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Author Sharon Creech
Sharon Creech is the author of the best-selling, Newberry Medal winner, Walk Two Moons. She has written over fifteen books for children and young adults, including Chasing Redbird, Ruby Holler and Replay.
I recently e-mailed Ms. Creech, asking if she would mind being interviewed for Teen Ink.
1. When did you really get into writing?
I took a few writing courses
in college and graduate school but didn’t write intensively until my children were in high school—the 1980’s.
2. When did you know you wanted to be an author?
First I wanted to teach; after I taught literature for fifteen years, I wanted to write my own stories, plays and poems. I thought it would be nice if these were published, but that wasn’t the reason for writing. I don’t think I ever sat down and thought, ‘I want to be an author.’
3. Do you enjoy poetry, or is it just something you liked dabbling in while writing Love That Dog and Hate That Cat?
I’ve written poetry since I was eight or nine years old. I love some poetry, and I dislike some, too. Both Love That Dog and Hate That Cat were written in verse because it was the form that best suited these stories.
4. Where do you find inspiration when writers block sets in?
I get stuck sometimes, but I don’t feel ‘blocked.’ I know that if I turn to something else (other work, the laundry, a nap, a walk), my mind will loosen and be ready to continue.
5. What was your inspiration behind Walk Two Moons?
See my website*: several things inspired that book.
6. What is your favorite book that you've written?
Way too hard to choose. Each is the best I can do at the time; each is a part of me, rather like my arms and legs and fingers and toes and lungs are part of me.
7. What are some of your hobbies?
I love to walk/hike, especially on the beach; I also love canoeing and swimming, reading, the theatre, restoring old things.
8. What is a book/author that has most influenced your writing and you, yourself, as a writer?
I’m not able to cite just one book. Many, many books and authors have influenced me—for good or bad. (You can learn what not to do from bad writers.) Some writers I’m fond of include: Flannery O’Connor, Carol Shields, Fitzgerald, Stoppard, oh, there are way too many to list.
9. What are some of your favorite books/authors?
*See above answer.
10. Is there a certain type of writing or genre that you would like to experiment with?
I’m always open to trying new forms. I’m not drawn to science fiction or high fantasy, but I’d like to pull elements from those forms and meld them with realistic fiction.
11. Is there a novel you are working on now, that you would like to tell your fans about?
I’m nearing the end of a first draft of a book without a title (as yet), and at the moment it is one huge, messy 250 page glop. That’s okay, though. I will be able to polish it in subsequent drafts. All I can say is it’s about a boy and two girls. . .and two countries.
12. Do you, yourself, sail or enjoy boating, like in The Wanderer?
I learned to sail when my daughter sailed across the Atlantic after graduating from college. I wanted to know what she was going through. I would never want to sail on the ocean, though. I love canoeing: quiet, simple, slow canoeing.
13. Are you a fan of fairy-tales? Or was The Castle Corona written specifically for someone?
I like fairy tales, but I don’t necessarily think of The Castle Corona as one—I felt as if I was borrowing elements of fairy tales and melding them with my more natural style. I loved doing that book. I think my favorite characters in it are the hermits.
14. Did one of your friends or family members give you an idea for a book you used? If so, what books are they?
The Unfinished Angel was inspired by my own granddaughter’s first story, that she told when she was two years old!
15. What advice do you have for aspiring authors?
It’s simple advice, but it’s honest: read a lot and write a lot. By reading, you will absorb what makes something good and what makes it bad, what is deep and what is shallow. Experiment with what you write: poems, plays, stories. Try different genres and different points of view and different tones. Have fun with it. Do short things. It’s all valuable training. *