Wednesday, 24 October 2007 06:39
Q. When did you know you wanted to be a writer and what inspired you?
A. I am not sure when the idea struck me that I wanted to be a write. I think a really long time ago because writing was one of the things I did well as a kid. I was not especially good in other things. I was terrible in math. Not good at sports really. So by process of elimination I began to focus on what I was good at and do it. But really my favorite thing to do was read. I think if there was such a thing as becoming a "professional reader " and getting paid for it I would have. I never really thought that people could support themselves being writers so in a way it was never really a concrete desire. Always kind of abstract. That I do get paid for doing this just seems a wonderful bonus. As to what inspired me to be one it was really my mother. She was always telling me how well I used words and she kept saying "you know you should be a writer."
Q. How do you get ideas for stories?
A. How do I get ideas for my stories? I think it is just a matter of being alert and interested in the world around me. I read widely --novels, non fiction, news paper articles. I listen carefully to people. You can just pick up on a shred of something and it begins to kick around in the back of your mind and pretty soon it just sets in so to speak and you know you have to deal with it. My way of dealing with things that fascinate me is to write a story,
Q. How long does it take you to complete a book?
A. It depends on what kind of book I am writing how long it takes me to complete it. It also depends on what you call complete. Do you mean by the time I finish a draft that I submit it to a publisher or by the time I finish all the revisions an editor asks for? It surprises people when they find out that, at least in terms of revisions, picture books take me the longest. In pictures books which are so short every word really counts and has to be just right. It's like cutting diamonds. Sometimes the revision process on a picture book can take a year.
Q. Did you have any role models as a child and who were they?
A. As a child my role models were my mom and my dad and my only sister who is older. They just had all the qualities I value and think essential for having a productive wonderful life. They were deeply tolerant, very sensible, and full of humor--really crazy humor. And they all believed profoundly in language and the power of the written word. You could have no better heroes or models.
Q. Do you have any advice for kids who want to write or illustrate?
A. My advice for kids who want to write or illustrate is to read alot. Read constantly and everything. For kids who want to illustrate they should look at a lot of books and ( this goes for kids who want to write as well) they should go to art museums and look at a lo of art books. They should learn or composition. What catches their fancy in terms of line, or color , or composition.
Q. Do you have any pets or a favorite animal?
A. Do I have any pets? No. My favorite animals--probably dolphins
Q. What are your hobbies?
A. Gardening and sailing
Click here to visit Kathryn Lasky's website
Below is a list of Kathryn Lasky books:
Marven of the Great North Woods
A Brillian Streak: The Making of Mark Twain
Hercules: The Man, The Myth, The Hero
The Librarian Who Measured the Earth
She's Wearing A Dead Bird On Her Head
The Gates of the Wind
I Have An Aunt On Marlborough Street
My Island Grandma
Dreams in the Golden Country
Alice Rose and Sam
A Journey to the New World
Beyond the Burning Time
Memoirs of a Bookbat
The Bone Wars
Beyond the Divide
The Night Journey
Shadows in the Dawn: The Lemurs of Madagascar
The Most Beautiful Roof in the World
Days of the Dead
Searching for Laura Ingalls
Surtsey, The Newest Place on Earth
Traces of Life
A Baby For Max
All of these books can be purchased at amazon.com