Author Andrea Beaty stops by to answer five questions about her literary brood of wunderkinds, how she became a writer and more. Her newest collaboration with illustrator David Roberts, ADA TWIST, SCIENTIST, is out now.
How and why did you decide to become a writer?
While I've always loved books and writing, I never thought about writing professionally until I was about 30. I studied biology and computer science in college and worked for a few years in the software industry. Once I had kids and got to read books with them, I started getting ideas for stories, wrote them and (20 years later) here I am! Life is always an unexpected journey!
What inspired the stories of Iggy, Rosie and now brilliant little Ada?
Iggy was inspired by my son who loved building things when he was a little kid. Rosie and Ada grew out of David Roberts' amazing illustrations. I spent a lot of time staring at his art to find clues about the kids' personalities. Rosie hides behind her bangs so i asked "Why?" and the story grew from there. Ada is the girl standing to one side and thinking while the other kids are gathering shoestrings to build Iggy's bridge.
What were some of your favorite books as a kid?
GO DOG, GO! and HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS were my favorite picture books. For novels, Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden were my faves. I think there are some great books from my childhood which still survive today, but by and large, the quality of picture books now is so much better than when I was growing up.
Typically how long is the writing process for one of your books from idea to publication?
The answer to that question is "I have no clue!" It varies so much from book to book. I've written books in an hour (DOCTOR TED) and taken 10 years to write others (HUSH BABY GHOSTLING). My first picture book took 5 years to reach readers AFTER I sold it. Others have been published in 18 months.
What have been some of your biggest challenges in the writing process, for any of your books?
Always, my biggest challenge is carving out time to write. I tend to let other things grab my attention and then I get off track. It's a good problem to have, but one I need to work on.
Images courtesy of Andrea Beaty, David Roberts and Abrams Books.