And now Linda Benson faces the 7 Questions:
Question Seven: What are your top three favorite books?
Oh gosh, how can I possibly pick just three? I cannot, but I'll try. A Thousand Splendid Suns, by Khaled Hosseini, author of The Kite Runner, because I was amazed that a man could write so eloquently about women and their feelings, and because I sobbed. The Incredible Journey, by Sheila Burnford, (which I read way before any of the movies were made) because it's about the relationships between animals and humans, and I sobbed. (Do we sense a pattern here?) Charlotte's Web, by E.B. White, because it espouses my views on life (and yes, I take spiders outside, send them on their way and wish them a good life.
Question Six: How much time do you spend each week writing? Reading?
I do not have a set schedule, and don't really like schedules. But if I'm working on a project, either writing or revising, I can spend hours and hours each day writing, and the rest of the time thinking about it. I also read a lot. Books, newspapers, magazines, online, I read for pleasure and to learn things.
Question Five: What was the path that led you to publication?
I wanted to write for children since the second grade, but did lots of other things first. The confidence I gained from going back to college in mid-life, and working as a children's librarian at the same time, converged to point me on my way. And truthfully, after the events of 9/11, I decided I wanted to write for children to give them some hope in the world. Then I wrote a novel, then another one, attended classes and conferences, found some critique partners, and just kept at it. When you find something you love to do, you stick with it.
Question Four: Do you believe writers are born, taught or both? Which was true for you?
I think writers can be taught, if they have the desire. I think most writers start out as readers, and when they read something wonderful, they think "wow, I wish I could write like that." Then they just have to learn how. The more we write, the better we get at it.
Question Three: What is your favorite thing about writing? What is your least favorite thing?
Hmm, favorite thing - working for myself, making stuff up, writing about what I want. Least favorite thing, so much butt-in-chair time when I'd rather be outside.
Question Two: What one bit of wisdom would you impart to an aspiring writer? (feel free to include as many other bits of wisdom as you like)
Believe in yourself. Keep learning your craft. Read - a lot! If you really, really love what you're doing, don't give up!
Question One: If you could have lunch with any writer, living or dead, who would it be? Why?
Right now? Today? Kathi Appelt, author of The Underneath (which I almost put on my list of favorite books, because I LOVED it.) She is an amazing author, and a cat lover and animal lover, and I know we would find a lot to talk about ;-)