At several recent signings, I’ve been approached by high school students interested in writing for childen. My responses to their questions will run over a series of blog posts. Perhaps they will assist other students and aspiring writers.
A: This is a tough question, because no day is typical. I usually try to work when my son is at school (my daughter is in college now, so I do not need to work around her schedule). I try to do the “hard work” first thing in the morning–writing new pages of a story or editing. My brain needs to be fresh to create new material or to edit old material to make it worth reading (I don’t share stories with my agent or editor until I’ve edited them about 15-20 times!) When I get tired or run out of ideas for any given day, I turn to promotional kinds of work. For instance, I may update my blog; or respond to a teacher who wants me to speak at her school; or work on a presentation that I have to give to a group of students. Sometimes I read and take notes as part of the research I need to to for a book. I am also the co-Regional Advisor of the North/Central chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators, so I plan conferences and events for the writers and illustrators in my region and answer their questions about writing.