In her case, this title should read beyond the books! As one of Canada’s most versatile and beloved writers for children’s literature, Wishinsky, has two books for children due out by the end of this year, The Queen’s Secret (Scholastic) and illustrated by Loufane, and Where are you Bear? (OwlKids) with our T.dot man Sean L. Moore and a few more in the works, including more Canadian Flyer Adventure Series books. She kindly took time out of her busy writing schedule for an email interview. I would’ve liked a chance to meet her in person (and she prefers the one-on-one interview) but in between her many projects and my full-time working/mothering/blogging I’ll take what I can!
Next time maybe I should suggest some tea and chocolate….
(Image from the personal files of author, please do not reproduce without permission)
(Cover Image Copyright@2010 Loufane) (Cover Image Copyright@2010 Sean L. Moore)
Thank you for agreeing to this interview. Do you enjoy giving interviews even if sometimes you are asked the same thing perhaps even over and over?
I like answering questions more in person than on paper if I’m asked the same thing. I like the personal interaction!
Like this question, I’ll bet you get that every single time but still I will ask anyway: where does your inspiration mainly come from?
Most of my story ideas start from my own life. But then each one takes on a life of it’s own.
If you weren’t writing children’s books would you still be writing?
Probably. I like to write and I like different genres. But there’s just something about kids books. There’s a freshness of experience and a “truth”.
What’s the best part of your work? The worst?
The best part is getting an idea. The worst is waiting to hear if someone wants to publish your book. I also like revising. It’s like a puzzle that I want to get right.
Do you have an ereader? If not, will you get one?
Don’t have one yet but who knows.
What do you think of the new social media tools like Twitter and Facebook? Do you use them?
I like Facebook and use it. I haven’t used Twitter. It’s tricky figuring out how to use your time best- Facebook, Twitter, blogging, writing, it all takes time and energy.
You were an only child. A recent article in the Globe and Mail talked about research indicating that sole children are no less lonely or lacking in social skills (as previously thought) as children with siblings. This may be true but I have often posited that only children tend to be more imaginative (as they often have to entertain themselves. What do you think? Do you think being an only child perhaps made you more inclined to invent stories than others?
I think only children often know how to entertain themselves well by reading, dreaming, writing etc. But then again I can only speak from my own experience.
Do you have a favourite book you’ve written? If so which one and why? (I am guessing Crazy for Chocolate as you love chocolate so much. I haven’t read it but the cover is enough to make me think it would be MY favourite).
I love chocolate and history so that’s one of my favorites but each book is a part of me so I like them all. And then there’s the next book to like. It’s like having friends. You like them for different reasons and there’s always room for one more.
Do you have a favourite character you’ve created? If so, which one and why?
I think some of my characters are a bit like me such as Carly in YOU’RE MEAN LILY JEAN and Ann in CRAZY FOR CHOCOLATE and Emily in the Canadian Flyer Adventures. So, no favourites.
I’ve read in another interview/article that you feel that your initially training in international relations has helped you in understanding children’s behaviour both in the classroom and through your books. What has writing taught you about the way people get along in the world –considering that your books have been translated into so many different languages that you are reaching so many kids around the world?
Feelings are universal. I also think that adults and even countries sometimes behave like kids in the school yard. The language may change but the emotions of anger, jealousy, fear, joy, worry etc. remain the same.
Do you have a favourite word? If so what is it and why do you love it? (Mine is insouciant, a word that sounds French and means being blithely unaware, carefree and light-hearted which is the COMPLETE opposite of me!)
I can’t think of a favourite word but it’s an interesting question.
Can you give us any hints on upcoming projects?
I’m working on a book about Explorers for Scholastic and two more Canadian Flyer adventures. I’ve always got a few picture book manuscripts that I fiddle with and I have some non-fiction ideas. I’d also like to do another Orca Current for older kids. And perhaps a middle grade novel that takes place in the 60s. There are a lot of projects in different stages of development that are floating around my head.
What do you like to do when you are not writing?
Travel, walk, swim, garden, talk, drink tea with friends and of course, eat chocolate–daily!
You can never go wrong with chocolate….You can meet Frieda at Telling Tales Festival in Rockton, Ontario on Sunday, September 19th and at Word on the Street, Toronto on Sunday, September 26th, 2010. I’ll be kicking around Word on the Street too so hope to see you there!
Thanks for stopping in!