I cannot wait to get my hands on this special edition with an introduction by author Katherine Applegate. I have long loved this book, and its author.
Jerry Spinelli and me, New York SCBWI conference, winter 2005
In honor of Maniac Magee’s 25th anniversary, I’m reposting a fun interview that I conducted back in 2010. Enjoy!
What was your first published title and what was it about?
SPACE STATION SEVENTH GRADE. Fractured life of a thirteen-year-old boy.
How long did your journey take to publication and what were some significant events along the way?
SPACE STATION was the fifth book I wrote. The first four nobody wanted. Somewhere along the line I stopped being so precious about every word and began writing faster. The faster I wrote the better I got. Those four failures were my training ground.
Were there bleak days when you felt that you’d never get published? How did you deal with that?
A quarter of a century passed from the time I decided to be a writer till my first novel was published. How did I deal with it? I noticed that the morning after each devastating rejection–I could have papered my apartment with the slips–a funny thing happened: the sun came up. The world took no notice. Why should I? I kept writing.
Who/what were your sources of inspiration along the way? How did it/ he/she/they help you the most?
Eileen was my biggest booster. vid. STARGIRL
What was the best thing about getting your first book published?
What was the hardest thing?
How have you changed from your first published book to now? (note: “now” was in 2010)
If I’ve changed it’s probably evident only to others. I’m still the same to me.
Bit of wisdom to share: (a recommended book on craft, a favorite book, advice, warning)
Book: WALKING ON ALLIGATORS by Susan Shaughnessy
Advice: Write what you care about.
(Interview conducted on 3/3/10)