Flashlight Readers: Esperanza Rising
A Sneak Peek at Esperanza Rising by Pam Muņoz Ryan
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Writing Advice

What advice would you give young writers?
My advice if you want to be a good writer is to first become an enthusiastic reader. That’s the best beginning.
How long does it take you to write a book?
It takes about a year to write a novel and about 3–6 months for me to write a picture book, not including the research. If the picture book is nonfiction or the novel is historical fiction, then it takes longer.
When did you start writing?
I didn't start writing until after I graduated from college, got married, had my children and then went back to school to get my master’s degree. After I turned in a project to a professor, she asked me if I’d ever considered professional writing. Coincidentally, about three weeks later, a colleague of mine asked me if I would help her write a book. Before that point in my life, I had never considered writing as a profession. After that, I couldn’t stop thinking about it and one thing led to another.
Where do you write your books?
I write in my office, which is also an extra bedroom in my house.
Why do you like writing?
One reason is that I discovered that it was something I am good at so that makes it very redeeming. I like to write because it’s a job I can do in my slippers. That’s a joke but in some ways it’s true. I can get up in the morning, walk down to my office and start working without having to commute in a car or on a train. I also like it because every project is different. I enjoy that there are many diverse parts to my job: writing, researching, speaking to teachers and librarians or children, meeting other authors and illustrators, signing books, and working with the interesting dedicated people in the children’s literature field.
Which of your books is your favorite?
That's like asking me which of my children is my favorite child. It’s too hard to choose, as I love them all for different wonderful reasons.
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