1.What is your book The Magic Thief about?
The Magic Thief is a fantasy novel about a young street-thief named Conn who picks the pocket of a wizard and enters a life of magic and adventure...and plenty of biscuits.
2.As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
I never really thought about it; I was too busy being a kid.
3.What tools do you feel are must-haves for writers?
A good imagination, a strong work ethic, and lots of persistence.
4.Do you spent most of your day writing or the opposite?
I'm not a very disciplined writer! I work very hard when I am writing, but do a lot of other stuff, too, like reading, hanging out with my kids or my awesome dog, going for long walks, working out, playing the piano...
5.How long have you been writing?
For about 10 years.
6.Can you take us through the steps for one of your books getting published?
Sure! My agent (who is kind of like my book-lawyer) pitches a book to my editor at HarperCollins. Usually the "pitch" is just a book proposal with maybe a couple of chapters. My editor decides if she's interested and makes an offer on an "advance," which is sort-of a payment for the book up front. Then I write the book! That can take up to a year. Then the book goes into production at the publisher, which means it goes from a stack of manuscript pages to a beautiful finished book.
7.What new author has grasped your interest?
My favorite new author is Greg van Eekhout, whose book Kid vs Squid is a fun, adventurous read. Another favorite is Ingrid Law. The sequel to her Newbery-honor bookSavvy, which is called Scumble, is out in August. I've already read a copy of Scumble, and it's terrific!
8.Tell about your upcoming appearances?
I've been trying to cut back on appearances because I'm homeschooling my son this year. Even so, I'm speaking at a book club meeting in Iowa in September and at the David Collins book festival in Davenport, Iowa in October. The most exciting event coming up for me is a children's book festival in India! I can't wait for that.
9.What are your upcoming projects?
My next book for my publisher is not a Magic Thief book, but a fantasy novel about a girl who goes through a "Way" from our world to dangerous, magical world where she has to deal with an evil Crow Lady. She's helped by a tricksy puck-boy named Spook, and a sort-of horse named Phouka.
10.Thank you! What else do you want to say to your fans or have me post?