And some more questions and answers

Barbara Haworth-Attard

As promised, some more questions from a student and my answers.

How much does education or experiences influence her or his writing process?

I think everyone needs education! Get an education! I wish I had an education. I am 64 years old. I grew up in a traditional household with four brothers. When I was 17 and had Grade 12, my Mom decided that was enough education…I was also becoming quite rebellious and I think she wanted to rein me in…and told me my brothers needed education to support families, whereas I would get married. Which I did at 19. Don’t get married at 19. You still have a lot of growing up to do. I really feel my lack of education when I want to do research. I want my brain to expand. I am actually thinking of taking a few courses at Western University. Learning to me is a lifelong process.

Why does the author write in a particular genre?

Well, I can’t answer that because I write in lots of genres because I like to try new ideas. It drives my agent nuts. He wants me to pick one genre and stick with it. The reason for his thinking that way is because people associate authors with mystery, contemporary, historical, romance. I do write a genre…Young Adult.

How did she or he become a writer?

I have been writing since I was ten years old. And reading. But when I was in my teens, writing was not considered a career. You could not make money…still can’t for most writers unless you are the wonderful J.K. Rowling. She deserves every cent she makes. So I worked as a secretary in law firms, had my two amazing sons, and then in 1992 decided I really wanted to write. I read every How To Write book…the 800 section in the local library, took a night course, it sucked, the teacher said writing for children and YA was easy and not real writing, it is, and I ended up teaching that course three years later.

How does the author define success in his or her field?

Success is a letter from a child or teen telling me how their book affected or helped change his or her life. That is why I write.

Who were the author\’s mentors?

Books were my mentors. I read and still read a lot.

What words of advice does the author have for people who want to become writers?

Believe in yourself. Put your butt in a chair…I have so much trouble with this aspect…and do the work.