Meet the Author: Sundee Frazier
Sundee T. Frazier has been encouraged and inspired to write by many people in life such as her fifth grade teacher and her immediate family. Some of Ms. Frazier's books include: Brendan Buckley's Universe and Everything in It; The Other Half of My Heart; and Brendan Buckley's Sixth-Grade Experiment which is coming out in 2012. These titles are written for children but can be enjoyed by teens and adults. She received her MFA from Vermont College, is married, and has two daughters. Check out Ms. Frazier's website http://www.sundeefrazier.com/index.php for more information.
Q&A with Sundee Frazier
Q: What is the first book you remember really loving as a child?
A: The first books (because I can't choose just one) I remember really loving as a child were The Phantom Tollbooth, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
Q: What made that book so special to you?
A: What drew me to these stories was the fantastical notion that life as we experience it is not all that there is. There is more . . . for those who have eyes to see, for those who are open to wonder and adventure.
Q: When did you decide to be a writer and/or illustrator?
A: Well, a few years back, my mom uncovered a thirty-year-old Christmas update letter that revealed I had announced at the age of nine that I planned to have a book published. I don't remember making such an announcement, but I do remember vividly my fifth-grade teacher, Ms. Mansfield, and how she inspired and encouraged me in creative writing. In college, I studied journalism-so writing was something I conceived of myself doing even then, just not fiction. The signs were there, however: My favorite college course was Children's Literature and I was so energized by the final project of writing and illustrating a picture book that I pulled two all-nighters without a single cup of coffee!
I finally realized what I really wanted to do with my life when, shortly after I got married, my husband asked, "If you could do anything, without regard to money, what would it be?" and my instantaneous reply was, "Be a children's writer!" At that point, I was committed. I told everyone at my 30th birthday party that I planned to have a children's book published by the time I was 40, thinking I was giving myself plenty of time. Brendan Buckley's Universe and Everything in It (my first novel) came out a week before I turned 39.
Q: Describe some things that you feel make a really good book-the kind you want to read again and again.
A: Some things that make a really good book-the kind you want to read again and again . . . For me, it's a main character whose situation tugs at my heart and whose perspective makes me look at the world anew or with greater insight . . . A cast of characters who are vivid, interesting, and real, and who shed light on what it means to be human and to belong to a community (family, neighborhood, the world) . . . Most of all, I think I want to feel a sense of journey-that I've gone somewhere with these characters and we're all different as a result.
Q: What are 5 of your favorite children's books? (Other than your own, of course)
A: Five of my favorite children's books: Bud, Not Buddy (Curtis); Penny from Heaven (Holm); One Crazy Summer (Garcia); A Single Shard (Park); The Tiger Rising (DiCamillo)
Q: Any other thoughts you'd like to share with readers of your books?
A: The only other thought I'd share with readers would be that whatever you decide in your heart you want to do, give yourself a realistic goal (for me it really did need to be ten years!), tell someone you're going to do it, then find some support and stick with it. It's totally worth it to pursue your dream!
Interview Date: 3/2/2011
Profile and questions compiled by Emily N.