Twenty Questions

I love getting e-mail from readers, and I love to answer their questions. Most readers send me a question or two…

Kayleen, a 6th grader from Baker School, sent me 20! As I wrote back to her, it occurred to me that other readers might share her curiosity.

This hunch was confirmed last Friday, when I Skype visited Mrs. Vanim’s excellent 5th graders at Pickering Valley Elementary School and discovered that many of their questions were similar to Kayleen’s.

Here therefore are Kayleen’s questions and my answers!


Why did you decide to become an author?


I decided to become an author because I have stories to tell, and I want to tell them in writing.


When you were a kid did you ever imagine yourself as an author?


No, I wanted to be an actress! I loved to read, though. I read myself to sleep almost every night.


What age were you when you decided you wanted to be an author?


I was in my twenties when I realized that I wanted to tell stories in books, rather than onstage.


How do you get the inspiration to write a new book?


That depends. Sometimes I get inspiration from reading other stories, or by studying history. I’m often inspired by the world around me, like places I’ve been, or events in the news. I can also find inspiration through talking with my friends and just making things up for fun. My friend Ruth and I invented the land of Tyme when we were chatting online together, and we still invent things all the time.


And, on average how long does it take you to write a new book?


If I have no other distractions, I can write very quickly. But I am a teacher and a mom, so it takes me several months to draft a novel.


Are you writing any new books that are about kid stories like Snow White, Captain Hook, or other fairy tales? And will there be a second book for Rapunzel and Jack?


Grounded is the first book in the Tyme series. The second book in the series is already written and will come out in October. It is called Disenchanted: The Trials of Cinderella. It is not a sequel to Grounded; rather, it is a companion book. That means that the two stories take place in the same world, but they concentrate on different characters and adventures. Rapunzel and Jack will be back – you will see them throughout the series – but Grounded is the only book in which they are the main protagonists.


Do you have any ideas for a new book or are in the middle of writing a new book?


I am in the middle of writing the third book in the Tyme series, and I will give you a hint about the main character: You have already met him! He is a character in Grounded.


When you write a new book do you use a typewriter or a normal computer?


I sometimes write in longhand and then transfer my writing onto a laptop. Most of the time I just use my laptop.


Also, what is your favorite book that you wrote?


That’s a tough question. Books are kind of like children that way – I can’t choose a favorite, because I love them all. If I didn’t love them, I wouldn’t write them!


Where did you get the inspiration to create the main character, Rapunzel? Also, is Rapunzel based off of anybody in particular? If so, how is that person related to Rapunzel?


My Rapunzel is based on the classic fairy-tale character of the same name, but I have never liked the classic fairy tale very much, because the heroine waits around for a prince to save her, and then the prince doesn’t do a very good job of it. I like heroines who take action, so I decided to write about a Rapunzel who takes action.


Also, what was the first book you wrote that was published?


Grounded is my debut novel, which is another way of saying that it is the first book I have had published.


How did you come up with the title Grounded? Also, why did you pick that for the title?


I like it when titles mean more than one thing. Grounded sometimes means that a young person is in trouble and their parents are making them stay at home. Grounded can also mean that something is on the ground. Finally, grounded means sensible. All these things are true for Rapunzel: She has to stay in her tower for a long time, she finally comes down to the ground, and she becomes more sensible as she learns about the world.


What side was Rapunzel’s Grandmother from? Her mom or dad?


The answer to that question is in chapter fifteen!


Also, if you have a favorite book or a favorite book series what is it? Is it a children’s book like one of your own books or something different?


I love the Harry Potter books. They are very dear to my heart. In fact, without them to inspire me, I probably would not have become a writer. I grew up reading the Anne of Green Gables series and the Little Women books, which are also important to me, and I am a great admirer of Jane Austen.




1 Comment

  1. How fun! Kids ask great questions. Ooooh I have a guess about Book 3, I’m hoping it’s related to the 100 Year Curse 😀 Have to reread Grounded because I can’t remember his name…. but that’s my guess hehe. I love Little Women the movie and I really enjoyed the book too, I haven’t read the sequels. And Austen is always wonderful. Harry Potter always!!! <3

Leave a Reply

Comments are closed.

Facebook Twitter Goodreads