I talked to Sharon M. Draper at the Ohioana Book Festival.
Blended is book number 32 of my list of books.
When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
My first book came out the year before I stopped teaching. I taught middle school and high school for nine million years.
How long did it take for you to write the book?
About a year from beginning to end.
What is your writing schedule when you are writing?
I get up at 5:00 am and I write all day long. I take little short breaks. When I have had enough and that is all I can do, I stop, and I get in my car and go buy ice cream.
What is your interesting/unique writing quirk if you have one?
I write in silence. Don’t interrupt me. I stop sometimes when I am bored to check my email. Mostly when I am focused, I go straight through. I do a great deal of research. It must be accurate even if you are writing fiction.
What is the most surprising thing you learned when writing this book?
Young people are unpredictable. The world is unpredictable. The ending of the book is a surprise even to me. It didn’t go where I thought it was going to go. The path ended up being better than I originally planned.
Why did you write this book? What makes it special?
I wrote this book because I run into so many young people who are children of divorce who live with mom one week and dad one week, and auntie May the next week, and grandma the week after that. This is their life. They have adjusted and adapted to it. I wrote it for them. The children must deal with whatever decisions the adults in their lives have made. I wrote it from the child’s point of view so the world can see how adult decisions affect young people.
Where can a person buy your book?
Any book seller, any book store, Amazon, Barnes and Noble. If they sell books, they should sell Blended.
Anything I didn’t ask you that you want to add?
Young people will read and do read. I encourage parents to read with their children. Share books with children, it is a vital connection.