Thursday, March 5, 2009

Maywood School's Best Questions Ever!

When I was at Maywood School this week, the students asked me some of the best, most thoughtful questions I've ever been asked. Below is a sampling of what they asked (with my answers in parentheses). Above is more lovely art from the Maywood School hallways.

Which do you prefer: writing or teaching? (I loved being a teacher, and planned to be a teacher forever. I was very surprised to find out that I also really liked writing. Today, I love to write, but I still feel like I'm teaching through my books.)

When you are out in public, do people recognize you? (No.) 

What is your favourite genre to read? (I read everything: fiction and nonfiction — written for adults, kids, and everyone in between. These days I'm very partial to teen fiction.)

Who is your favourite author? (I was stumped by that one. I kept thinking of Emily Bronte, Daphne Du Maurier, and other favourite authors from my past, and then flipping forward to Siobhan Dowd and Sherman Alexie, favourite authors of my present — but I couldn't get the words out. It was like fast-forwarding through a movie of my book-reading life.)

Do you know any famous authors? (I know quite a few children's authors from our local writers and illustrators group: Cwill BC. Most of my friends these days are children's book writers.)

What is your greatest achievement? (Being able to combine my love for kids and my love for books into one great job: that of being a children's book writer.)

What inspires you? (I'm not sure I gave the best answer. I should have said: Great kids like you!)

How much does it cost a publisher to create a book? (About $50,000 a book.)

How can the publisher earn that money back? (It's hard; they have to sell a lot of copies. Also, no one — except for JK Rowling — makes very much money when creating books. There are so many people involved in making a book who need to be paid: the author, illustrator, editor, page designer, art director, copy editor, printer, and so on. People don't write books to make a lot of money. They do it because they love it.)

If you weren't a writer, what would you be? (A baker. I love to cook, especially to make homemade jam and pies. My secret dream is to bake pies to sell at the local farmer's market.)

Have you travelled to other places in the world? (Yes, I love to travel, and have been to a few other countries, including: Mexico, USA, England, and China. There's lots more I'd still like to visit.)

Would you like to write about them? (Yes!)

When you were my age (Grade 7), did you think you would become an author? (No, I had no idea, but I did know that I loved to read. Now that I'm an adult, I realize that kids who love to read often become writers.)

Is writing a good career? (Absolutely! You don't earn a lot, but there are many other rewards — especially — getting to do what you love to do!)

What advice can you give to someone of my age (Grade 7) who wants to be a writer? (Keep writing. Write about things that interest you and matter to you. Keep reading. Read as much as you can, and you will learn a lot about how to put words together. Find places to publish your writing, such as online magazines and websites for young people. The author, Margriet Ruurs, has a website called Kids Write, where kids can send their work and have it posted online. Good luck!)

Wow! What great questions. Thank you to the Maywood Community School intermediate students for really making me think. You made my day (and week, and year)! :-) 

I hope to see you again soon.

Cheers! Deborah


Tan said...

Wow, those ARE great questions. Can we use some for the Tuesday Tell-Alls at the CWILL BC site?


Deborah Hodge said...

Absolutely! When you do, would you mind giving the Maywood kids a mention? At least initially. Thanks! :-)


Tan said...

Of course!