The author, on Casper's contribution to her writing career:
I actually credit Casper with the fact that I'm published at all. I was writing at the time we adopted him, but wasn't have much luck getting past very bad rough drafts. But once he became part of the family, I found myself interested in lots of dog-training programs -- Animal Planet and National Geographic Channel had some really good ones at the time. The shows got me thinking about what would happen if you used adaptations of some of these dog-training techniques in social settings, particularly the most challenging ones. Like middle school, which I remember all too well. This sparked the idea behind Fetching, which landed me a wonderful agent and a book deal with Disney-Hyperion, and has allowed me to continue writing middle-grade books. My second novel, How to Break a Heart, came out...[read on]About How to Break a Heart, from the publisher:
This time, even ice cream won't help.Visit Kiera Stewart's website.
Nick Wainwright is definitely the love of thirteen-year-old Mabry Collins's life, and when he dumps her in the most mortifying way possible, her heart is shattered. So, maybe they'd never kissed, but they had shared something special. They'd shared LOVE. True love. She's sure of it.
And Mabry would know. She's watched countless episodes of her favorite telenovela with her best friend, Sirina, and the characters have taught her everything about romance.
But when Sirina's usual methods for comforting Mabry fail, she has an idea: it's time for Mabry to break a heart of her own. And who better than Thad Bell to teach Mabry how to do it? He was the source of her very first heartbreak, and he seems to have his own reasons for wanting to see Nick suffer.
Mabry decides to give it a shot, but she's pretty sure Thad's advice will lead to disaster. After all, his sole passion is a burrito with extra hot sauce. Anyone with any sense knows that true love doesn't come in a foil wrapper! But if Thad can help her win back-um, that is, break-Nick's heart, then it might just be worth it.
Coffee with a Canine: Kiera Stewart & Casper.