What is the funniest thing a reader has ever told you? I have one reader who read my Camp Hawthorne books even though she doesn’t like fantasy. She confided in me, “But the things in these books could really happen.” If one day you read the books, you will understand why this made me laugh—but even more at the happy thought that Camp Hawthorne could be real!
If you could be any occupation other than an author, what would you be and why?
I have been many of the things I truly wanted to be already! I’m the mother of nine children, and I’m currently living my dream of coaching Shakespeare plays and teaching writing. However, if I could be something totally new, I would like to be a tour guide. I would love to take people to places like London, Rome, and Paris so that we could see and talk about history, art, and the many fascinating stories connected to them. There is something awe-inspiring about tracing a Roman wall that is thousands of years old or standing eye-to-eye with a gargoyle on Notre Dame cathedral.
Do you ever laugh or cry while reading your own books? Explain!
There are certain characters who make me laugh because of their eccentric ideas and the scrapes they get into. Ivan, for example, is one of my favorite characters. He has purple swim trunks and wears his T-shirt on his head like a pirate. I don’t want to spoil The Pandora Device for you, but at a certain point Ivan wishes he could talk with cows. He has grown up on a farm and wants to know what cows think all day.
My books sometimes make me cry, too. I lost my wonderful dad this past summer, and this experience has made me more sensitive to loss. The Revere Factor, which is the second book in the Camp Hawthorne series, is dedicated to him and my mother: “To Dad, who taught me to see possibilities, and to Mom, who gave me courage to pursue them.” This dedication will make sense if you read The Pandora Device.
What is the last children’s book you read? Why did you read it?
The Key to Extraordinary by Natalie Lloyd. I enjoyed her first book A Snicker of Magic so much that I wanted to read her second book. Both books communicate a love for family and community that lifts my spirits. In The Key to Extraordinary, Emma is from a long line of women who have a “destiny dream” when they are about twelve years old, and Emma is waiting for her dream to appear. I like to think that all of us have a destiny dream hidden inside us.
How did you start writing?
When my second child was born I told my mother that I planned to write books once my children were grown up, and she said, “Why don’t you start now?” I’d never thought I could do it, but I decided to wake up early each morning and write for 20-45 minutes if possible. As my children grew older, I would set the timer for 45 minutes every afternoon, and my kids knew to let me write until the timer went off. I typed like crazy until the bell dinged. It took years to write (and re-write) the first book, but once it was published, my publisher asked for more, and that was how I got started.
Who wrote your favorite book, the one you have read over and over again? What makes this book your favorite?
I can’t choose just one! My favorite books are the The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis and The Wolves of Willoughby Chase series by Joan Aiken. These books are beautifully written with stories that seem to grow with each reading. C.S. Lewis once described the shiver of delight that comes when you see or read something beautiful. These books give me that shiver of delight.
Joyce McPherson is the author of the Camp Hawthorne series as well as biographies for young people and abridged Shakespeare plays for reader’s theatre and community troupes. Learn more about Joyce and her books at: http://joyce-mcpherson.blogspot.com or on her Amazon author page: http://tinyurl.com/ho64qpy or follow Joyce on Twitter @JoyceMcP
Her family’s list of their 150 favorite books can be found here: http://tinyurl.com/hja7clh
The Pandora Device is a featured giveaway on Amazon through January 2nd. You can click for a chance to win a Kindle copy! https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/cd194252b2dcdc3f
C.M. Huddleston's Five Star Review of The Pandora Device:
Famous authors, scientists, children with special powers, and summer camp all appear in The Pandora Device! This roller-coaster of a read will transport you into a world of puzzles, mysteries, and history, all while telling a story of friendships and hardships. I can’t wait for more kids to go to Camp Hawthorne, especially if the characters are as fascinating as these.
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