i. I work as a Writer
ii. I do this creative work because: I have always written. Before I knew how to print I was writing stories through play.
iii. Personal qualities that help me in my work are: I focus and I am persistent.
iv. The greatest challenges around doing this work are: The blank page and book promotion.
v. Creative childhood hobbies: Writing
vi. Other creators who inspire you: There are so many writers I love. It would be impossible to make a list. Last night I finished The Great Gatsby which I haven’t read since childhood and I was blown away. I had read A Moveable Feast the night before so I had the picture of Fitzgerald as a falling down drunk and then I read Gatsby and thought, how did he do this? Every time I read a book I love I am so thankful the writer took the trouble to sit down and write.
vii. Training that has helped me succeed in this career: Writing over and over and over.
viii. A common trap that can hurt people in this career: Not wanting to write, wanting to have written.
ix. Some proud career moments: The awards were nice. Having The Canning Season the only book from North America presented at the Berlin Film Festival that year was exciting. And most gratifying the stories I hear in person from readers that I would not have heard if I hadn’t been in their cities on book tours.
In Atlanta a woman told me her college room mate read The Canning Season and immediately dropped out of college and went to Maine to become an organic farmer because the book made her realize that was the life she really wanted. A man in Flagstaff stood in line for a long time to bring me a dog-eared copy of An Occasional Cow to sign. He had on work boots and oily overalls like a mechanic of some kind. He said this was the book that had gotten him through the hard times in his life. He was the last person I would suspect of reading my books and An Occasional Cow was a romp, not a book I would believe capable of helping anyone through anything.
A week ago I got a letter from a woman in Atlanta who said her family came to Vancouver Island this summer because The Trolls was the book the family always read together when the kids were growing up. They wanted to go somewhere special as a send off as the kids graduated and went to college and the family decided to see Vancouver Island and try to figure out where The Trolls was set. I loved that letter. You realize that your work is reaching people even though you may not always hear about it or the ways in which it does so. It makes me resolve to write to the people whose work has touched me.
x. If you want to work in my field, I suggest that you: Have a thick skin, be dogged and don’t listen to anyone about how you should write. There are no rules.
xi. A professional goal I have for the future: I am working on an adult book. I would like to write more of them.
xii. If you want to see my work, go to: http://pollyhorvath.com. The library, a book store, Amazon.
Also: See Polly Horvath @ Kidsbooks
Header:’Very Rich’ jacket art by Sarah Watts