Q & A
What inspired you to write Going Rogue (at Hebrew School)?
I wrote Going Rogue (at Hebrew School) because I didn’t think I could answer the question one more time. The question, of course, was: Why do I have to go to Hebrew School? My three kids asked me every week, sometimes many times a week. I gave short answers, I gave long answers, I gave thoughtful answers, I gave quick answers. I answered every which way I could imagine, and just when I thought I’d given them the perfect answer – the one to prevent them from ever needing to ask me again – what would happen? Right! One, two, or even all three of them would ask me again! Eventually, I got the idea to write a book about it, secretly hoping that a book would settle the question once and for all.
Did it work?
Of course not!
What is the hardest part of writing a book?
Carving out the time in our busy lives to do it.
Believing that I can.
What is the best part of writing a book?
Being inside my characters.
Solving all the tricky problems.
Getting lost in the clickety-clack of the keyboard.
What are your favorite middle grade books?
Even though I learned how to read at a very young age, reading has always been difficult for me because, unless I’m writing, I have a hard time sitting still for long periods of time. That said, if a book captures me, I know it’s true love. Some of the books that have captured my heart include: The Wild Robot by Peter Brown, The Tiger Rising by Kate DiCamillo, Wonder by R.J. Palacio, The Search for Delicious by Natalie Babbitt, Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli, Everything Sad is Untrue (A True Story) by Daniel Nayeri, and Charlotte’s Web by E.B White. I’m also a big fan of anything by Dav Pilkey, and Jewish folklore – especially the stories involving towns of fools.
What advice would you give to someone trying to write their first book?
Don’t stop. Keep going. Keep working on it. There will be a million reasons to quit, but if the voice inside is telling you to write, then stay with it. And find a community of writers to support you along the way. SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) is a great place to start.