Being a Writer
Do you have a favorite place to write?
Actually, I have two favorite places. In Key West (where itís always summer) my desk faces a garden. When I slide the doors open I feel like Iím working outside. I can even smell the gardenias.
During July and August (I guess you can tell Iím a summer person) we go to Marthaís Vineyard, an island off the coast of Massachusetts. I have a tiny writing cabin there, far enough away from the house to feel very private. I get up early in the morning and work until noon.
Is it fun to be a writer?
Not always. Itís a solitary life and it can get lonely. You spend most of the day in a little room by yourself. But since I love to create characters and get to know them, Iím usually content.
Of all the books you have written, which is your favorite, and who is your favorite character?
An impossible question to answer. Itís like asking a mother, which is your favorite child? Each one is special in a different way.
How old were you when your first book was published and which book was it?
I was twenty-seven when I began to write seriously and after two years of rejections my first book, The One in the Middle is the Green Kangaroo, was accepted for publication.
How many books have you written?
Twenty-eight. Three are novels for grownup readers.
Does anyone ever think youíre writing about real people?
Yes. On a TV talk show, I was telling the host about Rachel Robinsonís family and he thought I was talking about a real family. I had to stop and explain that while they feel real to me, Iíve actually made them up.
Are you going to write more books?
I certainly hope so! Now that I've finished the four Pain & The Great One books I've started a new YA novel. I'm excited about it.