Sunday 12 May 2013


Do you think children at schools these days are encouraged enough to read? and/or do Imaginative writing?
Wow that is a hard question as schools vary so much from city to city and state to state. I live in Washington State and here I know there has been a big push for reading. I do a fair bit of work inside the middle and high schools and I see students reading everywhere! Which is fantastic! I think this also has a lot to do with the fact there are so many great middle-grade and YA books out now. When I was young the jump between children’s books to adult books was a big one, with a relatively slim scattering of “teen reads” in between. I think the middle-grade and YA publishing boom shows us just how badly that gap needed to be filled.

Did you read a lot at school and write lots of stories or is being a writer something newer in your life?
Yes, I read loads and wrote from when I was very young. Even before that, imaginary play was a big part of my life. I never played “house” or “mom” there was always serious plot involved, setting changed from modern to pioneer to medieval, dastardly villains were invented, I had a goal, usually younger sibling to protects (in the form of stuff animals) yes… it was all very detailed. Also I was strangely obsessed with being an orphan or at least a runaway.
Hmmm… if only I had been lucky enough to be orphaned or at the least have had really horrible parents to escape from, but (sigh) not so much as an evil stepmother to outwit...

Did you have a favorite author as a child?
Not really one in particular, so I’ll name Karen Cushman, Lois Lowery, and C.S. Lewis as a spattering of my favorites.

Do you have a treasured book from your childhood? If yes, what is it?
I loved, loved, loved this series called The Winds of Light it was my absolute favorite. I read it over and over and now I can’t find it anywhere.

Did you have a favorite genre of book as a child? ie fictional, non-fiction, history, educational,adventure,romance,animals, pets,etc etc
Hilariously, I had a “survival” phase where I was obsessed with books like Julie and the Wolves and Island of the Blue Dolphin. I often dreamt that I might someday be trapped or abandon somewhere (preferably a tropical island) and have to survive. I read a lot of books about how to set traps and find fresh water, and was always crossing my fingers that my plane might go down.
Yes ... almost as twisted as dreaming about how wonderful having truly wicked parents might be and thinking about all those lucky orphans strutting the streets, outwitting cops and villains alike.

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