Frequently Asked Questions...
Prior to the book coming out, I hadn't received many questions, let alone ones that could be classified as frequently asked. My sister noted this while she was checking out my website and graciously provided me with the following list of questions.
Thank you, Annmarie.
Q. Who took that awesome picture of you?
A. If you're referring to the one on the "About the Author" page, that would
Q. Did you really buy that jacket at a store called "Dress Barn"?
A. Yes, it's a really high-end store right next to the Horse-Shoe Store.
Q. Does your sister always have such great taste in books, such as My
A. No, she also picked Gulliver's Travels for book club which no one read. Not
that Gulliver's Travels isn't a good book but... well, no one read it.
Q. Have you ever read a book in a bathroom, in a bookstore, then put the book
back on the shelf?
A. What kind of person would even ask such a question?
Q Who is your favorite sister?
A. C.Y. (That's pronounced C-Y not Sigh) She's not really my sister, there is only one of those, but
she's the next best thing!
Q. Who is your favorite brother-in-law?
A. The one who pointed out the dead mouse in the middle of my living room
floor during a party.
But now I have some real FAQ's from people I'm not even related to!
Q. Is the song on p. 136 a real song or did you make it up?
A. It is a song I made up, but I take that as a big compliment that someone
might think it was a real song. I did listen to a lot of train songs and
hobo songs from the 1930's and tried to come up with lyrics that reflected
the life and struggles of those on the road.
Q. Have you thought about making Moon Over Manifest into a movie?
A. Sure, but it would be a home movie with my children and their friends
playing the lead roles. We would think it was great but most people
would probably not be very impressed. So, if anyone knows Clint
Eastwood, pass along a copy of the book to him and suggest that he
make it into a movie. And tell him he would make a great Shady Howard.
Q. How long did it take to write and publish the book?
A. I can probably answer that easiest by saying my children were 1,3,5, and 7
when I started Moon Over Manifest and they were 10, 12, 14, and 16
when the book was published. So, a pretty long time. But I wasn't sitting
around writing all that time. I was also making lunches, driving to field
trips, folding laundry, and saying, "Hurry up, you'll be late."
Q. Is Moon Over Manifest published in different languages?
A. Yes, right now I have copies published in Italian, Spanish, Korean, and
Q. On a scale from 1-10, how happy were you that you won the Newbery
Q. Where do you keep your Newbery medal?
A. On a bookshelf in our living room. I thought it would feel more
comfortable in the middle of a lot of wonderful books.
Q. What does Abilene mean when she says, "In a nutshell"?
A. That is an expression that means to tell something in just a few words
without a lot of extra information.
Q. Did you ever feel like giving up while writing your book?
A. Maybe a few times, but the more I wrote the more invested I became in the
characters and their story. Then I knew I had to tell the story all the way to
Q. How do you manage your kids and still write books.
A. Well, it helps to have great kids who have lots of interests and activities of
their own. But the other secret to writing with kids is... the drive-thru.
Q. I read your website and you live in College Hill. Do you know someone
named Ron Clifford?
(Author note: I changed the guy's last name just in case the real Ron is
being sought for questionable reasons.)
Q. What is your favorite library?
A. The one in my grade school. It was conveniently (and maybe strangely) on
the gym stage and is where I checked out some of my favorite books like:
Wrinkle in Time, Island of the Blue Dolphins, The Witch of Blackbird
Pond, and Davy Crockett.
Q. Do you like cats or dogs?
A. Dogs. Unless we're talking about rain in which case I love cats and dogs.
Keep those questions coming!