Frequently Asked Questions: Anne's son Max Futterman asks the questions
Q: What made you decide to become a writer?
A: Reading and writing were what I loved doing best. And, since my parents were writers, I actually knew how to go about it.
Q: How long did it take for your success to really take off?
A: It took seven years for me to get published; and another seven years before I could make a living as a writer without any other means of support.
Q: Where do you get your ideas from?
A: I always loved Stephen King’s answer to that one: from a shelf in Woolworth’s. People are always amazed by ideas - but to me, that’s the easy part. Ideas are everywhere and infinite; it’s wrestling them into reality that’s hard.
Q: Do you ever worry about your paycheck?
A:I don’t have one! I get royalties and advances several times a year. The money comes in chunks, so I have to manage it carefully.
Q: How much of your waking life is spent in the office?
A: Most of it! But it makes me happy, so I don’t mind.
Q: How much training do you need to become a writer?
A:I never took any writing classes, but spent all my free time from age 4 onwards with my nose in a book. Also, I wrote a lot of letters to friends and family. One day, I decided to become a writer and sat down and wrote a (not very good) novel. I learned by doing what I wanted to do. I am still learning.
Q: How hard is it to get published?
A:It is hard to break into publishing, but on the other hand, if you have some talent, knowledge of your audience, love of what you’re doing, and a lot of persistence, your odds are good.
Q: Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
A: A lot of talented people drop out because they don’t have the determination to keep going in the face of failure and rejection. You have to understand that all writers experience rejection. It’s not pleasant - but don’t let someone else’s opinion stop you! If you really want to write, don’t give up. Try to also develop a helpful attitude toward criticism. If it makes your book stronger, take it and work with it. If not, ignore it. Chances are that if more than three people make the same comment about your work, they’re onto something.