucial role in the sequel to COAMSN (hint, hint). Going to school full time with the kids that inspired the geometry class aspect of “Why This is Not a Rom-Com” has everyone at school wondering if their role in my freshman year will make it into the COAMSN sequel, and their not the only ones

bloglogoErik – I am always reading that you should “write about what you know.” This is a great example of it. Which are you – Nerd or Geek? (Personally, I am a Nerd. 🙂 )

nerdGabriella – Definitely a nerd; one hundred percent. In fact, the reason my book is called “Confessions of a Middle School Nerd” is because “nerd” is one of the many names I’ve been called growing up for being smart, awkward, enthusiastic, and silly, but that I’ve learned to embrace. I really am a nerd, and I absolutely love that about myself. That’s why I knew I had to write this book: so that nerds like me would know that they’re not alone, even though the world makes us feel that way sometimes, and that being nerdy is an incredible thing! I would never want to be any different; if I were, life would be so dull. Being nerdy basically means you care about your happiness enough to “live a little” a lot, invest in your future, and be inspired by whatever life throws at you. It means that you care more about how you see the world than how the world sees you. It means that someday, you’re gonna make a whole-lotta money, and who doesn’t want that? Being a nerd—a term used to put people in their place by those who are threatened by them—can be a beautiful thing, if you let it, and if writing a book where I tell the world all about my horribly embarrassing experiences means I can share that message, then hand me a pen.

bloglogo Erik – Woo Hoo! Nerds rule! Are you planning on writing any other books?

nerdGabriella – Actually, a sequel has been on my mind for a little while now. As you know, Confessions of a Middle School Nerd is a memoir—a compilation of quirky and fun stories from throughout my life—but my first day of high school alone showed the potential to be a great start to Confessions: Freshman Year. In addition to writing books, I write poetry and short stories, and recently won second place in the Texas Book Festival Fiction Writing Contest with a short story, First Place Overall in the Teen Read Week Writing Contest at my high school with a poem, and a Teen Ink Editor’s Choice award for the poem “Ode to an Ink Pen.” These are actually the only writing contests I’ve ever entered, and my consistent success so far has encouraged me to look into entering more contests in the future. Aside from writing the Confessions series and publishing more poetry and short stories, I haven’t really thought about writing any other books, but I do hope to continue writing for many years to come and as an adult.

bloglogoErik – Thanks Gabriella! I am sure you will be winning more awards in the future.

Stay Nerdy! 😀

Remember –

Pick up a copy of the book at Lulu – click HERE!

Like Confessions of a Middle School Nerd on Facebook HERE!

Categories: Creative Kids

Tags: , , , , , , ,

41 replies

  1. What a wonderful interview! Gabriella sounds like someone I’d love to have hung out with in school 🙂 I have to completely agree about the well-trodden, overused story lines in so much of teen literature. There’s more to life than girl gets boy or boy gets girl.

    Looking forward to hearing more about Gabriella in the future. Nerds Unite! 😀

  2. Wow — fabulous interview and review. Gabriella sounds like a very talented writer and champion nerd! 🙂

  3. Great interview, Erik! The sounds brilliant! You both have lots of interesting hobbies 🙂

  4. I’ve actually seen this around the web. Very cool to see kids becoming authors. Keep writing, both of you!

  5. Well, YAY for Nerds!! I think I may be a canine Nerd? Great interview Erik!

  6. I can’t say enough just how impressed I am by you “nerdy” kids 🙂 I’m just loving it! And, Gabriella, I couldn’t help but wonder if you’ve ever checked out THE BOY PROJECT

  7. Great review and interview! I love to hear about kid authors 🙂

  8. Great interview Erik, And greetings to Gabriella! It’s not easy to write a funny book, and it sounds as though you have managed just that! Congratulations.

  9. Oh man, this is an awesome interview. Gabriella seems like a person who absolutely killing it not only in writing, but also in life. So inspiring!

  10. This is a very inspiring post, Erik. Love that; write what you know, aspect. Great interview. Thanks.

  11. This looks like a book that my 12 year old girl would enjoy! Wonderful interview, I agree with everyone. Great questions Erik! Glad to know about Gabriella through you.

  12. An interesting interview. I had no idea, Erik that you, you were a NERD!! I would have never guessed 🙂 I agree, Nerds are cool. I would think it very cool if you tried NaNoWriMo for kids. I plan to give it a go next year. The Confessions of a Middle Grade Nerd sounds interesting.

  13. I have to say, Erik, your blog is awesome! So excited to see kids creating & not waiting until they grow up to impact the world. I use both you & Gabriella as examples in my 7th grade classroom to inspire my students to write, create, blog, design, etc. NOW!

  14. Nerds rule and so do kid authors. Nice to meet you Gabriella!
    ~Felicia (aka Neighbor Girl)

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: