Interview with Sandra Markle

Sandra MarkleName: Sandra Markle

Date of birth: 11 October 1946

Place of birth: Fostoria, Ohio, USA

Now living in: Amberley, New Zealand

What is your favourite food?


Do you have a nickname and if so what is it?


What was your most embarrassing moment?

Too embarrassing to share I’m sure.

How do you relax?

Paint - pictures not buildingsBook Cover of What if you had animal teeth?

Who inspired you when you were little?

I adored my grandfather and was his shadow. His love of the outdoors, natural curiosity, and creative spirit still inspire me.

What were you like at school?

Hard working, curious, enjoyed both teamwork and individual challenges. I was making books even as a child, folding paper into books I then wrote and illustrated.

What was your favourite/most hated subject at school?

Loved science, was most challenged by mathematics

What was the book you most loved as a child?

Still love - A wrinkle In time by Madeline L'Engle

Which person from the past would you most like to meet?

That’s a tough one. Madame Curie definitely, but also Richard Byrd, opens a new window.

Who is your favourite author/children’s author?

I enjoy different authors at different times and for different genres. I've always been impressed with Hemingway - for one thing he wrote standing up to force himself to stay focused and squeeze out just the essence of what needed to be said.

Why did you want to be a writer?

When you are a writer, it goes beyond wanting to be. You simply are and no one can stop you from writing. They may not buy what you write, but you will still write. Writing also lets me meet people and go places I wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to get to know or visit. For example, I talk to explorers and scientists literally around the world, hearing personally about their work and research. I've also had the opportunity to operate the trainer for the Shuttle, live with 60,000+ Adelie penguins in Antarctica, spend three days behind the scenes with Ringling Bros. Circus, and lots more.

Book cover of How many baby pandas?Do you have a special place where you write your books?

Anywhere I am - once on a beach in Fiji and once in a tent in Antarctica.

What’s the best thing and worst thing about being a writer?

I write for children. My favorite thing is to share one of my books and see lots of faces of children enjoying the experience. Those faces are always with me - the children are the ones I’m writing for all of the time. I always read my books aloud while they are in progress and think, "Will the children understand that? Will they enjoy discovering that?" There isn’t a worst thing about being a writer. It’s hard work. I often work 10 - 12 hours, but it’s more than what I do. It’s who I am.

If you weren’t a writer, what would you like to be?

This is my goal. I am a writer. Actually, technically, I’m an author. An author that was my mentor once told me, "You’re always a writer but once you’re published you earn the right to the title author."

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

WRITE!! But also, periodically, read what you’re writing out loud and listen with a reader’s ear. Always remember, writing began as a way to record what people were saying. It’s still that.

Read some books by Sandra Markle

Sandra Markle's blog

This interview is from 2008.

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