Laura Gehl is senior editor of the award-winning educational periodical Science Weekly. Laura’s best ideas come from her four young children. Her previous books include And Then Another Sheep Turned Up and Hare and Tortoise Race Across Israel. She lives in Silver Spring, Maryland.
What was your favorite book when you were a child?
Too many to list—but a few favorites included the All of a Kind Family series, Bread and Jam for Frances, and anything by Richard Scarry or Susan Cooper.
What’s your favorite line from a book?
“I said that I thought the secret of life was obvious: be here now, love as if your whole life depended on it, find your life’s work, and try to get hold of a giant panda.”
This line is from Anne Lamott’s Hard Laughter. Not a children’s book, but a terrific book, and good advice for anyone.
Who are your top three favorite authors or illustrators?
Again, I can’t pick just three! But for today I will say Gordon Korman, Richard Scarry, and Susan Cooper.
Why did you want to become an author or illustrator?
I have loved reading books for as long as I can remember—and I am a speed-reader, so I read hundreds of books every year. For a lifelong lover of books, getting to be part of creating a book always seemed like a too-good-to-be-true kind of job. It still does! I can’t believe I get to do this important job every day.
Do you have any advice for future authors or illustrators?
Join a critique group, write every day (but don’t give yourself a hard time about the days when you can’t manage it), and never give up.