I love to write more than I love to do almost anything else. It's the only time I feel completely free, at ease with myself and the world. Writing of any kind gives me profound pleasure, be it books, e-mails, even addressing an envelope. I don't know why. I have always been this way.
I have had a lifelong and deep love for books. I have always considered books to be among my best and most trusted friends. I brought all of my favorite children's and young adult books to college with me--I never dreamed of leaving them behind. I also have a passion for re-reading, and always find something new, even in books I've read 30 times or more.
The writers I admire the most are notable for their clarity, brevity and wit, though I very much admire and enjoy the works of many writers who are not known for their brevity at all ( Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, Colette, John Galsworthy... many more.) TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD is one of my favorite books of all time, and while it is liberally sprinkled with dry wit, it isn't brief--and I would be ecstatic if it were even longer. I just don't choose to write in an expansive fashion myself, because it doesn't suit my nature.
When I write something--anything--I try to make sure that every single word counts. If I am able to remove it and there is no hole in the writing, then it probably doesn't belong there. Writing books for children is--for me-- the most rigorous writing task of all. Many people are under the very mistaken impression that the shorter a piece of writing is, the easier it is to write. The exact opposite is true.
I choose to write fiction because it is the best vehicle, for me, with which to explore the things that interest me the most. My books may seem, at first (or second or third) glance, very disparate. They're not. The story told in SECOND STAR TO THE RIGHT is the same story as GROVER GOES TO SCHOOL, all my LITTLE WITCH books, and many others. Each and every one of them is about the search for a way to be true to oneself and still be accepted and loved by the people who matter to us the most. It seems to be the one story I never tire of telling. When I sit down to write a book, I don't plan to tell any particular kind of story, but when I look at the books I've written, they are connected to each other in this very particular way.
I have more to say, but will pause for the moment and post this on my web-site, on the hunch that something is better than nothing in my self-styled category, "Thoughts About Writing".