Reading was my hobby, my sport and my activity of choice. It was the prime pleasure of my days, an unfailing escape from whatever realities were distressing me, and the only source of pride I knew, other vanities lying beyond my grasp. I couldn't do anything else well, but I could do words.
I think writing is a part-time career, because otherwise you get a little stale, maybe even self-indulgent, when you have to fill the hours with sentences. I don't think, if I wrote 12 hours a day, my work would be much better.
One day at my grandmother's house, I discovered 'The Secret Garden' and read it. This was the first book I found entirely for myself, and I cherished it.
Kids are really tougher than adults, but we tend to forget this in an affluent society that lets kids indulge themselves.
I'm a big fan of outlining. Here's the theory: If I outline, then I can see the mistakes I'm liable to make. They come out more clearly in the outline than they do in the pages.
To see what books were available for my older students, I made many trips to the library. If a book looked interesting, I checked it out. I once went home with 30 books! It was then that I realized that kids' novels had the shape of real books, and I began to get ideas for young adult novels and juvenile books.