Friday, February 1, 2013

Interview with Gary Paulsen

The DMS was lucky enough to interview Gary Paulsen, author of the middle grade novel Hatchet. Lizzy reviewed this exciting story, and it was great to share our thoughts about it and hear yours! We are excited to learn a little bit more about the story behind the story. So, without further ado... take it away, Gary! 


What inspired you to write Hatchet?


I was spending a lot of time in the brush, with the dogs, and I didn't have access to stores. I had to carry everything I needed, do without, or find a substitute on the trail. I was prepared and got better at knowing what I'd need with each trip, but I wondered how well I'd do without any supplies.

How long did it take you to write Hatchet and the other books in the Brian Robeson series?

I never know how to answer that question because I spend years thinking about books before I write them. When I sit down to do the work, the process goes very quickly because I type fast.

What are some of your favorite books from childhood? Were there any specific authors who inspired you?

I was not a great reader or student as a kid. I didn't pick up a book for ages and I can't remember what I read. Only that, once I started getting lost in the story and fell in love with that excitement, I read anything I could get my hands on.

Where did you come up with the character Brian?

I wanted to put a kid who didn't know the wilderness smack in the middle of rough country. I'd always been good foraging in the woods and streams, but I wanted a kid who hadn't been raised like I was, on my own, in the brush.

If you could befriend a character from any of your books, who would you befriend? Why?

Probably Brian or Sam from Woods Runner; they seem like people who could figure out any problem if they had to.

Where do you like to write? Do you listen to music while you are writing?

I write anywhere I am--in a dog kennel, on the back of my sailboat, in motel rooms when I took the Harley to Alaska, next to a campfire when I'm out riding trail with my horse, at my desk on my computer, longhand on a notepad if I'm on a plane. It doesn't matter where I write or how, just that I do it. I like listening to classical music, but I don't need it to work.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be? Why?

Exactly where I am -I have a ranch with horses in New Mexico, a sailboat on the Pacific and a dog kennel in Alaska. They're my home.

Have you ever had to survive in the wilderness? If so, can you tell us about it?

Yes, many times. When I was a kid, I would run away from home and make camp in the woods. Later, when I was running dogs, I had to make winter camp on the trail. I spend as much time as I can on the ocean. And, even when I'm at home, I try to sleep on my porch more than in my room. I do best when I'm outside, houses and buildings and towns make me edgy.

If you had to survive in the wilderness, what would you like to have with you?

Waterproof matches, extra dry socks, good boots, and a weapon.

Where can we purchase your books?

Independent bookstores, online book stores, chain bookstores. Visit the library.  

Amazon Barnes and Noble



Connect with this author:
☞ Website  ☞ Facebook 


30 comments:

  1. Great interview, Gary Paulsen is one of my favorite kidlit authors and I really enjoyed reading these things about him.

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    1. Alex- Gary Paulsen is such a wonderful author. I am so glad you are a fan and enjoyed the interview. :) ~L

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  2. Another interesting author interview, its great to know a little more about the writer behind the book.

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    1. Petty- I am so happy that you enjoy finding out more about the writers behind the books. I always love hearing what authors have to say. Thanks for stopping by! ~L

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  3. A great interview with an interesting author!

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  4. SUCH a great interview! I loved the book HATCHET, and I loved when my oldest got to read it. Thanks for sharing with us!!!

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    1. M. Christine- Thanks! I loved Hatchet, too. What an adventure! ~L

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  5. I haven't read this author before. Very interesting interview. That is amazing he can write anywhere! Liked the wilderness survival tips as well. Have a wonderful weekend!

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    1. Heidi- It was so fun to find out more about Gary Paulsen. I think it is cool that he can write anywhere, too. Have a great week! ~L

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  6. Great interview, I've not read Hatchet - but I'm going to.

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    1. Barbara- Happy reading! Hatchet is quite the adventure. :) ~L

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  7. He's even better than I expected! He IS Brian! One of my favorite books <3
    Loved this interview. It makes feel like a little kid again discovering Brian's world.

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    1. Adriana- I agree! He is Brian! I am so glad we were able to share this interview with you and that you are such a fan! :) ~L

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  8. I get it. I can spend months or years thinking about a book and only a few weeks writing it.

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    1. Ciara- I think it is awesome that you (and Gary Paulsen) can write like that. So cool! Happy writing! ~L

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  9. It annoys me to say that I haven't read any of his books, I'll like to do so.

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    1. Nekky- I hope you get to read one of his books soon! ~L

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  10. I really enjoyed reading the interview with Mr. Paulsen. He's such an adventurous guy, no wonder he writes such great books! :-)

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    1. Lexa- Gary Paulsen is definitely adventurous! So glad you enjoyed the interview. :) ~L

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  11. Amazing that you interview Gary Paulsen! When I first started teaching Hatchet was part of our curriculum, but the 6th grade took it over so I never got to teach it. I was disappointed, but it was great to see so many teacher fight over a book!

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    1. Kelly- We were over the top excited to interview Gary Paulsen. How interesting that there was such a fight over getting to be the grade to "teach" Hatchet. All the 5th graders at my school read it! ~L

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  12. Nice interview. Interesting author.

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    1. Thanks, Donna! Gary Pauslen is fascinating. :) ~L

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  13. I haven't read Mr. Paulsen's books yet, but I will soon. And 'Hatchet' will be the first I get of his. :) Thanks for the wonderful interview! (Dry socks are a must everywhere.)

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    1. Claudine- I hope you get to read Hatchet soon! It is an adventure story that is easy to imagine and it draws you right in. You really get to know Brian. :) ~L

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  14. I love the Hatchet books! How cool to get to interview Gary Paulsen. With all the amazing details in his stories, I figured he must be an outdoorsman. :) I've always admired Brian, because I don't think I'd fare nearly as well in the wilderness!
    Cindy

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    1. Cindy- I love the Hatchet books, too. We were thrilled to interview Gary Paulsen! I don't think I could do as well as Brian either. ~L

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