As part of our continuing series of 2010 Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers Conference (www.foryoungreaders.com) faculty interviews with interviewer Carol Lynch Williams.
CLW: Brandon, when did you know you were a writer?
BM: I knew I was a daydreamer before I knew I was a writer. As a kid, my default setting was making up stories in my head to drive away the boredom. As I got older, the daydreams got cooler, until I reached a point where the stories in my head started seeming cooler than most of the movies I saw or books I read. Around that time, I started to get interested in writing my stories down and sharing them. To this day, I’m trying to get better at it, and I hope to keep improving over the course of my career.
CLW: What is the funniest thing that has ever happened to you as an author?
BM: During a busy time in one book tour, I totally lost my voice. So I was going into three or four schools a day conducting assemblies in a hoarse whisper. The kids were generally very understanding, and had to be completely quiet in order to hear me. It was awkward at the time, but funny to look back on.
CLW: Tell us how you got your first book accepted for publication?
BM: The first book I wrote was rejected by lots of agents and publishers. Finally, one publisher, Shadow Mountain, thought the manuscript showed promise. They did not publish what I showed them, but asked to see something else. I wrote Fablehaven, and they snatched it up. So Fablehaven was published by the first publisher who saw it, after I did a ton of leg work with a previous book.
CLW: If you were an evil character from one of your books, who would you be and why?
CLW: Please tell us what students will be learning in your class at WIFYR this year.
BM: We’ll talk about what makes a story worth telling. We’ll talk about how to tell a story well. We’ll discuss what it takes to write professionally. We’ll discuss writing for yourself AND an audience. We’ll talk a little about marketing and the business side of publishing. We’ll practice writing, share feedback, and generally attempt to teach and encourage each other.
CLW: Thanks, Brandon.
Brandon Mull is the author of the Fablehaven fantasy series, which is a New York Times‘ bestseller. Mull has also written The Candy Shop War. He resides in a happy little valley near the mouth of a canyon with his wife and three children. He spent two years living in the Atacama Desert of Northern Chile where he learned Spanish and juggling.
Brandon Mull will lead the breakout session “Key Elements of Story” on Monday, June 14, 4 p.m. and “Choose Your Own Adventure” Wednesday, June 16, 3 p.m.
2010 Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers Conference: Introduction, Kristyn Crow, Sara Zarr