There's almost never enough time for Q & A. But the Black Mountain students asked questions in their letters. I read them after I got home so I decided to answer them by way of this blog.
IF YOU COULD, WRITE ABOUT A SKATEBOARDER THAT WAS FAMOUS AND BROKE HIS LEG AND COULD NEVER RIDE AGAIN AND WAS NEVER FAMOUS AGAIN. (Cory)
Hmmm, Cory, most of your fellow students gave me a hard time about writing a sad book. Now you want another sad one! I don’t know much about skateboarding but I know how to do research. We shall see….
MAN, I WISH THAT I COULD HELP YOU WRITE BLUE 2. (Kelli)
Kelli, what do you think I should include in BLUE 2? Send your suggestions by clicking on my email address at my website. (It’s on the bookmark I gave you.) I need all the help can get!
DO YOU LOVE TO READ BOOKS? (MiKaela)
Yes, I do! Especially children’s books! They’re the best. And by the way, I met Debbie Dadey who writes The Bailey School Kids that you like so much. She’s fabulous!
DO YOU HAVE A FAMILY MEMBER WHO HAD POLIO? (Kayla L.)
No, I don’t. But I’ve met a number of people who had it and I’ve read a lot of books about polio.
WAS IT HARD TO WRITE IT? (Brooke)
Sometimes it was hard to find just the right way to say something. Or it was hard to take the editor’s suggestions for changing my story. And I was nervous about calling people to ask for an interview. But guess what! I loved writing it anyway.
I LIKE OLD TIMER BOOKS. WHAT IS THIS BOOK BASED ON OR ITS GENRE? HOW MANY BOOKS HAVE YOU WROTE? (Eric)
Hi Eric – I love old timer books too. The genre is called historical fiction. I have written maybe 10 or 15 books but most of them are not published. Some are going to be published in a year or two.
THE KINDS OF BOOKS I LIKE TO READ ARE THE BAILEY SCHOOL KIDS. THEY ARE MY FAVORITE. (Ashley)
Would you believe I have never read the Bailey School kids. I should read them because I know the author, Debbie Dadey. I met her at a writing class and we spent a whole week together. She is smart and really nice. I think she writes with a partner but I did not meet her co-author.
NOW I WANT TO TELL YOU WHAT I WOULD PROBABLY CHANGE IN THE BOOK. THE FIRST THING I WOULD PROBABLY CHANGE IS NO ONE WOULD DIE. (Jeremy)
I don’t like it either. I cried when I wrote that part. And I cry when I read it back to myself. I hate polio – don’t you?
CAN I ASK YOU WHY DID YOU PUT NORTH CAROLINA IN YOUR BOOK AND HAVE YOU EVER BEEN IN BLACK MOUNTAIN? (Dustin)
I wrote about North Carolina because I live here and it 's such a great state. I learned that amazing things (like the polio epidemic and emergency hospital) happened right near my home.
I have driven past Black Mountain many times. But when I visited your school was the first time I really saw the town. I went to Verandah Café for lunch afterward. What a beautiful historic town you have! Maybe you should write about it!
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CHARACTER? (Lily)
I suppose I love Ann Fay best since she is the main character. But Junior is very interesting to me, also. And I love Ann Fay’s Daddy.
IS REALISTIC HISTORY OR WHATEVER BLUE’S GENRE IS YOUR FAVORITE GENRE TO WRITE ABOUT? (Keeley)
Yes, I like writing historical fiction. I love doing the research. It’s like exploring in an old mansion. You never know what wonderful thing is just around the corner.
IT WAS VERY SAD. MISS STEWART ALMOST CRIED. I THINK YOU ARE A GREAT WRITER. (Scarlett)
Thanks for telling me about Miss Stewart. I love making teachers cry! (just kidding – sort of!)
MY FAVORITE BOOK IS LEMONY SNICKET. WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE BOOK? (Christopher)
Hmmmmm – very hard question. There are so many! I really like The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank. Also Sudie by Sara Flanigan but it’s out of print.
My favorite book that was written last year is probably Yellow Star by Jennifer Roy or maybe Weedflower by Cynthia Kadohata. Both are about World War II. For some reason I just am so interested in that part of history.
By the way – I have never read Lemony Snicket. I guess I’m missing out on something!
ARE ALL OF YOUR BOOKS SAD? (Tyler)
Oh, dear – that again. Yes, so far all of my books are kind of sad. But I know children love funny books so I’m starting to think about that. I will really have to practice writing humor!
HOW DO YOU KEEP WRITING WITHOUT GETTING MAD? (Destiny)
Well, to be honest sometimes I do get mad. Mostly I get mad about waiting a long time to get my books published and sometimes I am frustrated when my editor wants me to revise my story! But she is smarter about some things than I am so I try to understand what she wants and do as she asks! I could never write so well without her!
ARE YOU WRITING ANY MORE BOOKS? (Kayla C.)
Yes, actually. I have another book coming out next spring. The title is Healing Water and as soon as the book designer sends me a picture of the cover I will put it on my website.
I LIKE THE PART WHEN THE NURSE SAYS PETE DIED OF A BROKEN HEART. (Cheyenne)
Thanks Cheyenne. I love hearing reader’s favorite parts.