Literary Birthday – 20 March – Lois Lowry

Happy Birthday, Lois Lowry, born 20 March 1937.

Lois Lowry: Seven Quotes On Writing

  1. Reading is the best way to learn to write well. Read as much as you can. Think about what you read: how the author made it interesting, or funny, or suspenseful. And write as much as you can, too.
  2. It doesn’t matter where you live. The important thing is what you absorb from your surroundings. To be a keen observer….to see and ponder and weigh….to hear the cadence of speech and notice the shrugs and gestures and the way the eyebrows lift or the lip curls…to perceive human relationships and how they work (or don’t)….all of that is what makes a writer. You could live in the same small town for 50 years and have all of that available.
  3. Keep a journal. Get together with friends who enjoy writing, and read things aloud to each other and talk about them.
  4. I write books because I have always been fascinated by stories and language, and because I love thinking about what makes people tick. Writing a story is simply an exploration of the nature of behaviour: why people do what they do, how it affects others, how we change and grow, and what decisions we make along the way.
  5. I was lucky that I grew up in a family that valued books. I went to the library all the time starting at about age 5 or 6. My mom read to me. I read to myself.
  6. My personal opinion is that you should not worry about ‘being published’. You should enjoy writing, and writing more and more, so that you become better at it. I always sort of cringe when I hear, ‘I want to be a published writer’ from a kid. I’d rather hear, ‘I love to write’.
  7. I sit at my desk every day. I do the New York Times crossword puzzle. I watch the park through my window. My CD player plays music, usually classical (at this moment, it’s a violin concerto). I sip coffee. I type words into my computer. I retype them, rearrange them, and delete them, and retype them again and again. The phone rings. The dog woofs to go out. I get up and refill my coffee cup. Then I look at the words I’ve written and I rearrange them again. Eventually, somehow, a story is put together. There isn’t anything magical. It’s a lot of hard work, a lot of fun, and a lot of waiting for the words.

Lois Lowry is an American children’s writer. She began her career as a photographer and a freelance journalist. Her first book, A Summer to Die, was published when she was 40. She has written more than 30 books for children and published an autobiography. Number the Stars in 1989, and The Giver in 1993, were awarded the Newbery Medal.

by Amanda Patterson

Are you interested in more authors’ birthdays? Please click here: Literary Birthday Calendar

Posted on: 20th March 2013