Happy Birthday, Maureen Johnson, born 16 February 1973
- I was always one of those reading and writing kids. After a little dalliance with astronomy (I had a glow in the dark star chart) and archaeology (I had a little shovel), I declared my intention to become a writer at the age of eight or nine or so.
- Writing is one of the few careers for which you essentially train yourself, the other two major ones being juggling and pickpocketing.
- Read everything you can. Write all the time. Keep writing and writing and writing … and don’t worry about publishing right away. Writing is a bit like playing an instrument or dancing or acting … you have to practice and learn for a long time before you go up in front of people.
- I know this sounds harsh but, it is truthful and solid advice. Most books written by teenagers are nowhere near ready for publication. It takes a long time to learn how to write.
- I read two mysteries a day when I was a kid. All of Agatha Christie, all of ‘Sherlock Holmes.’ I’ve seen every single British detective show ever made.
- Publishing is a business. Writing is your craft. Every writer I know was a teenage writer who just kept going.
- My rule is: the second you find yourself doing something you hate, quit doing it.
Johnson is an American author of young adult fiction. She has published ten young adult novels to date, including the Shades of London series and theSuite Scarlett series. Visit her website for more.
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