30th Oct, 2007

A Special Halloween Author Interveiw with Wendie Old

wendies-book.jpgAuthor, Wendie Old, lives in a colonial era stone farmhouse with her husband, two cats, a huge hairy dog, and has adopted her grandkid — with his and hers and hers computers. Her new book THE HALLOWEEN BOOK OF FACTS AND FUN is available in bookstores now. Visit her website at http://www.wendieold.com

What were your favorite books when you were a teen?

Historical fiction — I did not like contemporary/ problem novels

What do you read in the bathroom?

Time magazine/ National Geographic/ Regency romance books/ L.L. Bean catalogs

Do you eat right, get plenty of exercise, and sleep eight hours, or do you sit in front of your computer writing all the time?

Oh yeah. Right. Exercise as a separate event? Not hardly. I work full-time as a children’s librarian in a public library system. I am raising my granddaughter, which means running to gymnastic lessons, swim lessons, dance lessons, soccer practice, gymnastic tournaments, dance recitals, (no swim team, yet) and Brownie Scout events. Plus birthday parties. Exercise? I figure I walk a couple of miles just doing my daily stint. When do I write? In the morning when I’m going to work for the evening shift of 12 – 8pm, sometimes on weekends, and on vacation days. (I take writing vacations from my full-time job.) I read BLOGS and answer e-mails in the evenings.

What’s the best piece of advice anyone ever gave you (or you learned from a book)?

The people who were the Regional Advisors of our SCBWI region pointed out that, since my fiction wasn’t selling, why not try writing non-fiction. Which I did and proceeded to be multi-published. Nonfiction sells. They also became my co-authors of two of my picture books. We used the pen name C.W. Bowie, which incorporates all three names.

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

Either dead or dead-tired.

I gave you ten questions and asked you to answer five. Were you tempted to answer all ten? Why?

Yes, because when someone asks a question, I answer to the best of my ability. I’m a librarian. It’s my job to find answers.

Do you use an outline when writing, or just let it flow and write as fast as you can?

I have an idea of how it begins and how it should/ might end. With a biography it’s easy, it ends with the last thing you can find about the person and possibly a summary of their life’s work. The outline is the chronology of their life.

With TO FLY,THE STORY OF THE WRIGHT BROTHERS I wrote both the first chapter and the last paragraphs of the last chapter at the same time. I wanted them to reflect each other — to give the book that satisfying, “ahhhhh” factor.

What’s the most embarrassing thing that happened to you in high school?

Who wants to remember high school? High school is just a time to get through. The whole thing is one big embarrassment. Life begins in college when you can pick your own friends and activities, and study things interesting to you, and find out who YOU are, and accept what you are not.

Titles by Wendie Old

The Halloween Book of Facts and Fun, Albert Whitman 2007 (September)
The Groundhog Day Book of Facts and Fun, Albert Whitman 2004
Busy Fingers (pen name C. W. Bowie), Charlesbridge 2003

To Fly, the Story of the Wright Brothers, Clarion 2002 – A multi-award winning book!
Seven biographies for Enslow (Three presidents, two musicians, a social activist and a couple of inventors)

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