Portia's Ultra Mysterious Double Life

Portia's Ultra Mysterious Double Life

For Ages: 9 - 13

I look at the clock: 4:23 a.m. In approximately three hours I have to wake up again to go to school, and I haven't even gone to sleep yet. How can I possibly care about pop quizzes, bad hair days, and beauty makeovers now that I've found a major clue to the true identity of my missing father?

IDENTIFYING DATA

Subject: Portia Avatar -- Girl Psychoanalytic Detective

Background material: Twelve years old. Lives with earth mom, Indigo, and gray-and-white cat (who thinks he's a dog) named Frederick. To date, Portia does not know the whereabouts of her mysterious father, Patch.

Recent developments: An earthquake shakes up Portia's sleepy hometown of Palmville, California. A photograph of Patch is uncovered. Portia's life, as she knows it, is about to change forever.
Choose a format:
  • Aladdin | 
  • 224 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781416948933 | 
  • March 2008 | 
  • Grades 4 - 8
List Price $5.99
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About the Author

Anna Hays
Peg McCarthy

Anna Hays

Anna Hays is a writer and producer for a variety of formats and media including books, toys, theme parks, film, and television. Anna lives in Los Angeles, California, with her husband and their twin sons.

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Author Revealed

Anna Hays
Q. how did you come to write Portia's Ultra Mysterious Double Life?

A. I was working as a creative director in interactive media and coming up with a lot of ideas about how to tell stories using emerging technology and new narrative tools. As a fun exercise, I first worked on the Portia idea as an interactive series for the Web, but that never ended up going anywhere. That was a little over ten years ago. But I couldn't shake Portia from my brain. I started to grow very attached to her as a character and as a way for me to explore my voice. I wanted to take the story further, so I spun the story into a book. The first draft of the book consisted of several mystery cases about people in Portia's world, including one about her missing father. Almost immediately, I had interest from the television world and spent a little more than three years developing it as a series. But regimes changed and so did marketing teams, and Portia went into "turnaround" and never made it onto the air. I put the project aside and continued in my work as a concept designer and writer for theme park attractions, toys, animation and interactive media experiences. A few years later, I met literary agent Dan Lazar online and I told him about Portia. He asked to look at the first five pages, and I immediately emailed them to him. That same afternoon he asked for the first fifty pages! Then I took off for Telluride, Colorado where my husband was part of a film festival. I remember that I was up on a beautiful lush green mountaintop staying at ski condo with a magnificent view. We had just connected our computers and there was an email waiting for me from Dan telling me he loved the book! I was 10,000 feet above sea level, but it felt much higher!

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