How long does it take you to write your books?

DLD: First, I love writing books with you! For biographies, I could spend years researching and getting to know the person or people I want to write about. Their lives are never as simple as so-and-so did this-and-then-this happened. They seem to always have challenges or overcome obstacles to get to their accomplishments. I tend to stay with the research for a long time and enjoy uncovering the details of their journey–what made them keep going when things became tough for them. When I finally write the book, there is never enough space to share all that the research has been discovered. The challenge of writing a picture book biography is understanding why someone is the way that they are. I love learning about real people. You?

TLB: Nobody can believe how long it takes me to write a book! First drafts can be pretty fast- three or four months. But I revised the text for SOAR, ELINOR! for two years, polishing, researching, learning new facts, taking out others, and polishing again. INSTRUCTIONS NOT INCLUDED and PERKIN’S PERFECT PURPLE were about the same. I’m a slow writer but that’s okay. I’m learning which each new draft and I end up with a story I really want to tell.