In my opinion, books are the best accessory.
I’ve mentioned before how excited I am to have the fantastic author Lenore Look visiting Bradbury in November. She has a lovely blog written specifically for aspiring writers and also for her readers at: http://lenorelook.wordpress.com/
I adore Lenore Look’s books, especially Alvin Ho but also all of Lenore’s picture books and Ruby Lu chapter books. I highly recommend them. Also, my son and I adored listening to Alvin Ho, fantastic recording.
I already blogged about Lenore Look here- this includes book trailers: http://thestylinglibrarian.com/2012/10/02/styling-librarian-author-connections-through-twitter-and-blogging/
Lenore was gracious enough to answer interview questions for this blog which I’ll be sharing with my students:
What was your favorite childhood book memory? Oh, I have SO many! Yikes! But if I had to choose one, it would be a copy of The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Anderson that was a very thick board book. Don’t laugh. It was not an infant board book, but a full-sized book with the entire fairytale inside just as the author wrote it and there were colorful photographs of mermaid dioramas on every page. It was the most beautiful book I had ever seen and the ONLY book I owned for a long time because my parents were really poor and bought me only one book.I read it over and over again. I knew then that I wanted to be Hans Christian Anderson when I grew up.
Are there any authors or books that you liked as a child that you still read now? E.B. White. I re-read Charlotte’s Web every year. Roald Dahl too. I found him utterly terrifying as a child, and still do!
Have you read any children’s literature books recently? Constantly. It’s all I read.
What was a favorite genre you read as a child? How have your tastes changed as an adult? Fairy tales! Oh, how I loved fairy tales! The Little Mermaid hooked me on Hans Christian Anderson in a bad way. I read everything he wrote that I could get my hands on. Then I turned to biographies of him. Imagine my disappointment when I discovered he had been dead for 300 years! That meant no more new books! These days I prefer realistic fiction and historical fiction. I don’t care so much for fairy tales anymore, they’re too frightful for me as a grown-up.
Do you still have any of your books from when you were a child? I am holding that very copy of The Little Mermaid in my hands right now. You made me pull it off the shelf. It’s in bad shape, but the insides look as good as new because it’s a board book. (If you want me to take a photo of this book and email it to you, just let me know.)
Are you in a writers group? If so, has it helped you? No. I was never in a writers group. But earlier this year I started having a writers breakfast once a month with a fellow author and we talk about our work, or lack of it, depending on how it’s going.
Do you have a key writing tips for kids? Or adults? Write what you’re interested in! More on this when I see you!
Do you have a new book being released in the next year? Two. My next Alvin book, ALLERGIC TO BABIES, BURGLARS AND OTHER BUMPS IN THE NIGHT, and a new picture book, THE BRUSH OF THE GODS, which is about the T’ang Dynasty painter Wu Daozi, who was considered the greatest Chinese painter in history. He was so good, they say that he never died. He simply walked into his last painting and disappeared. Isn’t that great? I just got the galley proofs and will bring it to show you!
How do you feel about the development and growth of the e-Book industry? I hate it! This year I was invited by my publisher to tour their warehouse. It’s an honor that they give to only one children’s author a year. This year, it was my turn! Hooray! I spent a weekend touring their million-acre facility (the size of 24 American football fields) and got to meet the thousands of workers and their families. I shook their hands and thanked them for their help in getting my books out there. They thanked me for writing. And they told me to keep writing so that they could have jobs. I was moved to tears. When you’re an author you have no idea that what you do provides jobs for other people. They also told me that e-books had already taken many of their jobs away. With e-books, fewer people are needed to pack and ship hard copy books from the warehouse. It made me feel very sad. I have no desire to own an e-reader.
Did you always plan on a writing career or if not…? Always. Ever since I was in kindergarten! More on that when I see you!
What truly influences you as a writer? Life. I keep my eyes and ears open all the time.
*Do you have any favorite topping you like on your pizza? (in honor of my husband who thinks it would be cool if I collect a list of author’s favorite pizza “You can learn a lot about a person from the pizza topping they like.”) Only one??? I LOVE pizza, it’s one of my favorite foods. My favorite topping is ricotta cheese, and my favorite pizza is quattro formaggio. MMMMM!!!!! And if I could have a second favorite topping it would be spinaci!
The best advice I’ve received for my profession was…. If that’s what you want to do, why aren’t you doing it? The habit I never break for my writing practice is…I don’t understand this question. Do you mean a writing habit that I never break, or a habit that takes precedence over writing? If someone had told me…that public speaking is part of the job of being an author, I would have worked harder at math!
Why do people always assume…that I use material from my own life in my books?
Debbie, you forgot to ask me… Do you have any hobbies? I like to swim, run and do yoga! But not all three at once.
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