Q&A: What authors influenced you as a child?

Thinking back, there are three who come easily to mind.

Vicki Grove. She is a local author near my hometown. We read some of her books in class. She would also visit our elementary school and talk about life as an author.

Gary Paulsen. Hatchet, of course, is a classic. I also remember reading The River, Canyons, and Dogsong among others. He knew how to capture a boy’s sense of adventure.

Finally, Louis Sachar. His Wayside books have always stuck with me in their quirky humor. In fact, I’ve loved being able to read them with some of the foster kids we’ve had, and even sing along: “I’ve got one sock, looking for the other. One sock, looking for it’s brother…”

The thing that really struck me about Sachar was the interaction he would take with his fans. In the fifth grade, I believe, we had to write a letter to one of our favorite authors and I chose him. He wrote back, a very nice handwritten letter. Sometime later, I sent him another letter and talked about wanting to be an author. Again, he sent back a letter that was quite encouraging.

Those are the three that came quickly to mind.

If you have a question about writing, my books, or me as an author, I’d love to hear it. Please include it in a comment!