We work with some pretty incredible writers here at Walrus Books and we thought that a good way for you to get to know them better would be to grill them ruthlessly with 7 death-defying questions and then post their responses on this blog. Because of the extreme nature of these questions, it was obvious that our first subject should be Pam Withers, the author of the Take it to the Extreme series.
So…for your enjoyment we humbly present our inaugural 7 Questions With…
How did your first book change your life?
It led to a series that turned into a career change. I was phenomenally lucky and I can’t think of anything more fun than being an author for young adults.
Do you have a writing routine? If so, what is it?
When my son was young, I established the only writing routine that was possible: 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. So that’s pretty much what I stick with now. I can’t write more than six hours a day, physically or creatively. And often, that six hours includes research or interviews or outlining as well as writing.
Is there an age range that you tend to write for? Any theories about why?
Most of my books are for kids ages 11 to 13. Partly because that’s the age my son was when I began writing, but also because I spent six years running a summer camp for pre-teens learning whitewater kayaking, so I feel pretty comfortable aiming my material at that age group.
Do you have any advice for young writers? Care to share it?
Keep a journal, attend a young writers camp or workshop if you can find one (such as the Vancouver Public Library’s summer camp for young writers) read the kind of material you like to write, check out various links on my website for young writers, and check out the books at WritersDigest.com.
What’s your favourite word?
Sinuous (to describe a river)
If you hadn’t become a writer, what profession do you think you might have tried?
A psychologist, because they also have to “get inside people’s heads,” but getting inside imaginary people’s heads is more fun.
What was your favourite book when you were a kid?