tMarie: Are any of the characters in your books based off people you know?
Lois: None specifically, except for two books…A SUMMER TO DIE and AUTUMN STREET…which are autobiographical. But every fictional character is created out of everyone the writer has known, because that is the knowledge you draw on in creating personalities and idiosyncrasies.
Marie: Do you listen to music as you write? Why or why not?
Lois: Sometimes,. But it has to be undistracting music. I have a collection on iTunes…mostly classical.
Marie: What do you do when you get a 'mind block'?
Lois: I rarely feel that way. But it is important, I think, that the writer stops writing each day at a time when you know what is about to happen, what comes next. That way it is easy to go back to it. And also, I find that during sleep the mind works on the material.
Marie: Time and money aside, what would you rather be doing?
Lois: Restoring and remodeling old houses. I wouldn't be RATHER doing it because I love what I do. But it is a great passion of mine.
Marie: If you were stranded on a desert island, what three things would you bring with you, and why?
Lois: Friends, books, and food, for obvious reasons.
Marie: What is your favorite genre to write, and why?
Lois: Realistic fiction, I think.
Marie: Could you tell us three random things about yourself?
Lois: I have a dog named Alfie and a cat named Lulu.
I have traveled to all seven continents.
My birthday is the first day of spring.
Marie: How long have you been writing?
Lois: Since I was 8 or 9. Professionally, since I was 35. (I am now 74)
Marie: In an average week, how much time do you spend working on your writing?
Lois: 5-6 hours a day.
Marie: What is your favorite part about being an author?
Lois: The solitude and the act of working with language.
Marie: Can you tell us anything about a current project you are working on?
Lois: I'm finishing up a fourth book which will follow THE GIVER trilogy.
Marie: What is the first thing you do when you get a new story idea?
Lois: I open a new folder on my computer and store ideas there.
Marie: How do you decide if an idea you have for a story is worth keeping?
Lois: If it holds my interest, if I enjoy the writing of it, it is worth keeping.
Marie: What obstacles would you warn beginning authors of?
Lois: Its too easy to spend a lot of time TALKING about writing, and very little time doing it. Sometimes people want to "be a writer" but they can't handle the great solitude and the long hours of work.