Famous Authors Interviews – Words of Wisdom

Be prepared to be shocked… authors, even the extremely famous ones , are real people – like you and me. ¬†I know, shocking huh? ūüėČ

Honestly though, while I’m glued to my computer for my day job, I enjoy listening to interviews with these real people. Their¬†thoughts are inspiring and motivating – especially if you’re a writer too.

I was capitvated by J.K. Rowling’s interview with Oprah (see below). If you have 45 minutes it’s worth the watch (or listen, like I did). If not, I’ve included links to some other famous childrens author interviews I enjoyed (that are a lot shorter).

Be prepared though – you’ll want to write as soon as you’re done listening. Might want to save some time for that for later.

— click on the author’s name to see the video —

Author InterviewsJ.K. Rowling (Harry Potter series) -CLICK HERE-:

She is the ultimate rags to riches story. One of my favorite things about her is her ability to remember what life was like before fame and to not lose sight of that. So refreshing!

Jon Scieszka (True Story of the Three Little Pigs) – CLICK HERE-:

What a funny guy. I really enjoyed hearing his thoughts on reading and boys – how they struggle to read more than girls. I just enjoyed this interview in general, his happiness is contagious.

Jerry Spinelli (Maniac Magee, Stargirl) – CLICK HERE-:

I enjoy Spinelli’s writing style – so I was eager to hear his interview. I loved that hated¬†reading the required reading in school because I always struggled with that as well.

Beverly Cleary (Ramona and Beezus) – CLICK HERE-:

Beverly was a children’s librarian before becoming an author. She got in to writing because the children weren’t satisfied with the books that were available.¬†She never received a rejection letter – ever!

 Lois Lowry (The Giver) РCLICK HERE-:

Lois Lowry dropped out of college and finished after he children were all in school. She never submitted a story formally. She was approached by an editor and asked to try writing a story for children – which turned in to her first novel.

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Mo Willems

Mo Willems (Elelphant and Piggie, Pigeon) -CLICK HERE-:

Mo fell into writing almost by accident, but man am I glad he did. I LOVE the Elephant Piggie series.

Katherine Paterson (Author of Bridge to Terabithia) -CLICK HERE-: 

She stresses the importance of reading as an author. She also talks about the real life death that inspired the book The Bridge to Terabithia.

Kate DiCamillo (Author of Because of Winn-Dixie, Mercy Watson) -CLICK HERE-: 

Kate says she loves to finish stories but doesn’t actually love to write them. Each morning she has to convince herself to get the writing done.¬†Man, I can relate to that some days.

Before you head off to to do some writing yourself, would you share comment below about something that motivates you to write? Thanks!

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100 pages or less… that’s all I got in me.

When I was in Ms. Sloans’ third grade class, they split us up by reading levels. Most of the kids in my reading level whipped through¬†War and Peace in preschool. But I was not one of those kids.¬†I hated reading.

Book report time made my stomach churn. Ms. Sloan dropped a list of approved books on each of our desks while we fidgeted in our blue, plastic chairs.

“Pick one from your reading level!” she said.

All I could think was, which one’s the shortest?

During library time, I walked past shelf after shelf of books, letting my finger bump along the spines until I found one of the books on the list. Without glancing at the cover, I flipped to the last page.

“142 pages. ¬†Nope.” I slapped the book shut. I had never read a book over 100 pages and had no intention to start now.¬†I found every book on the list. Flipped to every last page and put most of them back. The book I finally settled on looked boring, but it was only 87 pages (87 pages, I never finished).

I’m not honestly sure how I got away with not reading a novel until fourth grade, but it was Ms. Jensen, a 4’10” ball of spunk, that caught me in my fib. ¬†She called me to her desk and asked me outright if I had every finished a novel. I felt my heart run to hide in my¬†throat. How had she found out? My mom? I couldn’t find the words to answer, so I shook my head no.

“Maybe you haven’t found the right author.” She stared at me. “Let’s try Lois Lowry. Today in library, look at all of her books. Find one that looks interesting to you, and that’ll be your book report book.”

I found¬†Anastasia¬†Again. All¬†160 pages pages of it (gulp). I read it all that afternoon. I read it all the next afternoon, and before too long, I’d finished it. And… I loved it.

“Great!” she said, when I told her my good news. “Now let’s try some others.” She recommended Beverly Clearly’s Ramona books, Ann Martin’s Babysitters Clubs series and on and on. I read them all, and loved them all.

It was the stories I fell in love with, not the reading. Ms. Jensen (and Lois Lowry) taught me that once I was caught up in the story I stopped caring about the page number. I learned to love the characters. They felt like real people. People who went to my school, people who went to my pool. And because I cared about them, I cared about their stories.

For anyone who claims they don’t like reading I say, hogwash! Everyone has a character they can relate to. Someone that can pull you into their world; make you laugh, make you cry, make you wonder. You just have to start looking. Some of them might even be in those darn books over 100 pages.

Happy reading storytime, everyone!

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