Lisa Owings

Samuel Owings

Lisa Owings has a degree in English and creative writing from the University of Minnesota. She has written and edited a wide variety of educational books for young people. Lisa lives in Andover, Minnesota, with her husband and a small menagerie of pets.


What was your favorite book when you were a child?

I loved Little House in the Big Woods. I even convinced my mom to make me a Laura Ingalls Wilder costume for Halloween one year. It was the best!

What’s your favorite line from a book?

One of my favorites is “You don’t have anything if you don’t have the stories,” from Leslie Marmon Silko’s Ceremony. It’s interesting to think about what our stories are, what they mean to us, and what we would be without them.

Who are your top three favorite authors or illustrators?

It’s hard to choose favorites, but lately I’ve been enjoying Leslie Marmon Silko, Orson Scott Card, Gary Snyder, and Theodore Roethke. I guess that’s four. :)

Why did you want to become an author or illustrator?

Writing has always been my favorite creative outlet. I feel like writing is very close to the imagination. When I was in college, I met people who had become successful writers. I thought, why not me? I also love digging into research. Each project gives me the opportunity to learn something new. On top of all that, I feel it’s important—in this age of screens—to share the pleasure of reading and writing, especially with children.

Do you have any advice for future authors or illustrators?

Be a good, persistent advocate for yourself. Use your connections. Always do your best work, and make sure your best work is done on time. Believe in yourself, and remember that life is too short to be doing something you don’t truly enjoy.