INTERVIEW BY Natalie
It’s been five years since your book was published. How has that changed your life and your career?
It would be harder to guess what would have happened if this hadn’t – I was 22 when I wrote the book. The book deal came while I was taking my finals in college. So I have no idea what path I’d have taken otherwise. This was the seed that planted my career. Teaching was on my radar, and so were non-profits, but I definitely was not down any path yet.
Which chapter did you enjoy writing the most and why?
I loved writing the first chapter. Each chapter begins with a quote from a book my father and I shared, and my dad actually found those. He reread everything we’d read together and underlined things. The quote he found for the first chapter (see below) just really spoke to me in its simplicity, and the chapter flowed from there. I recently visited a high school and a student had made a poem from that quote. So clearly I’m not the only one who loved it.
“I am terribly afraid of falling, myself,” said the Cowardly Lion, “but I suppose there is nothing to do but try it. So get on my back and we will make the attempt.”
–L. Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz-
What has been the most memorable response from a Reading Promise fan?
This past Christmas, a woman wrote me a card and included a check. She said she loved the relationship I had with my dad. Her own father had passed and she said all she wanted to do was have lunch with him one more time, so she was giving my dad and me lunch money to go spend some quality time together. I donated that money, but we went out to lunch that weekend. We were both very touched. Continue reading