Lois Lowry's Blog


Lights! Camera! Action!

Posted by Lois Lowry
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on Wednesday, 03 March 2010 in Uncategorized

I wish  I could say that the title of this post means that they have started shooting the film of THE GIVER. Not so.

It only means that this morning a film crew arrived and set up shop in my living room:

Weston Woods video

and then filmed an interview with me for Weston Woods, which will make it available along with a video of my book "Crow Call."

So it was a busy morning, followed by lunch with two women friends, and now I'm about to go out to dinner at a wonderful Cambridge restaurant called Oleana, a combined birthday celebration for me and my friend Alan  Jacobson---both of us with March birthdays (an amazing number of friends have March birthdays. Someday I should have a big March party and invite them all)

A phone call this afternoon from poet/anthologist Lee Bennett Hopkins, inviting me down to Florida, where he lives, next October---yes, there's a catch; I have to make a speech---but it will be a fun event and good to see Lee again.

And a lot of scheduling today for trips to Seattle, Raleigh, Miami, Tampa next month (New York, Indianapolis, and Cincinnati in May)---who would have dreamed that a solitary profession would involve so much un-solitariness?!

Speaking of March 3rd, today is the day my son Grey was born in Key West, Florida, in 1959. Hard to believe that if he were alive he would be 51 years old! To me he will always be 36, the age at which he died. Here he is at 17:


A beautiful boy. A wonderful son.

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Holly Monday, 29 November 1999

Those are interesting questions, but fairly typical. They sound like the kind of questions you probably get frequently. Why don't you answer them once and add them to your FAQ on your website? You could link to your FAQ from your blog and direct students to it. Longtime reader, first-time commenter...listening to The Giver on my iPod right now. Incredibly powerful, as always. Thank you for your creative courage.

MJN Monday, 29 November 1999

While I'm not a fellow author, I am a teacher of college students who often do author studies as projects for my classes. First of all, I think even receiving an email apology from you would make most students' days. I also think that between your blog and other interviews you've given, you've answered many of the questions she asked. So maybe the student who wrote can dig around and find the answers to most of her questions, then send you a much shorter, more manageable list of essential questions whose answers she needs but couldn't find. P.S. I've been using your books in my classes for years--starting with using The Giver in ENGL 100 English Composition. It got my freshmen talking about ideas and writing. Last semester, a small group of future teachers chose Gossamer for their book club book and were mesmerized (as was I). Thanks for your work and your willingness to talk about how you do what you do.

debrennersmith Monday, 29 November 1999

When I read the list of questions, I think it reflects the point of view of the questioner. The questioner views you as an author, not a person. You are an assignment, instead of a person who has lived an incredible life. It is not the questioner's fault, it is simply the youngness of the college student. I think I might have fallen for error too at that age. Now, as an author and as a mid-life person who has actually spoken with other author's I would simply ask you, what do you want your audience to know about you? I think about Barbara Walter when she interviews people. She is always thinking about the one key moment. Do you have a key moment that affects your writing overall? Or do you have a key moment for every book?

Betty Birney Monday, 29 November 1999

I commiserate. Those questions are punishing. My readers are fairly young, so my issue is with teachers who assign their students to ask questions of authors (and usually the kids put off their assignment until the night before). I actually went through about 10 emails with a girl who had an assignment which seemed to involve getting as many freebies as possible. She regaled me with stories about what her classmates had received: multiple free books, tee-shirts. Apparently the teacher had turned the assignment into a competition. Sometimes I wonder: would my readers like me to answer all these questions OR write another book?m Because for me, some days that's the choice. I think you handled it appropriately. I understand that people have no idea the amount of requests you must have on a daily basis. The very thought of it makes me weary! Perhaps you could have asked her if she could whittle it down to two questions or something like that?

anonymoous Monday, 29 November 1999

I'm french and i have finish "le passeur" like we say in french.i think that your book is very good for all peapoles and all plubics.
your book is my prefer with "l.i.v 3 ou la mort des livres","l'aprentit assassin"and "Germinal of Zola".
the books are my life thank you!
ps:sorry my english he is very poor!

Krista Monday, 29 November 1999

You could answer new questions at a set time every month on your blog.
I just found out you are coming to Edison College in Ft. Myers. I'll see you in October and if you're not too overwhelmed, I'll come and introduce myself.

Pam Monday, 29 November 1999

I receive similar lists of questions, where there are questions within questions and each sentence is tagged with a "why." Certain times of year (the ends of semesters)there seems to be more. I am always overwhelmed by the idea of how much time it would take to answer thoughtfully. I do respond to the student, answer one of the questions, then suggest a search on line of the interviews posted there. Also, I have previous interviews on file on my computer - ones that have already published. Sometimes, I will send one of those interviews digitally and hope it is helpful. Or ask if they'd like a recent brochure, then pop one in the mail. Now that I think about it, I don't always do the same thing - something different each time. I can only do what I can do on that day. Otherwise, it all becomes an obligatory procrastination from the actual work.

James Preller Monday, 29 November 1999

I can only identify on a much smaller scale. But those questions made me groan.
Yes, there are practical ways for you to deal with this -- links to old interviews, a Q & A section on the blog, etc.
But the visceral point, for me, was more like: Oh God, who would want to analyze it all this way? It's just an avenue of thought, on a busy day, you don't want to go down.
"What makes a good or interesting children's book?" You can't possibly answer that. It's a lazy question. Even worse, I'd hate to meet the windbag who even thinks they could answer it. "Well, a good children's book must have . . ."
My conclusion: these are NOT good questions. These are actually terrible questions. Far too reaching and too broad, too abstract. I think if they were better questions -- more specific -- they would have gotten a better response.
The fault is not with Lois Lowry.

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