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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Book Review: Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes

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I stumbled on this little gem entirely by accident. I was at my mother in-laws house digging through her childrens book for a bedtime story to read my kids. This cover was bright and cute so I picked it (who says kids are the only ones that pick books based on covers?). Instantly I was in love. My poor children had to put up with me asking if I could read it to them over and over. I even snuck it back to my room and read the book a couple more times while they were napping. It’s that delightful.

Synopsis: ¬†A little mouse name Chrysanthemum LOVES her unique name, until she starts school. At school the children tease her because she’s named after a flower and her name is so long “it scarcely fits on a name tag.” Every night Chrysanthemum’s parents have to buoy her up with praise, Parcheesi and chocolate cake. Things turn around when her class meets the pregnant music teacher, Ms. Delphinium Twinkle (who just happens to also be named after a flower and has a name that scarcely fits on a name tag). The children idealize Ms.Twinkle and the teasing turns to praise. The books ends with Ms. Twinkle having her baby and naming her Chrysanthemum.

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Here’s what entranced me:

THE LANGUAGE:

This is a phenomenal read-a-loud book. The words skip along with sing-song fluidity. You feel her excitement, worry, relief, right along with her. While many of the words are too difficult for younger readers to read on their own, it is written in a context that make perfect sense to them when read aloud.

THE ILLUSTRATIONS:

I love Kevin Henkes little mice. They’re ¬†brightly colored and whimsical – very¬†unique to him. In Chrysathemum he does a wonderful job showing the untold story in the art work. Pay close attention to the illustrations with her parents – such funny details added her and there.

BEST FOR AGES 3-8 – but geez, I’m over thirty and still love it.

BUY IT OR BORROW IT?  This is a buy it book! Totally worth the investment.

Have you read Chyrsathemum?  Tell us what you think of it.

Your Book Bucket List

Book Bucket list

Do you have a book bucket list? I do – well, did. Proud to say I checked all those puppies off. Which is sadly not as big of a feat as it might sound since I was 11 or 12 when I wrote it (which means it’s a tiny list). Even still, it’s a list full of goodies. Wonder if some of yours are on it. Hmm…

I made my book bucket list because I hated reading until 4th grade. Once I liked reading, I spent 2 year reading whatever fancied me. By 6th grade my reader friends had all read these wonderful classic books under their belts and I hadn’t touched one of them. I wanted to know what the big deal was about this redhead named Anne and why the secret garden was a secret. So… I made a list. My book bucket list.

I’m totally game to let you see it (kind of a strange post if I wasn’t), but will you do me a favor? Promise me you’ll share at least one book on your book bucket list in the comments below? Kid Lit, Adult Lit – Whatever! I find some of my favorite books through other’s recommendations and would love to hear yours.¬†That’s how #7 got added to my list. Recommendations are gold!

Alrighty, enough of my chit chatting, here we go:

BOOK #1 РAnne of Green Gables Рby L.M. Montgomery

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BOOK #2 – Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe – by C.S. Lewis

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BOOK #3 – Bridge to Terabithia – by Katherine Paterson

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BOOK #4 РSecret Garden Рby Frances Hodgson Burnett

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BOOK #5 – Number the Stars – by Lois Lowry

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BOOK #6 –¬†Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – by Roald Dahl

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BOOK #7-  The Giver Рby Lois Lowry

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While I love all of these books for various reasons, three of them had a lasting impact on me.

Anne from Anne of Green Gables¬†taught me that optimism is contagious and that bosom friends do exist (I’ve met a few).

Bridge to Terabithia is one of the most beautiful tragedies I’ve ever read. No child should have to experience loss like that but how amazing to see the resilience of children through the characters in this story. Beautiful.

And,¬†The Giver. Like I said, this one was recommended to me. I don’t think I would have picked it up myself, but I love the world she creates. And her characters are so alive! Man,¬†I hope to write characters like Lois Lowry one day. I also love the ending – that debated, unloved ending. I find it symbolic and perfect, I could ramble on and on. I’ll¬†save it for¬†another post instead.

[Insert deep satisfied sigh]

I.    LOVE.    STORIES.

PERIOD.

Let me read a few of your favorites? Please share your book bucket list below!

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YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: “A Spoonful of Sugar? Nah. Just give ’em time.” ¬†

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