Interview with Hannah Greer

Author of Velvet Bag Memoirs.

Click to see my review of the first two books.

1. What of yourself do you see in Asa and Prentiss? Asa and Prentiss Fallmark represent the imaginative child in me that still sparks my creativity today. They are delightful children with the desire to learn about the world with few inhibitions. The characters' models were my own two darling twin grandchildren whose love for life and insatiable interest to explore the world keep the stories coming.

2. Did you “transport” anywhere when you were little? Were the places Asa and Prentiss visited based off of those at all? :) My brother and I used to play on a sand dump at the end of our block. We would put up tents and pretend we were the king and queen of unknown lands. It was so enticing, that many neighborhood children joined in the fun. Each person developed a fictional character and the stories grew in depth and excitement every day. Visits to Stonehenge and England in Book Three, The Castle Ivengless, were based on my own travels there. The British castles and Stonehenge filled me with plots that I wished to pour into children's books.

3. When did you start writing children’s books? I started writing children's books two years ago, with the beginning of the Velvet Bag Memoirs series. However, I have been writing and telling stories since I was a child. I found it easier to remember scientific and historical facts if I put the information into fictitious stories.

4. Where is your favorite place to write? I like to write at my computer. I cannot hand write faster than I can think, so typing my stories enables me to get the ideas down quickly. When I sit down to write, I literally find myself within the story, interacting with the characters.

5. What advice would you give those of us who wish to be authors as well? If you wish to be an author, you must keep writing. Everyday you should write something down. Often, my stories start with my daily journaling. Write to please yourself and no one else. Be true to your characters and the settings of the stories. Jump into the story and the plot will unfold.

6. How has writing affected your life? Writing gives me hope and strength. I love my characters and as a book ends, I feel like I have given birth to a child. Then, I nurture the child and keep it safe as I think of new stories.

7. Is there a specific message you want to send to children through your books? I want children to rekindle the love of learning and reading. I want them to use their imaginations by jumping into the stories and imagining what it would be like to go through the adventures that the characters experience. I hope that the touches of scientific and historical knowledge that pop up in the stories makes the readers inquisitive about the subjects.

8. Could you tell us a little about any current projects? Right now I'm writing the fourth book of the Velvet Bag Memoirs, Back to Pompeii, in which eleven-year-old Asa and Prentiss find themselves in a time machine going back to Pompeii in 79 A.D. right before Mount Vesuvius blows. One of their cousins was left behind in another time machine adventure, and the twins are going back to rescue him before the disaster strikes. I try to incorporate new characters into each book. I have even received emails from young readers who wish to play a part in a story. They develop their characters and I put them in the book. It is great fun. I am also writing a series of middle grades books based on the seven ancient wonders of the world. The first one, The Gift of Re, takes four underachieving seventh graders to the Great Pyramids of Giza. The second book, The Pharos Legacy, takes the same characters to the ancient lighthouse at Alexandria. In each story, the four heroes must outwit evil spirits and seek the help of good spirits. (Oh, this sounds good!)

9. And what about the cover and pictures in the book? They’re wonderful! Can you tell us more about those? My very talented older sister, Tica Greer, has created all the pictures and covers of the books. We know each other so well that as I write the stories, she comes up with the perfect illustrations. I don't think I could work with anyone else at this caliber of understanding.

10. Is there anything else you could like to add? I love writing. It keeps me young. A well-exercised imagination is the key to a long life. I still have a lot of writing to do and I intend to get the stories out well into my 100s.

Thanks so much, Hannah!

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