Frequently Asked Questions…

Prior to my first 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.

But keep reading for some real FAQ’s from people I’m not even related to!

Who took that awesome picture of you?

If you’re referring to the one on the “About the Author” page, that would be Annmarie.

Did you really buy that jacket at a store called "Dress Barn"?

Yes, it’s a really high-end store right next to the Horse-Shoe Store.

Does your sister always have such great taste in books, such as My Antonia?

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.

Have you ever read a book in a bathroom, in a bookstore, then put the book back on the shelf?

What kind of person would even ask such a question?

Who is your favorite sister?

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!

Who is your favorite brother-in-law?

The one who pointed out the dead mouse in the middle of my living room floor during a party.

Is the song on p. 136 of Moon Over Manifest a real song or did you make it up?
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.
Have you thought about making any of your books into a movie?
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 my books to him and suggest that he make one into a movie.  And tell him he would make a great Shady Howard.
How long did it take to write and publish your first book?
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.”
Are your books published in different languages?
Yes, they are published in Italian, Spanish, Korean, Farsi, Portuguese, and Chinese to name a few.
On a scale from 1-10, how happy were you that you won the Newbery Medal?
Where do you keep your Newbery medal?
On a bookshelf in our living room.  I thought it would feel more comfortable in the middle of a lot of wonderful books.
What does Abilene mean when she says, "In a nutshell"?
That is an expression that means to tell something in just a few words without a lot of extra information.  
In Navigating Early does Early really read the story of Pi or is he just making it up?
Early sees the world differently and he especially sees numbers differently.  To him they have color and landscape and texture. And for him, the number Pi also holds a very special story that he reads just like we read a story in a book.  I continue to be so amazed by Early’s gifts and abilities.
Did you ever feel like giving up while writing your book?
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 the end.
How did you manage your kids and still write books.
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.  
What is your favorite library?

The one in my grade school. It was conveniently (and maybe strangely) located on the gym stage and is where I checked out some of my favorite books like: A Wrinkle in Time, Island of the Blue Dolphins, The Witch of Blackbird Pond, and Harold and the Purple Crayon.

Do you like cats or dogs?
Dogs.  Unless we’re talking about rain in which case I love cats and dogs.
Keep those questions coming!