Hi, I'm Anne Isaacs. Thanks for visiting my website.
Where are you from?
I was born in 1949, in Buffalo, New York, and lived there until I left for college in 1967. I attended the University of Michigan, where I received degrees in English Literature and Environmental Education. Since then I have lived in various cities in Canada and in California. My husband and I now make our home in Berkeley, on the San Francisco Bay, which will always be my favorite place to live.
What were your childhood literary influences?
As a child I was shy and usually lost in a world of my imagination. I read constantly from fourth grade on, plucking books haphazardly from my parents' or the library's shelves: Romeo and Juliet, Lorna Doone, Wind in the Willows, The Caine Mutiny. In fourth grade I was changed forever by my first readings of Shakespeare and Coleridge. I was spellbound by their emotional directness, interweaving of thought and feeling, and above all, the pure music of their words.
I read Little Women more times than any other book. Like the heroine, Jo, I grew up to combine careers as an educator, mother, and children's book writer. (Perhaps this says something about the long-term influence a children's book may have on a reader!)
I love being in the outdoors. Here I am in 2008, hiking in the high country in Yosemite National Park.
When did you start to write children's books?
I dabbled in writing as a child, but it wasn't until I had children of my own that I began to write seriously, and to think about trying to get a book published. I seem fated to come to books in reverse order. I mainly read adult literature as a child, but as an adult I began to read children's literature, often encountering a classic work for the first time while reading it to my children.
What are your hobbies?
When not at work I can often be found hiking in local parks, quilting with friends or spending time with my husband, Rick, and our grown children.
What is your advice for people who want to be writers?
Listening is important; so is reading. The more you play with words, the better. Share your stories or poems with friends and listen to what they say. Follow your hunches, even when they seem to come from another planet. Do not give up. Above all, allow yourself to be surprised by what you put on the page; only then will it surprise your readers.