Photo by SL Abrams, 2011
Arlene Morris-Lipsman is passionate about American history. Several of her published works, including Presidential Races: The Battle for Power in the United States, Notable Women, and An American Story: A Documentary, reflect her love of the past. In addition to historical books, she has written articles and essays for magazines and newspapers. A former educator, she travels extensively throughout the United States visiting the nation’s historical sites and especially enjoys touring presidential libraries and homes. She lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with her husband.
What was your favorite book when you were a child?
I loved Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. I reread it many times, even into my adulthood.
What’s your favorite line from a book?
“When enough years had gone by to enable us to look back on them, we sometimes discussed the events leading to his accident. I maintain that the Ewells started it all, but Jem, who was four years my senior, said it started long before that. He said it began the summer Dill came to us, when Dill first gave us the idea of making Boo Radley come out.” (From To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee)
Who are your top three favorite authors or illustrators?
Louisa May Alcott, Jean Fritz (who makes history so exciting), and Patricia McKissack.
Why did you want to become an author or illustrator?
I want to share my love of American history with young readers. I hope to make the past meaningful to my audience by having the people, places, and events of by-gone years come alive for them.
Do you have any advice for future authors or illustrators?
Read as much as you can. Think about the stories you want to tell (either fiction or nonfiction) and what you want to say. Write, rewrite, then rewrite again. Don’t ever give up. Always pursue your dreams.