A: Fire in the Hills, one of my early, out-of-print books, will probably always be the book closest to my heart, but Tulsa Burning is definitely the most important book I have ever written. The story of the Tulsa race riot of 1921, it is, I believe, a book every kid should read. More than thirty square blocks of African American homes, businesses, and churches were burned. Deaths were not counted because they were almost all among the African American community. Growing up in Oklahoma, I knew nothing about the terrible incident because no one talked about it. People know now, but I am proud to have written a book that helps spread the truth.
Q: Patty Campbell talks about the germ for a piece of writing being like the sand in the oyster. What is your grain of sand? Do you begin with character or setting or something else?
A: My grain of sand is almost always a time period. After I get interested in a specific time, a character begins to grow in my mind. Plot comes after character and only after brainstorming. My writing room is glass on three sides, and I can see two streets. Should it ever be necessary, I will go out and stop a car to ask if the occupant will come inside and brainstorm with me.
Q: Why do you write for Young Adults and Children?
A: I started writing for young adults and for children because they are the most important people in the world and because I remember being a child so clearly. Now, however, I find myself working on a novel for adults because the story has grown inside me and demands to be told.
Q: What is one thing you would like your readers to know about you?
A: I want my readers to know that they are part of my lifelong dream. I decided to be a writer when I was six years old. Writers cannot exist without readers. Having readers makes me happy and so very grateful.
Q: How often do you dream about the writing you are working on?
A: I never dream about my work, but I do have wonderful revelations. They almost always involve water, usually the shower. I am thinking of getting a hot tub or even a pool. Maybe I could take it off my income tax as a business expense.
Thank you so much for your time Anna. We look forward to seeing you at the festival!
For more about Anna Myers, visit her website.