What advice do you have for kids who want to be writers?
Anyone who is interested in becoming a writer has to be a voracious reader. Turn off the television. Turn off the computer. Read everything you can get your hands on. Reading widely trains the inner "ear" of the writer so that she can hear the difference between a really good sentence that sings like poetry, versus a really bad sentence that falls with a loud clunk upon the page.Were you like Calpurnia when you were young?
I must have been, because she is very much based on my own personality. I would say she is about 70% me, about 20% my mother, and about 10% friends of mine.What is you current favorite book (can be a kid or adult book) and what was your favorite as a kid?
(My own mother is very funny, and not at all like Mother in the book, thank goodness.)
I read so many books that it's hard for me to name a favorite at the moment. But it's easy for me to name my favorite book when I was growing up: The Wind in the Willows, by Kenneth Grahame. I loved it then and I love it now. It's one of a small handful of books that I re-read over the years. The book was published a century ago and is now one of the great childhood classics.
When and where do you write?
What are you working on now or having coming out soon we can look forward to?
I try and write in the mornings between about nine and noon, but that doesn't always work out for me in light of my other work. I have a bright, sunny guest room upstairs that looks out onto the street and into the branches of a big old oak tree. I can sit at my desk and watch the squirrels chase each other when I need a little diversion. I also have a sound system that is usually tuned to the local classical music station. I find that chamber music is especially helpful for stirring up the creative part of the mind.
I am just finishing up The Willows Redux, which is my sequel to The Wind in the Willows.
I expect the publication date to be some time in 2012, when they release a movie of the original book.
Have you ever gotten rejection letters?
Oh, yes. There isn't a writer alive who hasn't. And if they deny it, they're lying to you.Do you feel like a famous author?
I don't especially feel like a famous author except when I go into a bookstore and sometimes the people there know who I am.
How many bookcases do you have?
Gosh, at the moment I have six. I would like to have more, but storage in my house is limited and I have to periodically get rid of old books in order to make room for new ones (this just about kills me).