I love answering kids’ questions. Even the ones about how old I am. (97.) But the question I get asked nearly every place I go is one I really hate to answer. It’s the “what’s your favorite book that you’ve written?” question.
Here is what I say: “That is like asking your mom, ‘Mom? Who’s your favorite kid? If you’re an only child, it shouldn’t be too hard for your mom to answer that question. But otherwise. . .” I know kids think I’m being cheesy/weasely, but I really don’t have a favorite. I mean, if you’re going to spend a year or more working a book, you’ve really got to love it, right?
How do you answer this question?
I hate that question too, Kirby – what I tell them is that I put a little piece of my soul into each of my books (well, not into my Household History books, Vacuum Cleaners, Toasters, Irons and Telephones, but all of my novels), and to say that one is my favorite is to say that I like that part of myself more than all the rest of myself, but that I do have a couple of books that are very special to me, and I cite those explaining that one is the very first book I ever had published (and that one has another special coincidence that I’ve already told them about) and another is very personal because of family connection, and another is special because its theme is very personal. I hope that leave them content!
In my case, after readers tell me which chapter they liked best in my book, THE GIFTS OF CHANGE, they always ask, “What is your favorite chapter?”
It’s difficult to explain to them that I don’t have a “favorite chapter” because the book was written during a difficult time in my life (my mother was dying and my person life was, shall we say, in a state of flux) and so when I dip back into it, all those emotions come back. For them, the book becomes a way to explore options and make decisions. For me, it was a light leading me through a very dark time which thankfully is now behind me. But I can’t tell them that. So I say that each chapter has special meaning for me and let it go at that.