Saturday, May 14, 2016

MOVIE MATCH-UP: Jessica Lawson’s Waiting for Augusta (Plus a GIVEAWAY!)

Today the lovely Jessica Lawson is here, in celebration of her newest release. She's also generously giving away a signed hardcover to one lucky person!

Thank you so much for having me, Leandra!
Writers draw inspiration from everywhere, both consciously and subconsciously. I’m convinced that my writing has somehow been influenced by every book I’ve read, every conversation I’ve been part of (or have eavesdropped on), every story I’ve heard, and every movie I’ve seen. As a child, movies were magical. I was first and foremost a reader, but boy do I have fond memories of curling up on the floor to watch the Sunday night movie specials on The Magical World of Disney (also known as The Wonderful World of Disney).
Those stories and visuals took me on journeys and, in some cases, changed me. In my newest book (now in stores!), the main character Ben Putter is an artist, who lives mostly in his own world, but circumstances force him to take a huge mental and physical journey that changes him. His traveling companion, the mysterious Noni, experiences a change as well.
And so, without further ado and without giving away too many spoilers, here are four elements and scenes from my newest middle grade book, Waiting for Augusta, that have parallels to some of my favorite movies:

  1. ELEMENT: Train-hopping
Augusta Scene: Something precious is thrown onto a moving coal train, prompting Ben and Noni to take off running and trying to find a way to retrieve it.
Movie Parallel: The Journey of Natty Gann- boy did I love this beautiful movie as a kid and I still do. It’s the story of a girl who sets off to reunite with her father under impossible conditions. John Cusack plays a young man who rides the rails and Natty has to run hard to get on a train in order to join him. Natty is one of my favorite movie characters ever.


  1. ELEMENT: Tying up an in-the-way relative
Augusta Scene: I won’t specify the relative, but somebody trying to stop Ben and Noni from getting to Augusta National Golf Club gets tied up by Ben and Noni. Stealth and knots are involved.
Movie Parallel: Goonies- Another favorite! In order to get away from the muscle-obsessed older brother character, the neighborhood boys tie him to a chair with his own exercise equipment. Classic

  1. ELEMENT: Bumming a ride
Augusta Scene: At one point in the book, Ben and Noni stage an elaborate ruse meant to trick golf players into giving them a ride into the back entrance Augusta National Golf Club.
Movie Parallel: Home Alone: In a desperate attempt to get home to her left-behind son, Mom bums a ride with a polka band, led by John Candy. Fantastic scene, love this movie.

  1. ELEMENT: Interactions with disgruntled chickens
Augusta Scene: There are TWO interactions with angry chickens in my book—one involving Mrs. Clucksy, who guards the night’s $$ take at a local establishment, and the other involving a stolen truck.
Movie Parallel: Chicken Run- From the team who came up with the brilliant Wallace & Gromit shows, this is a stop-motion, claymation tale of chickens who try to break free from confinement to avoid being made into pies.


When you think about your manuscripts, do you see any parallels to favorite movies? If so, share!
Just leave a comment to be entered to win a signed hardcover of Waiting for Augusta!


Eleven-year-old Benjamin Putter has a lump in his throat, and he’s certain it’s a golf ball. He knows it sounds crazy, but everything’s been topsy-turvy since his father died last month. And he doesn’t know how to fix it.

Then, one day, something starts tugging at Ben, telling him to hurry to Augusta, Georgia—home of the most famous golf course in the world.

Ben might be going a little crazy, but escaping Hilltop, Alabama, sounds like a darn good idea. (And just maybe it will make that lump go away.) As he makes his way to Augusta, Ben partners up with a mysterious runaway named Noni, and they embark on a journey full of strange and wonderful surprises—and possibly magic—at every turn.

Jessica Lawson is the author of The Actual & Truthful Adventures of Becky Thatcher, a book that Publishers Weekly called “a delightfully clever debut” in a starred review, and Nooks & Crannies, a Junior Library Guild Selection and recipient of three starred reviews. Her latest middle grade novel is Waiting for Augusta.
Follow Jessica on Twitter:


  1. Fun parallels! My current WIP is a cross between Notting Hill and A Walk to Remember, so definitely some parallels from there :)

  2. I love all the movie references! Several of my favorites made the list which makes me even more excited to read this book than I already am! Thank you for the opportunity to win!

  3. Congratulations to Jessica. We have the same publisher! This sounds lovely. I don't know if I could compare any scenes in my books to movies like that.

  4. This sounds like so much fun - and those movies are some of my all-time favourites! I love it! :-)

  5. Congratulations to Jessica. I loved reading these comparisons! Thanks so much for sharing!

  6. This is such a fun idea! I'll have to think about movie connections--I'm sure they exist! Loved the movies you mentioned, too :)

  7. GOONIES! Love the premise and book cover, too. I'm in the mood for some magic.

  8. this was so fun! And I love Jessica's cover!

  9. The winner of the giveaway was Siouxshi! 'Grats, Sioux! :)


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