Friday, June 14, 2013

Author Interview with Sharon Creech

The DMS was lucky enough to interview Sharon Creech, author of numerous amazing books. Lizzy recently reviewed Granny Torelli Makes Soup, 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 her stories. So, without further ado... take it away, Sharon! 


What inspired you to write Ruby Holler?


In a letter that my aunt wrote after my father died, she told a story about him and ended it with, “That was when we lived in the holler.” Holler? I hadn’t known my father and his family had ever lived in a holler. Although I wasn’t sure what a holler was, I began to imagine such a place. In my mind, the holler was a lush valley with a creek running through it. The more I thought about that place, the more I wondered who might most appreciate it – perhaps two children who had never had such beauty and freedom in their lives. 

How long did it take you to write Ruby Holler?


Ruby Holler took about two years to write.  I made a few wrong turns along the way! Otherwise, it would have been finished in a year.


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

We did not live near a library, nor was there a library in our school. The only books I remember reading when I was young were Nancy Drew mysteries that a neighbor loaned me. I also read comic books because those were available at the local drugstore and they were inexpensive.



Where did you come up with the characters: Florida, Dallas, and the Trepids?

This is the greatest mystery of writing—where do these characters come from?! I think I started with the idea that the two children would be brother and sister but differ in personality, and that they would not have had much care or love shown to them and thus would be rough around the edges but still feisty in spirit. The Trepids –well, I knew the orphanage managers would be stingy (in all ways) and that would be a good contrast to what Dallas and Florida would find with Tiller and Sairy.

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

I’d probably want to befriend all the main characters and tell each one, “It’s going to be okay. You’ll see.”

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

I write in my home office, which overlooks woods and water. I’m surrounded by photos, books, papers, pens and pencils. I’m not usually able to listen to music while writing because it distracts me. I need to be able to ‘hear’ the voices in my head.

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

Although I’ve been able to live in some terrific places (England, Switzerland), I am now living exactly where I want to be: near the coast of Maine and close to my grandchildren.

In Granny Torrelli Makes Soup Bailey and Rosie learn some lessons while helping Granny cook. Do you have a favorite recipe or meal that you like to make?

I often make Granny Torrelli’s chicken zuppa, served with a tossed green salad. That zuppa is my grandchildren’s favorite!

Love that Dog and Hate that Cat are both books written in verse. Have you always been a fan of poetry? What inspired you to write books in this style?

I have always written poetry—just as I have always written prose. When I started Love That Dog, the narrator’s voice just popped out in short lines and evolved into a distinct verse voice as he gained confidence. I had so much fun with that book, and so when readers kept asking for another one about Jack, I wrote Hate That Cat. I love Jack’s voice.

Where can we purchase your books?

You can find my books at most bookstores, and if they don’t have them in stock they can order them for you. 

☞ Connect with this author

  Independent Book Stores  Amazon    B&N



Read our review








Read our review

31 comments:

  1. Interesting post and I'm fascinated and somewhat shocked (is that the word I'm looking for?) and surprised by the thought of an author having next to no access to books as a child. Hmm, just goes to show that comics have a part to play.

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    1. Petty- So glad you enjoyed the interview. It is amazing that Sharon didn't have access to books as a child and yet she has written so many books! :) ~L

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  2. Wonderful interview. I just bought one of her books. I also can't imagine not having access to books as a child, but I can't imagine a childhood without Nancy Drew and comics either. I loved them both.

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    1. Alex- Thanks! I can't imagine not having access to books either! I am constantly reading. I don't know which one of her books you bought- but I am sure you will love it. :) ~L

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  3. I hope you've remedied the lack of libraries by now!

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    1. Editors at Work- Wouldn't that be wonderful! :) ~L

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  4. I love that you get to meet and chat with so many amazing authors...I am very familiar with her work! I truly enjoy it!

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    1. Patty- We are SO excited to have Sharon Creech on the blog today. It was so fun to find out her answers to our questions. So glad you enjoyed the interview. Aren't her books the best? :) ~L and F

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  5. How interesting this was to read. Her voice really comes through, and I know I'd love her stories just reading her thoughts about writing and life.

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    1. Lee- Glad you enjoyed the interview and I agree that her voice does come through. I know you would love her books! :) ~L

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  6. Congrats, Sharon! I read a lot of Nancy Drew books growing up too, and I'm with you on writing with no music.

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    1. Cherie- Nancy Drew is awesome! Thanks for stopping by. :) ~L

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  7. Excellent character names! And the artwork is stunningly beautiful.

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    1. Cate- I agree about both comments! :) ~L

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  8. Great interview and what great covers! Thanks for having Sharon and Sharon, it is great to get to know you better. I can only listen to instrumental jazz when I write and not all the time either. Best of luck!

    Paul R. Hewlett

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    1. Thanks, Paul! I agree that the covers are fabulous. Sharon is so interesting and her writing is so easy to connect to! :) ~L

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  9. Great interview! I love how Sharon was able to take a sad period in her life and make it into something positive.

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    1. Thanks, Kelly! Isn't it wonderful how she turned something sad into something positive! :) ~L

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  10. Another great interview. Sharon is so down to earth in her answers and I love the colorful book covers and the chicken zuppa sounds delicious.

    Still not quite sure what a "holler" is though...I have wondered when I hear Dolly Partin sing about being raised in Butcher Holler.

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    1. Anna- Thanks so much! Sharon is down to earth and I fell like I know her so much better now. I think a holler is a place between two hills- but I am not sure. :) ~L

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  11. Sharon is SUCH a great author!! I love her characters :)

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    1. Jemi- I agree! I love her characters, too! :) ~L

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  12. I love reading your interviews, there is always so much to enjoy. I can't imagine growing up without books. I do hope Sharon has a wonderful library now. I really like the illustration on the left; it looks quite magical.

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    1. Barbara- Thanks so much! It is hard to imagine growing up without books (and sad too). I hope she has a library now too! :) ~L

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  13. Goodness, you guys interviewed Sharon Creech and even mentioned two of my favourite novels-in-verse! (Just in case Sharon reads this, "The Wanderer" is the first of yours I've read and remains the best I love.) What Sharon said about telling her main characters everything would be okay is also what I want to tell all my main characters, too. Great interview, Jess & Stephanie! I will check out 'Granny Torrelli Makes Soup' and 'Ruby Holler' soon.

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    1. Claudine- I know! We are so excited to have her on the blog. She is amazing! I also read The Wanderer and loved it. I know you will love Ruby Holler and Granny Torrelli too. Sharon has a way with words. :) Thanks for stopping by! ~L

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  14. Loved reading this interview! Thank you all for sharing :) Need to check our Sharon's books :D They look awesome.

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    1. Carina- Thanks! So glad you enjoyed it! I hope you get to check out her books soon! :) ~L

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  15. omg, the 'holler'? I would have had to write a book on that too. Love her titles.

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    1. Donna- Aren't her titles awesome? Love them! :) ~L

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  16. I sure am late on commenting on this post, but I just happened to see it listed on the side of your page. I'm going to have to check out Ruby's Holler. I love the cover. I can't imagine so many people not knowing what a holler is. I live in WV and grew up in a holler. My definition - a place where people (a lot of relatives and everyone knows everyone else) live along a winding road, accompanied by a creek. And this is all nestled between hills on both sides.

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