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I write a book over a period of months or years, and when I'm done with it, usually another year goes by before I see it in print. It's hard to be patient and wait.
I was lucky enough not to face any required summer reading lists until I went to college. So I still think of summer as the best time to read for fun.
I think I learned a lot from reading in general - even from reading badly written books.
I started trying to write when I was in second or third grade.
I loved to read when I was a kid, and as soon as I realized that an actual person got to make up the books I loved so much, I decided that that was the job for me.
I like the fact that kids are willing to be imaginative and go along with me when I'm telling strange tales.
I like playing around with the words; I love it when I feel like I've picked the exact right word to describe whatever it is I'm trying to describe.
Generally I finish a first draft in 2-6 months, then I set it aside for a while so that when I come back to it I can read it with fresh eyes and figure out how to improve it.
Eventually the bad stuff I'm writing turns into better stuff. Other times, I've just walked away from what I was working on, and figured I'd have a better perspective when I came back to it.
After I've sent my revised draft to my agent and editor, they suggest more improvement sand again, this revision phase can take anywhere from a few hours to a few months.
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