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Mary Downing Hahn March 4, 2010
<ul><li>Mary Downing Hahn, a former children's librarian, has been writing children's books for over thirty years. Her boo...
<ul><li>How did you decide to become a writer? I entered writing through the back door, the picture door instead of the wo...
<ul><li>Where do you get your ideas? It sounds like an easy question. but it isn't. Ideas come from everywhere—memories of...
<ul><li>What were your favorite books when you were young? When I was in fifth grade, my mother gave me  Lassie Come Home,...
Frequently Asked Questions <ul><li>Why do you like writing spooky stories? I enjoy adding a touch of fantasy or unreality ...
<ul><li>Do you believe in ghosts? Since we began to gather around fires to protect us from the dark and its dangers, we ha...
<ul><li>Have you ever seen a ghost? Maybe. Once I was the only guest in an inn in Kansas. Formerly a family home, the hous...
<ul><li>Do you have any advice for young people who want to become writers? The first thing is read read read and read som...
<ul><li>Travis and his sister, Corey, can't resist a good trick—so when they learn that their grandmother's sleepy Vermont...
<ul><li>Just before summer begins, 13-year-old Ali finds an odd photograph in the attic. Who's the third person, the one w...
<ul><li>There's something strange about Ashley's new home. A spooky white cat appears in the garden but doesn't cast a sha...
<ul><li>Diana and her little brother, Georgie, have been living in the woods behind the old Willis place for what seems li...
<ul><li>Twelve-year-old Molly and her ten-year-old brother, Michael, have never liked their younger stepsister, Heather. E...
<ul><li>In this spooky time-travel tale, eleven-year-old Andrew switches places with a ghost and travels back to the year ...
<ul><li>Two 13-year-old boys, Arthur and Logan, set out to solve the mystery of a murder that took place years ago in the ...
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Mary Downing Hahn

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Mary Downing Hahn

  1. 1. Mary Downing Hahn March 4, 2010
  2. 2. <ul><li>Mary Downing Hahn, a former children's librarian, has been writing children's books for over thirty years. Her books have sold more than 2 million copies and consistently win state children's choice awards. Mary's work spans a variety of genres—historical fiction, contemporary fiction, and fantasy, but she is best known for her ghost stories and mysteries. </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>How did you decide to become a writer? I entered writing through the back door, the picture door instead of the word door. When I was young, I wanted to be an artist. I drew all the time, often making up stories to illustrate. In the beginning I told myself the story in my head as I drew, but as I grew older I realized my stories were too long and complicated to tell in pictures. I needed words, too. From the age of thirteen, I wanted to be an artist or a writer and sometimes thought of combining the two by becoming a writer and illustrator of children's books. However, life doesn't always go as you expect. It seems I write better than I draw, so that's what I do—when I'm not drawing. </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>Where do you get your ideas? It sounds like an easy question. but it isn't. Ideas come from everywhere—memories of my childhood, stories people tell me, things I see. All it takes is a good &quot;What if&quot; question to begin a story. Sometimes the hardest part is choosing one idea at a time. I have a head full of them—some work, some don't. </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>What were your favorite books when you were young? When I was in fifth grade, my mother gave me Lassie Come Home, by Eric Knight. I loved that collie so much I read the book five times, still a record for me. It's a wonderful story and well worth reading. Other favorites were the Moffat family books by Eleanor Estes, the Melendy family books by Elizabeth Enright, Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Montgomery, Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, Sherlock Holmes stories by Arthur Conan Doyle, Kidnapped and Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson, King of the Wind by Marguerite Henry, and on and on and on. I loved dog stories, horse stories, adventure stories, mysteries, and funny stories about mischievous children. In fact, I read just about anything I could get my hands on. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Frequently Asked Questions <ul><li>Why do you like writing spooky stories? I enjoy adding a touch of fantasy or unreality to a story. A ghost often makes things happen. A ghost may also give a character insight or empathy, a deeper understanding of his own nature or of the world around him. It's fun to twitch reality, to imagine something beyond our five senses. </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>Do you believe in ghosts? Since we began to gather around fires to protect us from the dark and its dangers, we have believed in ghosts, yet no one can prove they exist. On the other hand, no one can prove they don't exist. Thus, ghosts occupy a gray area or the twilight zone, so to speak. I've read many &quot;true&quot; ghost stories and have heard dozens of accounts from friends and acquaintances, some of which have been very convincing. I suppose you could say I lean toward believing but am not absolutely positive. It's important to keep an open mind. Doubt is good. </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>Have you ever seen a ghost? Maybe. Once I was the only guest in an inn in Kansas. Formerly a family home, the house was built in the 1880's. On my last night there, I woke to see a man in my room. His back was turned, but I could see he wore old-fashioned clothing. I tried to speak but couldn't get a word out. Suddenly he turned and saw me. He looked at me fearfully and hurried out of the room, as if I wasn't supposed to see him. I might have dreamed the whole encounter, but the woman who owned the inn told me she was convinced the place was haunted. Later, visitors saw a face at the attic window and refused to believe no one was up there. </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>Do you have any advice for young people who want to become writers? The first thing is read read read and read some more. Most of what I know about writing comes from the books I've read. Of course, you should also write as much and as often as you can. Write the kind of stories you love to read—without copying anyone else's ideas, of course! </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>Travis and his sister, Corey, can't resist a good trick—so when they learn that their grandmother's sleepy Vermont inn has a history of ghost sightings, they decide to do a little &quot;haunting&quot; of their own. </li></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>Just before summer begins, 13-year-old Ali finds an odd photograph in the attic. Who's the third person, the one who's been torn out of the picture? </li></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><li>There's something strange about Ashley's new home. A spooky white cat appears in the garden but doesn't cast a shadow. When she finds an old doll, Ashley wants to keep it for herself. But the doll's rightful owner wants it back . . . </li></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><li>Diana and her little brother, Georgie, have been living in the woods behind the old Willis place for what seems like forever. A strict set of rules won't allow them to leave the property or even show themselves to anyone. But when a new caretaker and his daughter, Lissa, come to live there, Diana is tempted to break the rules for the first time. </li></ul>
  14. 14. <ul><li>Twelve-year-old Molly and her ten-year-old brother, Michael, have never liked their younger stepsister, Heather. Ever since their parents got married, she's made Molly and Michael's life miserable. If that's not bad enough, Heather starts talking to a ghost named Helen. </li></ul>
  15. 15. <ul><li>In this spooky time-travel tale, eleven-year-old Andrew switches places with a ghost and travels back to the year 1910. Will he be able to fight his way back through time to reclaim his place in the present? Or will the ghost steal his life, and leave him trapped in the past forever? </li></ul>
  16. 16. <ul><li>Two 13-year-old boys, Arthur and Logan, set out to solve the mystery of a murder that took place years ago in the old house Logan's family has just moved into. </li></ul>

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