Breaking the Ice (featuring an interview with Gail Nall!) MMGM

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Gosh. It feels like the week has gone by SOO quickly. I totally forgot about doing a book review (*mental face palm*)! Yes, for reals. Um, a little while ago, I was able to do an interview with a middle grade author, GAIL NALL! (Yes, the real one!!!) In case you don't know her--well, first you should be ashamed of yourself (Go look her up online! GO!)--she is the amazing person behind the amazing book called "Breaking the Ice". 

As a special treat today, everyone gets to meet her!

Gail Nall lives in Louisville, Kentucky with her family and more cats than necessary. She once drove a Zamboni, has camped in the snow in June, and almost got trampled in Paris. She grew up figure skating, and her very first job was serving nachos and renting out skates at the local rink. 

Since then, Gail majored in history at Bellarmine University in Louisville, earned a masters degree in US History at the University of Louisville, and graduated from the Brandeis School of Law at UofL. Gail always wrote stories growing up, but didn't rediscover her love of writing until law school, when she could often be found typing away on her first novel in the law library instead of working on her Constitutional Law outline. After graduating from law school, Gail worked as a personal injury attorney and a business law attorney. She currently writes grants for a local homeless shelter. When she's not writing or at work, she's taking care of her young daughter, reading, planning travels to amazing places, camping, watching too much TV, skating, and avoiding cleaning her house.

Gail is the author of the middle grade novel, BREAKING THE ICE (Aladdin/S&S, 2015) and the co-author of the YOU'RE INVITED books with Jen Malone (Aladdin/S&S, May 19, 2015 and February 2, 2016). Gail's young adult debut, EXIT STAGE LEFT, will be published by EpicReads Impulse/HarperCollins in Summer 2015. Another middle grade novel, OUT OF TUNE, will follow in Fall 2016.

She is a blog contributor at Kidliterati and the Fearless Fifteeners. Gail is a PAL member of SCBWI. She is represented by Julia A. Weber of J.A. Weber Literaturagentur.

*Bio from her website

I bet a lot of you are dying to know more about her. Let's start the interview!

1. How did you come up with the plot for "Breaking the Ice"? Was it based on your experiences? 

I grew up in skating, so I knew I wanted to write a skating book. The plot for Breaking the Ice came while I was watching Nationals one year. One girl skated a really tough program, and received horrible scores -- on national TV. She and her coach pasted on smiles and pretended everything was okay, because that's what you do. So I wondered what would happen if a skater really said how she felt in that moment, and then what would happen as a result.

2. I heard that you used to work at an ice skating rink. Why an author? 

I did work in a rink! I was there all the time, so I think they figured they might as well give me a job. :) That was my first job -- I was 14. I wrote stories all the time when I was younger, and even a little during high school. But it was years later, while I was in law school, that I decided to write a book. It ended up being the most fun thing I'd done in a long time!

3. Are there any other authors that inspire you as you write? If so, who are they?

I love (love, love, love) Meg Cabot's books, especially with how rich her main character's voice always is. Also, my good friend Jen Malone writes some seriously funny books. She inspires me to keep the humor! (Jen and I wrote a book together that will be in bookstores next month!) My all-time favorite books are the Little House series from Laura Ingalls Wilder, Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery, and the All of a Kind Family series by Sydney Taylor.

4. What was your favorite subject in school? 

History! I loved history. It almost read like fantasy to me -- except it really happened. I loved to imagine myself living in a different time, wearing fancy clothes and seeing exciting things happen. And, of course, I always loved English. :)

5. Where do you usually write? 

On my couch. I wish I could say I had a fun writing office, but even if I did, I'd probably end up on the couch. It's really comfy.

6. Is there going to be a series to "Breaking the Ice"? Or is it just a stand-alone book?

Right now, it's a stand-alone. But who knows what could happen . . . fingers crossed, as Kaitlin would say. ;) In the meantime, I do have a series that starts next month called You're Invited, that I co-wrote with Jen Malone. That one is about four very different girls who are best friends that start a party-planning business.

7. For you, what is the most difficult thing about writing? Why?

For me, the hardest part is revision. I love to write a story, but struggle with making big changes to it, even when I know the changes will make the story better. 

Are you guys ready? Book review time!

Figure skating is Kaitlin’s passion, but she lands on thin ice after a meltdown in this funny, touching story. Because when you fall down, you have to pick yourself up—even if it’s in front of judges and a crowd.

Kaitlin has always dreamed of being a champion figure skater, and she’s given up a lot to pursue her passion. But after she has a totally uncharacteristic tantrum at a major competition, she’s dropped by her coach and her prestigious skating club.

When no other club will have her, she’s forced to join the ridiculed and run-down Fallton Club, jokingly referred to as the “Fall Down Club.” At first Kaitlin thinks this is a complete disaster, but after meeting some of the other skaters—including a boy who happens to have the most perfect hair she’s ever seen—she realizes it might not actually be so bad.

Yet learning a whole new program right before regionals is a huge challenge, and when she realizes that all the other area skaters target Fallton for pranks, she begins to wonder if joining the Fall Down Club has any upsides.

What I Liked About The Book: A lot of books have a cheesy plot. "Breaking the Ice" didn't. While I was reading this story, some scenes made me think: WHY WOULD SHE DO THAT? WAS SHE ABDUCTED BY ALIENS? IS SHE OKAY? I think you get the point. Basically what I'm saying is that--even at the beginning of the book--he character has HUGE ups and downs and her choices aren't always the best ones. But you can definitely see that she's trying to fix her mistakes and get everything going smoothly. Now THAT'S a good plot. 

What I Didn't Like About The Book: Let me be honest. There was a character in there that I just didn't like. Even from the beginning. I didn't understand why he had to be in the plot. He did some pretty awful things to the main character and argh, I just hated him. But when I finished the book, I understood why Gail put him in the story. It was just part of the drama that made the book something that you'd want to read over and over again. The story was definitely dramatic, but not overly-dramatic. Although I still don't like that character, I think he played a pretty important role in the story. :-)

Before ending today's MMGM I just wanted to let you guys know some awesome things that are happening today. 

-Today is May 4, 2015. May the fourth be with you. (Get it? If you don't, no worries. It's just some "Star Wars" humor. Carry on.)

-HUGE shout-out to Vanessa DoVale! Happy birthday! You official are a teenager! Enjoy your first day being 13! Man, being 11 makes me feel so young. :-( I know I just met you this September, but it feels like such a long time. Thanks so much for staying by my side and being my bestie. I'll SO miss you when we go off on our different ways. (*sniffles*)

Thanks so much for all of your love and support! Comment and follow me! 

If you'd like to go back to Shannon Messenger's website or check out the other MMGM links, click HERE.

If you'd like to check out the awesome Gail Nall's website, click HERE

If you missed last week's MMGM, click HERE

Have a nice week!!! 



  1. What a fun interview, Cindy. Enjoyed "meeting" Gail and finding out more about her and her writing journey. Revision isn't the hardest part for me (although it's still hard!). Coming up with the story in the first place is where I struggle.

    Cindy, your blog is most impressive.

    1. Aw, thanks! I really appreciate your support in making my blog what it is now. Good luck with the writing! :-)


  2. Very nice job on this interview and review. I enjoyed especially learning I'm not the only writer who watches too much TV and avoids housework.

    1. Ha! This one made me laugh out loud. Legit. Trust me, you're not the only one. (*wink, wink*) Have a nice week! :-)


  3. I love this interview and this book sounds fantastic! I'm with Gail about history and writing on the couch. That's what laptops are for. I will definitely have to check this one out!

    1. Yay! As they all say, if you seem to have twin telepathy with the author--read the book...Oh wait, I'm the only one who says it. Thanks for the feedback! :-)


  4. Love your new look, Cindy! Thanks for the review ;). I'm actually a figure skater, so it'll be fun to read this one!


    1. Omigsoh, thanks! That's awesome that you're a skater--I'm one too! Although, I'm kinda a beginner so... Thanks for the feedback! :-)