Aside from the claim that Balliett wrote Chasing Vermeer, "because she couldn't find a really good book to share with her students" (I hate that one), it's quite a good interview. Most intriguing is her answer to the final question:
- Q: "What advice do you have for kids who want to be writers?"
- A: "'I decided I would be a writer by the time I was 8, but I didn't write Vermeer until I was in my forties. You have to be patient with yourself. Writing is an adventure.
You have to be able to write your ideas down very quickly. The end of Chasing Vermeer was written on a piece of cardboard from a pair of boxer shorts that I had bought for my son. One cold winter night I was laying in bed and suddenly I thought, 'Oh, I know what I want to do' [with the end of the book]. It was dark; my husband was asleep; I had a pen but no paper. Then I pulled this piece of cardboard out of the trash can and just started writing.
I still have that piece of cardboard. I show it to kids so they'll know that writing is very messy.'"