Erika Wittekind


What was your favorite book when you were a child?

I read so many it is difficult to choose, but I remember loving the Blossom Culp series by Richard Peck.

What’s your favorite line from a book?

“I like good strong words that mean something,” uttered by Jo March, one of my favorite fictional writers, in Little Women by Louisa May Alcott.

Who are your top three favorite authors or illustrators?

My favorite children’s authors are Judy Blume, Shel Silverstein, and Roald Dahl.

Why did you want to become an author or illustrator?

For a sixth-grade English assignment, I had to interview someone and write a thousand-word biography of that person. After spending an afternoon listening to an elderly neighbor’s stories, and then writing about his life, I marveled over the fact that someone could do that for a living. My career goals ever since have been variations on that theme.

Do you have any advice for future authors or illustrators?

Do not be afraid of rewriting. It’s easy to get attached to your words because they came from you, but there are always more where they came from—better ones, sharper ones, and you will find them. Remember that even the most experienced writers go through several drafts as part of the process.