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Here are answers to some of the questions I am often asked:
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Where do you get your ideas?
 

Mostly, I write from real life experiences. I write about something that has happened to me, or sometimes to one of my children. (I have four boys.) In other words, I write about something I know about.

How many books have you written?
 

A lot. More than I can count. Most of them are at home in the top drawer of my desk.

 


How many books have you published?
 

Now, that is a different question! Thus far I have published five books. Two are picture books, and three are easy-readers.

 


When did you know you wanted to become a writer?
 

When I was in the third grade the author of the Amelia Bedelia books, was my teacher. Her name is Peggy Parish, and we called her Parry. I wanted to be a writer just like her! And when I went to Kirkland College, the author of Tuck Everlasting, Natalie Babbitt, was my teacher for four years, and I wanted to be just like her! After Kirkland I did graduate work at Simmons College in Children's literature, where I received my Master's degree, and it was there that I learned to write and want to write just like . . . ME.

How long does it take to write a book?
 

For me, the hardest part of writing a book is coming up with the idea. Once that happens, I am golden. I love the re-writing process (usually), and re-write my books dozens of times!!! From start to finish, a picture book or an easy reader takes a couple of months. A novel takes me close to a year.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
 

Keep a journal and write everything down! If you don't write things down, you'll forget them!! Believe me, I know from experience!!! WRITE IT DOWN!!! That is what I say again and again to students. Don't worry about spelling or grammar or if it's good or not, just write it down. And read. READ, READ, READ. Read anything, and everything. And listen. Listen to how people talk, to the kinds of words they use, and if it is interesting, WRITE IT DOWN!!!!

 

If you have a question to ask, please send me an email at maggie@maggiestern.com

 

Illustration of bunny with books Copyright 1999 by Blanche Sims fromGeorge, published by Orchard Books
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Copyright ©2004 Maggie Stern