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Ask the Author (Almost) Anything: Barbara Brauner & James Iver Mattson, authors of The Glitter Trap

Teenscape Department, Central Library,
Los Angeles Teen Book Fest Sign

Barbara Brauner and James Iver Mattson will be at Teen Book Fest on Saturday, Oct. 12 on the Middle Grade Book Party panel in Teen'Scape at 12pm. Barbara and James will be signing copies of The Glitter Trap at 1pm in Meeting Room B.

The Glitter Trap is the first novel in Barbara Brauner and James Iver Mattson’s new series, Oh My Godmother (or OMG for short), involving zany humor, magical adventures, and an extremely ill-tempered fairy godmother.

Twelve-year-old Lacey Unger-Ware (yes, that’s really her name) is already facing her fair share of middle school angst when she accidentally captures a fairy godmother in her hair. To makes matters worse, Lacey's cat tries to eat her, and by the time it’s all said and done, Katarina the fairy godmother is in no shape to be granting wishes.

While her wings heal, Katarina puts Lacey on wish-granting duty. If Lacey says yes, she will have to learn magic and make dreams come true for Paige, a mean, popular girl who is not exactly on Lacey’s list of favorite people. But if she says no, Lacey's own dearest wish will never come true.

Magic abounds, and there’s also friend drama, crushes, a school play, and a lot of laughs in this delightful tween read.

Barbara and James recently talked to us about unfortunate names, a perfect day in LA, and what makes them want to throw a book across the room.

1. The main character in The Glitter Trap is named Lacey Unger-Ware, which means, or course, that everybody at her middle school calls her “Underwear Girl” (poor Lacey!). Did that name come to you right away, or did you have a whole list of unfortunate potential names for her?

We initially wrote a short outline where we didn’t have a name for our main character yet. Then when we decided to write the first 20 pages to show as a sample, we needed a name, and we also wanted a joke on the first page. We decided that hyphenated names could go really, really wrong, and came up with Unger-Ware. Then we wanted an unfortunate first name to make Unger-Ware even worse. Barbara has a friend whose dog is named Lacey – and so, Lacey Unger-Ware was born. What you don’t know is that Lacey also has an even more ill-chosen middle name—but we’re saving that for one of the sequels.

2. What about a book will make you fall in love with it instantly? And what makes you want to throw it across the room?

Barbara: Love – when there’s a first sentence that grabs me and pulls me into the book. Hate – when the writer tries to write so artistically that I’m constantly knocked out of the story.

Jim: Love – Show business biographies are my great guilty pleasure; it doesn’t take much for me to fall instantly in love, or at least check the book out of the library. Hate – when show business biographies take too long to reach the show business part. I know childhoods in North Dakota can be fascinating, but I want to get to the good stuff.

3. You have 24 hours to show someone a perfect day in Los Angeles. Where would you take them?

Barbara: My perfect day requires a lot of driving around — how LA is that? In the morning, after a drive down Pacific Coast Highway, we'd visit the Getty Villa; everyone needs a reproduction Roman villa to start their day. In the afternoon it's on to the Huntington Library and Gardens for a long walk and some tea. Then in the evening we're going to the movies, probably at the Cinerama Dome. And finally, a late night snack at Canter's Deli on Fairfax. Canter’s is open all night, so that way the perfect day can last until dawn.

Jim: Disneyland, of course.

4. What are one or two of the best teen books you've read lately?

Barbara: Because James and I write middle-grade, I tend to read middle-grade myself. My current favorites are Rebecca Stead’s When You Reach Me, K.A. Applegate’s The One and Only Ivan, and Eva Ibbotson’s One Dog and His Boy.

Jim: I loved Tim Federle’s Better Nate Than Ever, and am looking forward to the sequel.


You can learn more about Barbara and James at