Gail Langer Karwoski

Gail Langer Karwoski, a former public school teacher, is the author of many award-winning books for young readers. Her historical novels include Quake! Disaster in San Francisco, 1906, and Seaman, the Dog Who Explored the West with Lewis and Clark. Gail lives in Watkinsville, Georgia.


What was your favorite book when you were a child?

When I was a child, my fave stories were told by my Dad, who liked to make up stories about the mousies who lived in bags of sawdust in the back of his hardware store, and the cat who tried to catch them, but never succeeded.

What’s your favorite line from a book?

T.S. Eliot: “We shall not cease from exploration and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.”

Who are your top three favorite authors or illustrators?

I love Joyce Sidman’s books of nature poetry. For taut, suspenseful novels, I admire the first two books in The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. For biography, The Secret World of Walter Anderson by Hester Bass is luminous, as are its illustrations by E.B. Lewis.

Why did you want to become an author or illustrator?

Because books save lives! They open windows into new worlds, provide friendship and encouragement for lonely and troubled kids. This is the best work a person can do.

Do you have any advice for future authors or illustrators?

Don’t give up on yourself or your story. Sometimes it’s a long search for the perfect fit, but keep searching – there’s a pot for every lid!