Hardly anyone knows that I once voted for a Republican for president. (I was very young.)
2. What is your nickname?
I don’t have one now unless you count “Nana.”
3. What is your greatest fear?
That I will let fear stop me from something I know I should do or be.
4. Describe your writing style in ten words.
It changes in accordance with the story I am trying to tell.
5. Tell us five positive words that describe you as a writer.
Hmmm. Hopeful, simple, careful, funny, sad (when it’s appropriate to be funny or sad, but that’s more than a word)
6. What book character would you be, and why?
Well, in a good book, characters change and grow. I trust I have done the same—so maybe I’d like to be Natasha in War and Peace when she is as old as I am now.
7. If you could time travel, what year would you go to and why?
I think the best time for me to be alive is right now, as crazy as the world seems to be. In any other age women, for the most part, lived very hard lives and could hardly imagine doing all I’ve been able to do in my lifetime. The idea of time travel doesn’t appeal to me at all. Maybe I lack imagination.
8. What would your ten-year-old self say to you now?
My ten-year-old self loved to read so she’d probably be nagging me to go to the library and get her some good books.
9. Who is your greatest influence?
My husband of 51 years was my greatest influence as a writer. I’m really missing him as I try to write now.
10. What/who made you start writing?
A teacher that I had in graduate school was the person who started me on the path to becoming a writer. I was afraid I’d be a mediocre writer if I tried. As a reader, I knew what great writing was, but she got me my first writing job, and I’ve been at it ever since.
11. What is your favourite word and why?
What a question! How about love? How about grace? Or how about for just the beauty of the sound, Lydia?
12. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be?
The Bible. Not fond of Leviticus but the other 65 books I’d be happy to read and reread which I’m actually doing, so I know I’d be happy continuing that, even though at present, I am continuously reading other very different kinds of books. Let’s face it. I’ve always been more of a reader than a writer.
Katherine Paterson is the author of more than 30 books, including 16 books for children and young people. She is a vice-president of the National Children's Book and Literacy Alliance and was the 2010-2011 National Ambassador for Young People's Literature, both in the US. She is perhaps best known for her award-winning novel Bridge to Terabithia. The film adaptation of Katherine's novel The Great Gilly Hopkins, first published in 1978, will be available on DVD and Digital from late March. Visit Katherine Paterson's website for more information about her books and literacy projects.
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