1. Where do you get your ideas?

I go into a pet shop. I see a cute heap of kittens. I get an idea. I read the newspaper--an article about the whooping crane. I get an idea. I look at old family photos. I get an idea. Ideas have a way of presenting themselves as I go about my life.

2. When did you decide to become a writer?

When I was six years old. My father gave me an old black manual typewriter. He built me a desk from an orange crate. My mother filled a box with paper. And that's how I began.

3. Who is your favorite author?

Jerry Spinelli

4. Of all the books you have written which one is your favorite?

My books are like my children and grandchildren. I don't choose favorites. I love them all.

5. Which book of Jerry's is your favorite?

Out of Jerry's books my favorite is Space Station Seventh Grade. His first book.

6. Who was published first - Jerry or you?

I was published first.

7. How many children do you have?

We have 6 children and 16 grandchildren.

8. Does anyone else write in your family write?>

Several of the children in the family write or have written poetry. One son especially likes to write haiku. Another just told me he has an idea for an adult novel. Several of the grandchildren have written stories and poems.

9. How long did it take you to get published?

My first book is out of print now. And so long ago...I don't recall the time frame..maybe a couple of years???

10. Where you and Jerry both writers when you met?

Jerry and I were both aspiring writers when we met. One of our happy connections.

11. Do you use a computer when you write your books?

No. I write long hand. Then I type the story on my electric typewriter.

12. Where do you write?

I usually write in my office. It's on the second floor of our home. It's quite cozy. Plants in the windows. My desk our old dining room table. Teddy bears. Photos of my favorite people. The world's most comfortable chair. And lots of books. Sometimes I write at the library. Or the train station. Or the airport.

13. What do you like to do when you are not writing?

Lots of things. I like to hang out with the grandkids....read...watch old movies...travel....walk on the beach (off season)...tend my herb garden...browse in book stores and thrift shops...collect river rocks and teapots...and bake (my husband Jerry loves peach pie and chocolate cake!)

14. Do you have any pets?

Not at the moment. But I have had fish, cats, a dog, rats and a chinchilla.  Right now we have three "grandcats" and a "granddog".

15. Does any of your new stories get rejected by Publishers?

Yes, I still get rejections from publishers.

16. Have you won any awards?

Here are some of the awards I have won:

  1. Christopher Award for Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch
  2. CCBC Choices 2003 for Wanda's Monster
  3. Bank Street College of Education's Best Children's Books of the Year 2001 for In My New Yellow Shirt
  4. IPPY for best children's book for ages 7 and up for Song For The Whooping Crane
  5. July 1995 Philadelphia Children's Reading Round Table Book Award of the Month for Lizzie Logan Wears Purple Sunglasses
  6. Nominated for North Carolina's Children's Book Award for 2001--Lizzie Logan, Second Banana
  7. Storytelling World Award Horn Book 2002 for Sophie's Masterpiece
  8. MARCH 1999 Philadelphia Children's Reading Round Table Book of the Month--When Mama Comes Home Tonight
  9. Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award 1999 for When Mama Comes Home Tonight.
  10. Bank Street College of Education's Best Children's Books of the Year 2003 for Here Comes the Year
  11. Junior Library Guild Spring List 2003 for Three Pebbles and A Song
  12. Parents Choice Appoved Award Winner --Rise The Moon Book
  13. Sense 76 Selection--Rise The Moon
  14. Carolyn Field Award--Do You Have A Hat?


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