To celebrate Children’s Book Week, Laurel Snyder, author extroardinaire, who wrote Bigger than a Bread Box, has agreed to do an interview with me. Her book is really, really, really good. Phenominal is the right word. I hope you enjoy this.
Happy Children’s Book Week!!
~ LitKid (10-year-old book lover & blogger)
Are any of the scenes in Bigger than a Bread Box based on any experiences in your life, and if so, why did you decide to put them in the book?
Oh, sure, lots of them. But none of the BIG scenes are real. That’s one of the tricks to writing fiction – you want to take details from the real world, and use them to add texture to your made up story, so that it seems real. So, like – the feeling Rebecca has of knowing she can’t put Lew back in the crib without dropping him the last foot? That’s real – I remember feeling that way about my own sister. Also, all the places in this book are real, based on my homes in both Baltimore and Atlanta.
Before you became an author, did you do any other writing, like for a magazine or a newspaper? If you did, was that how you found out that you loved writing?
I figured out I loved writing in about the fourth grade. I was always a reader, from about first grade, but in third or fourth I started making up stories too. I had a really wonderful teacher in fourth grade who encouraged me. My best friend and I wrote little books together, and then made them into books using cardboard and a stapler.
But I also did write for magazines, and still do. I’ve written for websites like Salon.com, and newspapers like the Chicago Sun-Times, and magazines like the UTNE Reader. A few weeks ago I wrote something for CNN! I find it’s helpful to write all different kinds of things!
Have you thought about writing a sequel to Bigger than a Bread Box?
I’m working on a companion novel this very minute! It isn’t a sequel, but a prequel. It follows Annie, Rebecca’s mom, when she was a kid.
Are any of the characters based on people you know, and if so why did you choose this person (or these people) to base your character(s) on?
Rebecca is me, no doubt about it. She’s less outgoing than I am in real life, but she’s how I felt myself to be, in the years when my parents were splitting up. A lot of other characters are loosely based on real people. My son is named Lew. And Hannah is based on a girl who made my life very hard in third grade. Ugh!
If Bigger than a Bread Box ever became a movie, who would you want cast as Rebecca, and why?
Most authors dream of seeing their books made into movies, but I haven’t gone so far as to think about who should play the characters. I’m afraid I don’t know a lot of actresses that age. Who do you think should play her?
Name one book (a kid’s book) from last year that you liked and would recommend.
My favorite middle grade novel from the last year was probably Breadcrumbs, by Anne Ursu. It’s beautifully written and is (oddly) also about a girl whose parents are having trouble, but it’s a different kind of magic. It retells the fairy tale of the Snow Queen!
To learn more about Laurel Snyder and her books, you should go to her web site…
Note from AKid@Heart: If you would like a chance to win a copy of Breadcrumbs, the book Ms. Snyder mentions in our interview, we launched a “Lost in a Book” Medals of Honor giveaway awhile back that we’ve extended in hopes of getting more award recommendations!