Friday, March 26, 2010


1.  How did you feel when you finished the book BLUE?

The first time (after I wrote the first draft) I was thrilled. Each time after that, I was just relieved to have revisions done. By the time it was actually, factually done, I was so sick of it I wanted to throw up!

But now, I like it again.

2.  Why did you make the book so sad?
What do you think? This is multiple choice. There could be more than one answer.
A. I am a very mean person.
B. I’m not a funny writer. Since I can’t make you laugh, then I’ll at least make you cry.
C. I am trying to figure out why bad things happen in the world. One of the ways I do that is through exploring tragedy through storytelling.
D. Polio was a very sad chapter in America’s history. I thought someone needed to tell it.

3. Have you ever had any experiences with the things you wrote about? Like did anyone you know have polio? Did you know anyone who was in the war? 

No one in my family had polio so this story did not grow out of personal experience. But, through my research, I’ve made some dear friends who had polio.  They’ve answered lots of questions for me. Whenever I have another question I just ask them.  I do know some vets but I haven’t actually had personal family experience with someone serving in a war.

Here I am with Jackie, one of my polio experts.  We met in a restaurant in Florida.

 4. How did you think of the characters’ names?
  •  I  found Ann Fay’s name on a piece of paper and knew immediately that was the double name I wanted. (She had to have a double name because so many southerners do!)
  •  And I had to have a Junior because there are so many of them around here where I live.
  •  I had a best friend named Peggy Sue growing up so I wanted to use it to honor her.
  •  I once knew a woman named Immogene. I thought it was perfect.
I think, for most of the characters, I just thought of names that fit the time period and seemed right for my characters.

5. Why is the book called BLUE?

Here's a little hint.

It’s all about symbolism. (which I love, BTW) As I was writing the story, blue kept cropping up – it wasn’t planned but it all worked together so beautifully. (And I like to make connections like that as I write.)  You may have noticed there are a bunch of blue items in the book.

So I’d like to throw the question back at you. Feel free to leave a comment below with a list of items that might have helped to name the book.  (Or Ms. Goll can email it to me.) I'll post a picture for each one you get right.)

And just so you know – I actually called it Tough as Hickory – but authors don’t always get to choose the titles for their books.  My editor is very good at keeping me involved with such decisions. She actually came up with the idea of Blue and I wisely agreed with her!

Oh, BTW, I hope your teacher or librarian will enter the book and DVD contest announced below.  You could possibly get a free book (or books) for your school!


  1. Fun conversation with these students. Glad I can eavesdrop and hear it going on!

  2. Awesome! I am a student at H.H. Poole and I actually helped come up with some of these questions! Thanks for replying! (I love your books, BTW.)

  3. Jewels, thanks for leaving a comment. I'm sorry it doesn't show up here. For some reason the blog was temporarily set to only allow me to comment.

    Love the questions!


  4. I wish I could read your books!!!!A friend told me about it and i can not find it anywhere!!!!Sterse

  5. Bailey, you could ask your local library to get my books. Or order them online, or ask a bookstore to order them.

    Good luck finding them!

  6. I'm a student in H.H. Poole! My teacher read your book BLUE for us. I love to write, and my dad gave one of my stories to an editor. I got a letter back, but I still want to make my story better. I was hoping you could give me some advise. Thanks!