Three Questions with Author Beth Anderson

November 11, 2021

Beth Anderson is coming to The Wandering Jellyfish Bookshop's Author Signing Fair from 12-1 on November 27. Beth is the award-winning author of nonfiction picture books "Smelly Kelly" and His Super Senses, Lizzie Demands a Seat!, An Inconvenient Alphabet, and her latest, Tad Lincoln's Restless Wriggle: Pandemonium and Patience in the President's White House. Get to know her with these fun interview questions, check out her website, and stop by the store to say hi and snag a copy of her books!

1. What got you into writing and what genres inspired you in your early writing career?

I’ve always enjoyed writing through different stages of my life, but I didn’t attempt writing books until after I retired from teaching. Seeing the power of books in the classroom to inspire, open up thinking, and connect kids to others and their world is what prompted me to give it a try. Now I write the kinds of books I loved to share in the classroom—narrative nonfiction and historical fiction.

2. What was the greatest challenge you dealt with while writing your book and what advice would you give to young writers?

The biggest challenges were learning how the industry works, how to get a manuscript to submission ready, and how to break through. Of course all those ideas are connected. The more you learn, the better you understand about the writing and the submission options and process. We tend to think a story is ready long before it really is. We also tend to think writers work alone. I would urge aspiring writers to join writing groups and organizations and to form critique groups to help each other along through the process with encouragement and informed feedback.

3. What purpose do you find in your writing? In other words, why do you write?

Partly, my writing is about the awe-producing, mind-opening digs into undiscovered or overlooked history—and playing with words. But it’s also about sharing that joy of treasure hunting in the past. My purpose is to provide engaging stories that connect us across the miles and through time, open young minds to different ways of thinking about the world, inspire questions, and allow us to see ourselves as capable and part of something bigger than ourselves.


Favorite procrastination snack and/or activity?

AM: coffee

PM: chips and salsa

Would you rather write in a secluded lighthouse or in a cabin in the woods?

whichever has better internet access…

and snacks

Book or movie you could read or watch repeatedly?

The Princess Bride

Pen, pencil, typewriter, or computer?

computer and pencil