FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

  • Q.  Why do you write about animal characters so much?

  • A.  There are many good reasons to use animals as characters in children's books, but one that many people seem to miss is that animals are multicultural.  Children of all races and colors can relate to them.  Another good reason is that you can exaggerate with animals.  Animal characters can do things in a book that a child character wouldn't do.

  • Q.  Where do you get your ideas?

  • A.  Writing ideas can come from anywhere and everywhere.  I often get started by playing with words and sounds, and by brainstorming ideas and titles.  Ideas for children's books also come from memories, life experiences, and research.  But the inspiration for THE WIND'S GARDEN came from the same place as these flowers: from my backyard garden!

photo- daffodils

  • Q.  How many books have you written?  

  • A.  I have 25 children's books published, and several works in progress.  Click here to see My Books.

  • Q.  Where do you write?

  • A. I have written in just about every room of my house, as well as in my backyard, on boats, trains, planes, and in coffee shops.  I have an upstairs study where I keep my computer and files and do the business end of things.  But pens are very portable.   When inspiration strikes, I just grab a pen and piece of paper and scribble!

 

  • Q.  As a child, did your teachers recognize your writing talent?

  • A.  Yes! Teachers, please take note!  I received much encouragement from my teachers, and in those early years of rejection letters and no sales, memories of their encouragement really kept me going.

  • Q.  What is your writing routine?  

  • A.  I'm not very good with routines, so to keep myself disciplined I have goals and self-imposed monthly "deadlines."

  • Q. How do you celebrate when you get a new book contract?

  • A.  First I jump up and down and shout!  And then I go with my family to my favorite restaurant.

  • Q. Do you keep a notebook or a journal?

  • A.  I keep an idea folder.  Whenever I think of something- maybe something as simple as a word, name, or phrase that I like- I write it down and add it to my folder.  It's amazing how many of these tidbits end up as children's books.

  • Q.  What books are you working on now?

  • A.   I'm a juggler- I'm always working on several projects at once!  But one project that I am really excited about is my first chapter book.  It's a challenge, but it's always fun to break new ground!

See FAQs for Writers for more FAQs


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