Prompt: Book that represents mental illness. Books featuring neurodiverse characters…
Introduction: About You
3 Little Known or Interesting Things About You
1 My kids were on The Voice last year (Team Kelly –first trio ever)
2 I can pick up things with my toes.
3 I’ve also written seven non-fiction books for adults.
If you or one of your books was the answer on Jeopardy, what do you imagine/wish the question would be? This book, eventually made into a movie, is believed to have been responsible for the turning-point in history when people started being kinder to each other.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk? I have a picture of author Sharon Draper with me on my desk. She is giving me the “Draper Touch”. It helps me write.
What is the first book that made you cry? Little Women.
Does writing energize or exhaust you? Mostly, writing energizes me. I am usually only exhausted if I am working on something that is not panning out –and it is a sign to hit the pause button on it. But even after hours of writing on a project that is going well, I will be energized.
About Your Books
Tell us about your book(s)-length of time it took to write, journey, publishing, release dates, etc.
WALKING WITH MISS MILLIE (Nancy Paulsen Books 2017) This was my first middle grade historical fiction so it took many shapes and forms before it became the book it is today. From start to finish –I’d say it was seven years and six rewrites.
PIXIE PUSHES ON (Nancy Paulsen Books 2020) My brand new book was written in six months, and then revised about three times after Nancy bought it. Each time made it better and better. Even though this was faster –from start to publication was three years.
Favorite line or quote from one of your books. Ooooh –that’s like picking my favorite child. Too hard! But one that students often point out to me is from Walking with Miss Millie when Miss Millie is talking to Alice about someone overcoming a hard life: “It takes a strong plant to come out of the hardened ground –especially when it ain’t given much sunshine.”
Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer? If so, what are they? I believe in planting the seeds from reality and letting them sprout into fiction. Each of my books is centered on real-life happenings that have been the spring-boards for a book. I advise people to start with what they know. Write often. Read often. Know that it doesn’t usually land on the page in a pretty fashion. You revise, revise, revise.
And most of all –enjoy it.
Leave us with some wise words. What advice would you give the readers of this interview? Never let someone talk you out of your dream. I knew in second grade that I wanted to be a writer. Along the way, a lot of people tried to convince me otherwise, but I always believed in myself. You can achieve your dream, too!
Leave some links for us to follow you and buy your books:
Thanks for having me!!!!