Kirby Larson owns a tiara, and she is not afraid to use it! Larson, a Newberry Award winning author, has always loved reading and writing, but never thought her talents would take her to where she is today.
Larson says writing the first draft is the hardest part of writing because she continually is revising her work. It was extremely hard to write and get published. In her talk, entitled “Piecing Together the Past”, she talked of her seven year writing slump. During her writing slump she got discouraged. People kept saying, and still do, that historical fiction is not often read by kids and it is a hard sell. That didn’t stop her from writing historical fiction.
Her book, “Hattie Big Sky” is about her great grandmother, Hattie. It tells a story of what she had to go through. Larson said, “She never talked about her accomplishments. My life was changed when I learned about what my grandmother did. I couldn’t believe what she had to do.”
“Hattie Big Sky” shocked Kirby Larson in more ways than learning about her grandmother’s life. When she won the Newberry Award, Larson said, “I was very surprised when I won. I thought that award was only for famous authors.” Larson is now recognized among today’s best known children’s authors.
After winning the award, Larson’s career took off. She went on to write a sequel to “Hattie Big Sky” called “Hattie Ever After”. She also wrote “Duke” which is about World War 2, “Dash” which is about the Pearl Harbor attack, and “Audacity Jones” a series about a young girl who finds her way through life.
Kirby Larson is a well known author, who wants to write until she can’t anymore. At the end of her interview she said, “Never stop reading. Read more broadly than what genre you’re into. The more you read the more things get into your body.”