A few years ago debut author RJ Palacio released a book that would forever change the world. Her book, Wonder, has planted itself atop both the New York Times best sellers list and the hearts of readers all over the world. Today, Ms. Palacio’s Pluto is released as an e-book. I’ll let Ms. Palacio tell more about it below.
1. Can you tell us a little bit about Pluto?
Pluto is an expansion of the Wonder world that is told from the point of view of Christopher, Auggie’s friend, who moved away several years before the events of Wonder take place. As Auggie’s oldest friend, Christopher’s perspective is rather unique in that he was there to witness many of the moments in Auggie’s life that are only alluded to in Wonder: the surgeries; the day Nate Pullman brings Daisy home for the first time; the old neighborhood friends who seem to vanish from Auggie’s life. It even explains Auggie’s obsession with the astronaut helmet, as it ties into his love of outer space and, in particular, Pluto. Taking place over the course of one very long day for Christopher—a pretty bad one at that—the story toggles back and forth between the past and present as Christopher struggles with the challenges of being friends with Auggie—the stares, the awful hospital visits, the awkward reactions of new friends—which can be hard to deal with when you’re eleven years old. Ultimately, Pluto is a celebration of the trials and tribulations of friendship. 5
2. What is your favorite thing about being a writer?
My favorite thing about writing is when the characters I’ve created actually take over the writing. They start guiding me, taking the story to places I hadn’t previously imagined. They become so real to me that they tell me what they would and wouldn’t say, and what they would or wouldn’t do. 3
3. What’s the hardest thing about being a writer?
It’s hard not being able to spend all the time I would like connecting with fans of the book who write to me, and want me to write back. I tried to in the beginning, after Wonder was first published, but it quickly became pretty overwhelming. I would literally be spending all my time writing everyone back, and I wouldn’t have time to write new books, or spend time with my own kids. People have written me such amazing emails, though, and shared their truly touching stories from all over the world, that it’s hard not to respond immediately to each and every one. 4
4. If you could spend one day inside the world of any book which book would you pick?
I would want to be in The Golden Compass. I’d love to see what my daemon would be.
5. What advice do you have for the young writers in my classroom?
Continue without fail to write something—anything—every day.