I love it when kids ask questions when I visit their school. I was at Westville Elementary School and talked about writing to the students in the book clubs there earlier this week. I forgot my camera and couldn't take any pictures, so I thought I'd share some of their great questions with you instead.
How long did it take to write your picture book, TURKEY SURPRISE? It took about one year before I was happy with the final version. I do many, many revisions before I'm satisfied with how it reads. I also read my story out loud to my critique groups, and they offer comments on what is good in the story as well as what they think could be improved. It's wonderful to have writer friends who will give me their honest opinion. It doesn't hurt my feelings if they tell me something could be improved.
Who chooses the illustrator for your books? The publisher decides who will illustrate my books. However I did have the opportunity to say who I thought would be a good choice.
Do you like the illustrations in your books? The illustrations aren't always the way I pictured them in my head when I was writing the book, but I love the illustrations in all of my books! Actually, they are much better than the way I had pictured them!
Have you ever met the illustrators for your books? No I have never met them. I also haven't had any telephone conversations, or e-mails from them. Thor Wickstrom put a little yellow dog in TURKEY SURPRISE, and I was excited about that because I had a little yellow puppy. But he didn't know that.
How many books have you written? My 4th published book, NAME THAT DOG!, will be out on April 1, 2010. But I've written hundreds of books! Some are in my file folders waiting to be finished, or for me to re-write them until they are good enough to send out to publishers.
Do you work on only one book at a time? Usually I work on a book for awhile, then put it down and work on something different, like poetry or non-fiction. Then later I go back to my book with fresh eyes. I can see things in my book more clearly then that should be changed or re-written. And there are times when I'm busy with some non-writing thing, and it might be easier for me to work on a poem, because a poem isn't as long as a whole book. So I'm always working on something.
What kind of books do you like to read? When I was young I liked to read fairy tales and Nancy Drew mysteries. My favorite book was Nurse Nancy. Now I read all kinds of books but I still love to read mystery and suspense books, and I like the Chicken Soup for the Soul books.
Thanks to all of the students and teachers and librarians for their wonderful questions! Read More