I wrote this scene sitting on a park bench next to a lake in Chautuaqua. Lots of times with my writing I’ll read back and I don’t remember writing those words, but this scene I remember what I was wearing, where I was sitting, and what I was thinking when I wrote it.
Which of your characters is most similar to you?
Probably Desi from PRINCESS FOR HIRE. I was so awkward at thirteen, wanted so much to feel bigger than what I thought I was. As far as my YA fiction goes, there are pieces of me in every character, but I don’t think I can identify what those pieces are.
If the characters from both Princess For Hire and Sean Griswold’s Head got stuck on a deserted island, who would fare the best? The worst? And who would be the one to find them a way off said island?
Oh, Princess for Hire cast wouldn’t even get stuck. There’s MAGIC. They’d have bubbles to whisk them away, while the characters from Sean Griswold’s Head would still be scratching their heads, trying to knock a coconut off a tree.
What was your favorite part of being an elementary school teacher?
When a kid fell in love with a book, whether through independent reading time or a classroom unit. I loved sharing my favorite books with my students, and loved when they handed my something with that excited expression, “Mrs. Leavitt. You HAVE to read this.”
What are a few books that are out today that you wish were out when you were growing up?
I just finished THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE by Jandy Nelson, and it was one of those books where every emotion was played out so perfectly. And there’s funny moments. I love books that mix funny with the hard stuff.
Others off the top of my head: FIRE by Cashore, HUNGER GAMES by Suzanne Collins, and although it feels like I’m cheating saying this because we’re friends, but anything by Lisa Schroeder, because her books pack such an emotional punch in a few, perfectly selected words.