We wound up with a little snow. I am trying to be grateful for it and not throw a tantrum.
Must. Deal. With. Mail.
Anna writes: Dear Ms. Anderson, I am in sixth grade and am doing an author study on you. For my study I am requried to write a biography on you. I would like to answer my questions so I could get some first hand details.Why did you write the novels Speak and Prom(i.e.Insprations, family, etc.)? How would you describe your self as a child? What was one of your biggest accomplishments(as a child or now)? What was your dream job as a child? What is your favorite part of your job? What is it like being Quaker? What books did you or still do enjoy reading? What do you think your writing style is? I’m sorry if some of the question seem nosey and I hope you answer me back!
And people wonder why it takes me so long to write the next book. OK, here goes, Anna.
1. I write each book because I have a vision of a character who interests me. I guess you could say that I am very nosy and I want to know what makes that character tick.
2. Me as kid: Quiet and sturdy.
3. Biggest accomplishment? Raising my children.
4. Dream job as a kid? Stewardess on an airplane or a doctor.
5. Fav aspect of my job: Writing books with the phone turned off.
6. I like being a Quaker, but it is a big challenge sometimes because I don’t agree with everything my church stands for. I’m working on it.
7. I like reading history and fantasy.
8. I’d like to think my style is effective.
One more, because it’s long:
Melanie writes: I am a seventh grader at Indian Valley Middle School. The reason I am writing to you today is because in my Reading class, we did an author study and you were the author of my choice. I definitely admire your writing and have a desire to at least publish a book someday, which is a reason why I chose you as my author for the author study.
As you read this letter you will find that I really did my homework on you. As I researched your web sites, I found that in your interview with YA Books Central on August 2005 you answered that if you could have anybody ask you a question it would be, if you were not an author what would you be and you said you would answer back a lumberjack. If you were answering a lumberjack in a funny way what would you really be if you were not an author and why?
On a web site of yours, you said that as you solemnly sent your daughter to first grade your promised you would write a book and get it published in five years and you did so in four years. Does this mean that any of your books could relate to your daughters or your life as a small child?
Because I find that many authors relate to their own lives in books they write. I also found that you were a foreign exchange student on a milk farm in Denmark. Was this chance a very exciting thing for you since you loved learning about different foreign languages?
After reading your book “Speak 1793” I found Mattie to be a similar kind of person as my self so a question I had for you is if you could be any character in any of your books would you be Mattie and why?
If this letter is answered I would like to thank you for your time and ask you for an autographed photo if that is not too much to ask?
My knees are getting a little too creaky to be a lumberjack, but if I had to stop working as an author tomorrow, I’d think about doing landscaping during the summer and maybe being a history teacher during the school year, although I’d have to go back to college and get another degree to be able to do this. I have never based a book on any of my children, but some of their little quirks pop up in a few of them. I adored my time in Denmark and wish I could visit there again. And learning foreign languages is a blast. I feel very close to Mattie. And sorry, I don’t have any photos I can autograph and send to you.
Molly E. writes: We have an assignment in school. The assignment is to find a freechoice book and read it. Of course. There’s a catch. The book has to have an award. I look through the books on the shelves and pick out Speak. I like the cover. People tell me all the time not to judge a book by it’s cover. I can’t help it.
Well, the project isn’t due for a while. My teachers have not even set a date for when we have to be finished reading. I started your book on Saturday. I finished your book on Saturday. It was probably around one in the morning when I finished. I guess I couldn’t stop reading.
That book is probably the best book I’ve ever read. I can’t really explain the feeling, it’s just.. I love the way it was written, the characters, everything. So maybe I haven’t been raped. Maybe I didn’t bust up a school end-of-summer party, Still I feel like I can relate to Melinda.
Well I guess I can say I was nervous about writing this email. Yeah, but it needed to be done. I’ve never really written to an author before; you’re the first. So, basically, thanks for writing that book. I honestly appreciate it. Email me any time if you want. About anything. I doubt you’ll have
time. But you can.
Thank you, Molly. You just rocked my world.