Erin Soderberg lives in Minneapolis with her husband and three quirky kids. Before becoming an author, she was a children’s book editor, a cookie inventor, and also worked for Nickelodeon. She has written many books for kids, but especially loves writing about silly and lovable families (like the Quirks!). Erin also writes YA and tween novels using the name Erin Downing.
She’ll be at Yellow Book Road in San Diego at 4:30 on June 6. She has graciously agreed to tell us about her books.
For what age audience do you write?
‘The Quirks’ is my first middle-grade series, but I also write books for teens and tweens using the name Erin Downing.
Tell us about your latest book.
‘The Quirks’ is about a lovable, zany family of magical misfits who have just moved to a town called Normal with the hope that they might finally find a place to settle down, fit in, and call home. ‘The Quirks’ have had to move around for years, because everyone in the family has a secret, magical power–except nine-year-old twin Molly, who is totally, utterly normal. More than anyone, Molly wishes the rest of her family was a little bit more normal, too. But the trouble is, the Quirks don’t really do normal. It’s a fun, silly story with a lot of heart…and an adorable, scaredy-cat monster.
What do you hope readers will get from reading that book?
I hope kids will laugh a lot while reading ‘The Quirks’, but I also hope that they’ll come away realizing that there’s not really any such thing as “normal,” and it’s the things that make us unique and different from the people around us that make us truly special.
What aspect of writing do you find most challenging?
I have a very hard time finishing my books! I can always get started, but once I hit the halfway point, it’s tough to keep going.
What is a powerful lesson you’ve learned from being a writer?
I’m a very social person, and writing can be a lonely job. So I love visiting schools and bookstores to talk to people about books!
What has been a memorable experience you’ve had?
I would never have gotten to visit so many schools to talk with kids about books and writing. In the past three weeks alone, I’ve spoken with more than 1,000 kids in grades K-5!
What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
Keep writing. We all write a lot of bad stuff, and we all write a lot of good stuff. So keep practicing to make sure the good stuff outweighs the bad!
If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
If I could have a “Quirk”, I’d probably like to fly. I don’t love airplanes, but I love to travel – so it would be great to get places on my own flap power.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I love walking around, watching and listening to the world around me. I also love going out to restaurants with my friends, playing with my kids, and swimming in Minnesota’s lakes (when it’s not snowing, of course!)
Where can readers find your work?
This interview is also posted to the San Diego Children’s Books Examiner.