And now, that curiosity has finally yielded results. Ladies, gentlemen, and little monster ARGH, let's hear it for Elizabeth Atkinson!
Who is one writer that you really look up to?
There are several children’s book authors I greatly admire such as Natalie Babbitt, Jack Gantos, Pam Muñoz Ryan, and Kimberly Willis Holt. But as a child, the book Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret by Judy Blume changed my life. I wanted to someday write a book that would empower and entertain girls in the same contemporary way Blume did. At that time, books were not nearly as relatable as they are now for children and tweens – for the most part, I was handed the classics like Alcott or cutesy series like Nancy Drew. So for me (and many other girls of my generation), Judy Blume’s book was groundbreaking.
Yes, I did – either a writer or an actor. They seemed to be the two creative activities I was most passionate about and, at the same time, received positive encouragement to pursue by my teachers and family. When you come right down to it, the two occupations aren’t really different from one another.
Oh, hard to pick – probably Anna Karenina :)
There is no “right” way to write.
Find a quiet place to work without internet access.
For me it was always important to find mentors in order to get better and better at my craft and to find my voice. I have never found writing groups to be useful or productive, although some people do. A mentor can be invisible as well – a writer you admire whose books and interviews can be instructional. But I think working one-on-one with a talented writer or professor or editor – someone you trust and respect - to hone your craft will help you grow the most. And develop a thick skin, don’t ever take critiques or reviews personally. That said, write anything to keep the creative juices flowing. And then one day, you’ll notice a charming corner store that sells beads…. and wonder to yourself, who lives above that curious little shop?