Q&A with Sheila Turnage
May 13, 2013
Sheila Turnage’s first novel for children, “Three Times Lucky,” is a Newbery Honor Award winner. She has written nonfiction for adults, “Haunted Inns of the Southeast” and “Compass American Guides: North Carolina,” and one picture book, “Trout the Magnificent,” illustrated by Janet Stevens. Sheila is from eastern North Carolina.
What are the best books you’ve read recently?
I’ve read lots of good books recently. “Bomb” comes to mind, maybe because I don’t read a lot of nonfiction. I thought it did a fantastic job of making history read like a thriller and of making a super complex situation understandable, all at the same time.
What was your favorite book as a child?
I loved mysteries when I was young – like the Hardy Boys. If I picked one book, though, it would probably be “Peter Pan.” I loved it because it swooped me up and let me fly away with it. I still love books that do that, whether they’re fiction, nonfiction or poetry.
Why do you enjoy attending book festivals, either as a presenter or audience member?
A giant party for book lovers! How could I NOT love a book festival? I love the excitement, the chance to mingle with fellow readers and writers. I get to talk about my book and about writing. And I get to sign “Three Times Lucky” for readers. Fun!
Have you been to the D.C. area before? If so, what is your favorite thing about it?
I have visited the DC area, but I don’t think I’ve been in Spring and I’m looking forward to that. I love the sense of history in the area, I love feeling like I’m walking where George and Martha Washington walked… In Washington DC itself I love the museums and the arboretum, and seeing what we can do when we all work together to create something fantastic.
What is the most difficult, or challenging, aspect of being a writer?The hardest part of being a writer?
I love being a writer, of working on a new story or creating a new character. And I love sharing my work with other people – going to festivals, visiting schools, etc. Writing is a solitary act and sharing, of course, isn’t. I think balancing those two is maybe the trickiest for me right now. But like I say I love meeting other readers and other writers, so if you see me at the festival please say hello!