Deborah Kops has written more than twenty books for children and young adults. She lives with her husband and son in Greater Boston, and enjoys visiting old historic cities along the Atlantic coast, such as Salem, Massachusetts, and Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
What was your favorite book when you were a child?
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
What’s your favorite line from a book?
One of my favorites is Lewis Carroll’s poem, in his book Through the Looking-Glass. “‘The time has come,’ the Walrus said, ‘To talk of many things:/Of shoes and ships and sealing-wax /Of cabbages and kings /And why the sea is boiling hot /And whether pigs have wings.’”
Who are your top three favorite authors or illustrators?
I love all of James Marshall’s books about George and Martha, and among the children’s books I’ve read more recently, I especially enjoyed Rita Williams-Garcia’s One Crazy Summer and Jen Bryant’s A River of Words: The Story of William Carlos Williams, illustrated by Melissa Sweet.
Why did you want to become an author or illustrator?
I have loved writing since I was in fourth grade, when my teacher gave the class many opportunities to write stories. I knew I would enjoy the detective work involved in researching a subject—whether it’s the history of Machu Picchu, in Peru, or the invention of the first video game. I also enjoy the process of figuring out what’s important about a topic and then trying to make it interesting for kids.
Do you have any advice for future authors or illustrators?
Writers: Read tons of books in the genre in which you want to write. Join a critique group (check your regional member organization of the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). And commit to writing regularly almost every day.