Here are some more interview questions from students at Harmony School of Science along with my replies. Note: the photos in this blog entry are not photos of the students who submitted the interview questions. They are photos of the students who were sitting in the front row of the audience. My apologies to the students in the back rows!
What is your favorite genre and style of writing?
I love adventure stories, but they need to have a good, satisfying ending. For instance, a couple of classic adventure stories that I really like are The Three Musketeers and The Count of Monte Cristo, both of which have very good endings.
One of my least favorite stories is Old Yeller—I hated the ending.
How old were you when you decided you wanted to write books?
I had brief moments as a child where I thought that it would be fun to be an author, but it wasn’t until I was in my 30s that I realized that not only am I capable of writing well, but that it can be a lot of fun too. It was then that I started writing poetry and children’s stories. Not surprisingly, Chipper the Clown, a picture book about following your dreams, was the first of my stories.
What job did you do before writing books, and is there a connection between your job and writing?
I’m still doing the job that I did before writing books—at least for a while longer. I started working as a computer programmer and systems analyst in my late teens and I have been working with computers ever since. I currently manage a group of software developers for the State of Texas. There really isn’t a direct connection between my job and writing books, although being able to communicate well, verbally and in writing, is a very important part of my job.
If you could go back and change any of your published stories, what would you change?
That is a good question but I can’t really think of anything I would change with my stories. I like them as they are now. There may be some additional editing that I may want to do in the future with the Sir Kaye book, but right now I’m happy with what is there. When you write a book, you always see things that you might like to change, but sometimes you just have to stop and tell yourself that you’re done for now.
Next week I’ll post the top three prize-winning questions.