I’m Diana Harmon Asher, the author of Sidetracked and Upstaged.
One of my teachers used to say that every character you create contains a piece of yourself. I definitely have some of Sidetracked’s Joseph in me (I’m afraid of Mr. Peanut and I worry a lot). I’d like to think I’m a good friend like Heather (though I don’t have her athletic talent!). I’m an opera fan like Grandpa and I love Inishbofin sheep and Charles Dickens, like Mrs. Fishbein. In my new book, Upstaged, I hope I have some of Cassie’s goofiness, and like Paul, I’ll never fit in with the cool kids. I share Shira’s shyness, and some of her stage experience (see photo below).
It took me a long time to get a book published. A really long time.
There were a lot of “no’s” before I got to “yes.” I won’t even tell you how many years’ worth. But I kept writing and I kept learning. Finally, I wrote Sidetracked, and the answer was “yes!”
Writing itself makes me happy. But knowing that readers are enjoying my books is even better. I love when kids identify with Heather, or when a student proudly announces that they have ADD just like Joseph. And I love the thought that some of you might have been encouraged to try cross country running and strive for your own personal record.
I hope you’ll love Upstaged, too! After you read it, maybe you’ll audition for a show, or try out for a team, sing a solo or just dance around your room! And of course, I hope my story gives you a few chuckles along the way.
I look forward to meeting and hearing from more of you in the months and years to come!