Alison McGhee

Alison McGhee is the award-winning author of numerous books for children and adults, including the New York Times best-selling picture books Somebody, illustrated by Peter Reynolds, and A Very Brave Witch, illustrated by Harry Bliss, and the novel, Shadow Baby, a Pulitzer Prize nominee and a Today Show pick. McGhee is a professor of creative writing at Metropolitan State University, and a founding member of Hamline University’s MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults. She lives in Minnesota with her family.


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Q & A

1. What is your earliest memory of writing/drawing?
 
When I learned how to print, in first  grade, I wrote and illustrated a series of books (actually, they were folded and stapled sheets of notebook paper, but hey, that counts, right?) about a family of kittens known as The Rickety Kittens. Each book focused on a different kitten adventure. Each adventure was fraught with danger. Each adventure had a ending.
 

2. What inspired you to write/illustrate your first book?
 
There’s nothing I love more than reading, and I wanted to write the kind of novel I loved to read.
 

3. Do you use your childhood as inspiration?
 
Always.
 

4. What books from your childhood have most influenced your work? What about adult titles?
 
As a child, my favorite books were Swiss Family Robinson, by Johann Wyss and My Side of the Mountain, by Jean Craighead George.
 

5. What are your hobbies and interests besides reading and books?
 
Given my druthers, I'd travel the world for pleasure and adventure at least half the time. What else do I most love? Chinese food, running, walking, hiking, quilting, laughing with my children and friends and family, and cooking.
 

6. What one or two words of advice would you give for young authors/illustrators?
 
Have fun!
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books
by the author

Only a Witch Can Fly

Alison McGhee; Illustrated by Taeeun Yoo
Feiwel & Friends

Timeless, universal, and surprising, this magical and poetic Halloween tale is a gentle reminder that in order to reach for the stars, you must follow your...


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Shadow Baby

Alison McGhee
Picador

Eleven-year-old Clara is struggling to find the truth about her missing father and grandfather and her dead twin sister, but her mother refuses to talk. When...


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