I never know who to expect publicists will ask if I want to interview for my blog. When HarperCollins asked if I was interested in interviewing Sharon Creech, YOU BET I WAS!
Hi Sharon! Thanks for joining me here to talk about your newest book, Saving Winslow!
My pleasure. Thank you for celebrating this book birthday with me.
Tell us a little bit about Saving Winslow.
Saving Winslow follows a young boy, Louie, in his determination to save an orphaned donkey that he names Winslow. The growing bond between Louie and Winslow parallels the growing bond between Louie and Nora, a quirky girl who usually expects the worst. The story also traces the bond that exists between Louie and his brother Gus, who is now in the army. Like most (all?) of my stories, humor balances seriousness.
What gave you the idea to write Saving Winslow?
Witnessing my grandchildren’s dedication and care in rescuing orphaned lambs inspired me. The lambs, like young children, were so vulnerable, so dependent on their caregivers. There were tense times (Will the lambs make it?) and humorous times (As the lambs gained strength, they gamboled through the house and yard.) Those combinations of vulnerability and strength and of the serious and humorous appeal to me. Instead of writing about a lamb, though, I chose a donkey, suspecting that my daughter and granddaughter might want to write their own lamb story one day.
Can you tell us about your writing process?
I usually begin with only a vague idea (child rescues orphaned animal) or voice, and then I jump in, writing rapidly to see what emerges. Part of the thrill of writing is discovering what emerges from that original, vague cloud. Once underway, I try to write 2-5 pages a day. I edit lightly as I go and then more intensively midway through and again after completing a first –and second – and third draft.
Have you always been into writing?
I have experimented with writing stories, plays and poems for as long as I can remember, in part because I recognized early on that you could cheer people up by writing something for or about them. Later, I learned that you could also explore ideas and make sense of the world around you through writing.
What’s the most exciting part of your job?
The most exciting part is taking a blank page and creating, word by word, something that did not exist before.
What inspires your creativity?
Life. The world. Children. Nature. Animals.
What is one thing that readers don’t know about you, that only you could tell us?
Hmmmm. I do not know. I feel as if my whole self is out there, bits and pieces in each book. If you read all my books, you will know me.
If you weren’t writing books, what do you think you’d be doing?
I might be teaching or renovating houses or painting.
What can readers expect from you in the future?
I’m working on the next book—a stubborn thing that is veering off in so many directions that I am dizzy. I will have to rein it in. Soon! After that, I assume I will keep exploring whatever comes up . . .
Anything else you’d like to share with readers of this blog?
I was fortunate to encounter many great teachers when I was young, so I would like to pause and celebrate those teachers and librarians. I’ve also been fortunate to encounter thousands of readers and hundreds of teachers and librarians in my writing life, and they all inspire me. Here’s to them and to you—
Xx Sharon Creech