Author Confessions: Louis Sachar
Louis Sachar is a children's author who has won both the National Book Award and the Newbery Award. His works have graced libraries and bookshelves around the world. In 2003 Disney made is best-selling book Holes into a movie. His latest book, Fuzzy Mud, tackles how we treat the enviroment and each other.
We managed to track down Louis and interrupt his latest bridge game to talk about his work as a writer.
What’s a successful day of writing for you?
It depends on where I am in the process. If I’m trying to start something new, then a successful day is just coming up with a small idea that catches a glimmer of my imagination, even if I write only one or two paragraphs. After that, I’m just trying to move the story along, so anything that does that is a success. I rarely write more than three pages a day.
Which piece of your writing are you most proud of?
I like the opening few pages of Holes.
Which of your characters is your favourite?
Tamaya, in Fuzzy Mud. She’s the kind of kid who might be ignored by teachers and classmates, but she’s a person with great inner strength. Notwithstanding the fact that she would tell you she was scared, she is the most courageous character I’ve ever created.
If you could give one piece of advice to aspiring authors what would it be?
I feel like all my favourite books have become a part of who I am.
Stick with it. It takes a long time to write a book, and you have to be willing to go slow and steady, always writing a little bit each day. You also have to be prepared to rewrite. I rewrite each of my books at least five times.
What’s the strangest question you’ve been asked about your work?
I’m not sure if it’s the strangest, but I was recently asked if I was a fast reader. I replied that that was like asking me if I could eat a piece of cake in three seconds. I probably could, but that’s not the point of cake, or of reading.
Is writing a pain or a pleasure?
It’s a great joy, but only because it’s so difficult.
Which book has left the greatest impression on you?
There have been many. That’s one of the great things about reading. I feel like all my favourite books have become a part of who I am. I don’t think you can say that about movies, TV, or video games. But to pick one book, I’d say, Nine Stories by J.D. Salinger. I read that in high school, and that’s the book that most inspired me to want to be a writer. The book contains nine short stories (inspired title!), and over the years, I’ve probably read each of those stories at least nine times.
Which book should every child read?
My favorite was Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White.
What’s your guiltiest reading pleasure?
I never feel guilty about reading. TV, wasting time on the computer—that’s what makes me feel guilty.
How do you arrange your bookshelf?
It’s in complete disarray. (And I prefer it that way!)
Who would play you in a movie?
Larry David. Besides the fact that I admire him quite a bit, I’m constantly being told by strangers that I look like him.
What would your dream job be if you weren’t an author?
Professional bridge player. (Such people actually exist.)
What’s your most prized possession?
A fossilized tooth from a woolly mammoth.
Competition: Win a copy of Fuzzy Mud
Thanks to Bloomsbury, we've got 5 copies of Fuzzy Mud to give away.
All you have to do to enter is answer this simple question in the comments below or email your answer to firstname.lastname@example.org marked 'Louis Sachar Competition':
What was Louis Sachar's favourite book as a child?
Closing date: 17:00, Wednesday 14 October, 2015. Open to UK entrants only. Full terms and conditions.