M.T. Anderson

Literary Birthday – 4 November – M.T. Anderson

Happy Birthday, M. T. Anderson, born 4 November 1968.


  1. I love writing for younger readers. I love their passion. I love their commitment to stories. I love the way their heads are exploding with all the things they want to say and do. Thanks for reading the things I’ve written.
  2. I do not know what I regret. I sit with my pen, and cannot find an end to that sentence.
  3. I eat broccoli. I think about the plot. I pace in circles for hours, counter-clockwise, listening to music. I try to think of one detail in the scene I’m about to write that I’m really excited about writing. Until I can come up with that one detail, I pace.
  4. I can’t tell you how irritating it is to be an atheist in a haunted house.
  5. As writers for young people, we have the immense privilege of ensuring that the young of our race and our adaptive and piebald language thrive together. Ours is, for that reason, a serious and joyful business.
  6. And I realise that the decision to be human is not one single instant, but is a thousand choices made very day. It is choices we make every second and requires constant vigilance. We have to fight to remain human.
  7. We love fantasy novels in which the characters think that they’re peasants but turn out to be princes and kings.
  8. Sometimes reading other writers helps. You learn some little technique that turns out to be useful, or simply are re-inspired by the amazing things others do.
  9. I write for teens partially to work out whatever it was that I needed to from my own teenage years.
  10. We Americans are interested only in the consumption of our products. We have no interest in how they are produced, or what happens to them once we discard them, once we throw them away.
  11. Whispering makes a narrow place narrower.
  12. There’s an ancient saying in Japan, that life is like walking from one side of infinite darkness to another, on a bridge of dreams. They say that we’re all crossing the bridge of dreams together. That there’s nothing more than that. Just us, on the bridge of dreams.

Matthew Tobin Anderson is an American writer of children’s books that range from picture books to young-adult novels. His novels include Thirsty, Burger Wuss, Feed, and The Game of Sunken Places. He won the National Book Award for The Pox Party.



Arctinus, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 4th November 2016