FAQ

You might have some of the same questions that other kids have had about being an author or writing Sophie’s Quest.

How long did it take you to write this book? About six years, and then I continued to revise it occasionally over the next six years while working on other projects. Altogether, it took about twelve years before it found the perfect publishing home! This was my first novel, so even though I had read many, many books in my life, I didn’t know anything about how to write dialogue, how to create characters, how to move them from place to place without taking too many words, etc. I also didn’t know very much about pirates or owls or ships or Israel or Islam or Buddhism, or some of the other ideas that I knew my characters would be interested in, so I had to research all of these things at the same time that I was trying to figure out the best way to write the story.

Is this book part of a series? Yes! Book two is called, Sophie Topfeather, Superstar! I’m also working on an idea for a third book.

What do you like best about writing? I like learning new things through the research. I remember the day I went to our local library and checked out a large stack of books on everything from mice to pirates to clipper ships to world religions, and the librarian looked at me with a funny expression when I told her that they all fit together, believe it or not! The best day of research was the day I got to go on board a huge cargo ship with a Catholic priest who ministers to the sailors who arrive in Seattle from all over the world.

What surprised you the most about writing a novel? Tolkien, the author of the Lord of the Rings, said that one day the character, Faramir, just came walking through the forest and into his novel, and I never dreamed I would have the same kind of experience, where the characters just come in to the story unplanned and unannounced. Boy, was I surprised one night when I dreamed about a funny monkey who was sitting cross-legged on the deck of a ship doing yoga, and I knew he was part of my novel, too!

What is the hardest part of writing a book? For me, the hardest part has been the part after the book was written. It’s not easy trying to find a publisher who loves your work as much as you do, and you have to wait sometimes for a year or more before they write back to you! If you want to be an author, you have to learn to be very patient.

Do you have a question? Ask it in the comments or contact page, and I’ll try to answer it!

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