Describe your new book.
The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate tells the story of a young girl around 1900 who becomes interested in science. It's about the difficulties she faces in pursuing her true passion, versus the expectations placed on her by her family and society. The story is also about her growing relationship with her reclusive grandfather, who proves to be her most unlikely ally and supporter.
What is your favorite literary first line?
"It was love at first sight." (From Catch-22, most definitely not a children's book. Kids, you're not allowed to read this one until you turn 30.)
How did the last good book you read end up in your hands?
It was recommended by Betsy Bird, youth librarian for the New York City Public Library. She reads a huge number of books for young readers and then posts very thoughtful and detailed reviews online.
What is your idea of bliss?
My idea of bliss is to be curled up on the couch under a fuzzy comforter on a rainy afternoon with a really good book, a cuddly cat, a cup of hot chocolate, and Mozart on the stereo.
What's your clean, kid-friendly curse word substitute of choice (darn, etc.)?
Drat. I think it's an excellent word. And in Texas, if you choose, you can say dee-rat, which is very satisfying.
What book by another author do you wish you had written?
The Wind in the Willows. I think it is one of those rare books than can be enjoyed and appreciated by both kids and adults alike. Plus, the language is just gorgeous, the characters are unforgettable, and parts of it are extraordinarily funny. What a great combination!
If you could choose, what would be your last meal?
A three-layer German chocolate cake. The whole thing. Why not?