I had such a wonderful time participating in an interview from children about being a writer and writing children's books. http://www.kidsdevos.com
1. How did you become a writer? Did you always know you wanted to write? How old were you when you became serious about writing professionally?
I always knew I wanted to be a writer. While my friends were playing football and tag at recess in elementary school, I was curled up under a tree with my notebook and pencil, jotting down silly poems. I’ve always loved to write. I became the editor of my elementary school newspaper, “The Panther Paw” in 6th grade, and that’s when I began really taking writing seriously. I think I realized it was something I was truly good at, and I wanted to explore it with more passion at that point. I graduated with a journalism degree from Indiana University in 1991 and I’ve been “a professional writer” ever since.
2. Do you write full time or have another day job?
I write full time, from home, usually in my bunny slippers.
3. Where do you write most of the time?
Other than your home, where is your favorite place to write? I love to sit on a beach somewhere and listen to the ocean and get inspired. It’s so peaceful, and the sounds of the sea make me become more creative.
4. What kinds of materials have you written on when paper wasn’t available?
I once wrote a greeting card submission on toilet paper. It was all I could find. And, once I was in the movie theater watching a movie and I had a really great idea for a book but I didn’t have a pen or paper with me, so I used my black eyeliner to scribble the book title on my Junior Mints box.
5. What’s your writing schedule?
I don’t really have a schedule. I go with the flow—whatever is on deadline is what I write first. That’s my schedule. I usually write best late at night. I am SOOOO not a morning person.
6. How long does it take to write a book?
It depends. If I’m writing a children’s picture book, I might finish in a few days. If I’m writing a 365 devotional for women, it could take me several months.
7. Who are your favorite author(s), including both children and adult titles.
I love to read non-fiction—especially biographies and self-help/improvement titles. I love Joel Osteen and Victoria Osteen’s books. I am currently reading “John Adams” by David McCullough. As for a favorite children’s author—I love funny, quirky poetry so Shel Silverstein is still my fave.
8. What’s the funniest experience you had as a writer?
I once had to write a story about a pet potty belly pig named Petunia—totally serious. I was a news reporter for a daily newspaper in Southern IN and that was my assignment, so I had to get “up close and personal” with a pig. Very funny!
9. What advice would you give a child who is thinking about writing a story?
I would say—just do it! Sit down and capture those thoughts on paper. Don’t worry about the details—if every word is spelled correctly, etc.—just get those creative juices flowing. You can go back later and fix the spelling and grammatical errors. Allow yourself to write freely.
10. Tell us your favorite experience as a writer.
I think my favorite experience was getting to interview many of the Hollywood stars and sports celebrities associated with the Paramount movie, “Blue Chips.” I was paid by Paramount to play a sports photographer in the movie (as an extra) and that gave me access to interview many celebrities such as noted college basketball coach Bob Knight, celebrated basketball coaches Rick Pitino and Jerry Tarkanian; actress Mary McDonnell and many more. It was a total blast to be on the movie set every day for two weeks. I loved every minute of that process.
11. What’s your writing ritual?
I am at my laptop computer every single day—whether I’m working on an article for a magazine or coming up with a new children’s story or working on a non-fiction book. I write every single day. I love it so much that it doesn’t even feel like a job, but it is my full-time job. I am a full-time freelance writer, so I can’t afford to have “writer’s block” very often.
12. Paper, computer or typewriter?
I usually use my trusty Sony Vaio computer, but if I’m on vacation at the beach and don’t have a computer nearby, I’ll grab a notebook and begin jotting down thoughts to type into my computer that night. I’ve been at this long enough that I remember writing my first short fiction piece on a typewriter…I went through a lot of white out! Computers make life much easier.
13. In what kind of environment do you work best?
Unlike some writers who have to have complete silence to work, I like some noise. Silence makes me nervous. I usually have the TV playing Seinfeld reruns or I’ll have it tuned to HGTV or QVC or something. Or, sometimes I will play Frank Sinatra or James Taylor music while writing.
14. Why do you write?
Simply put, I love it! I feel called to write, and I am thankful I can do this for a living.
15. What author do you wish you could emulate?
I would love to write like Nancy Rue, who the critics call “the queen of tween” since her books for girls ages 8 to 12 are so fun and amazing.