Chris Crutcher Interview

(From January 11)

After a few tense moments with the network (love the Internet these days), we successfully connected St. Joseph High School students to the Orange County Department of Education, coordinating a videoconference with author Chris Crutcher on his latest book, The Sledding Hill.

We started with introductions, and then started with questions. Here are some of the more interesting ones:

  • How was Billy able to come when his dad was not?
  • How did you write the part for Eddie? His comments are quick but for the most part incomplete. Is his personality like yours?
  • Where did you get the idea for Montana West?
  • Why did you use religion in this book?
  • Why did you criticize one of your books in your own book?
  • Have you ever written a book that has not been censored or banned?
  • At one point should schools ban books? or should they?
  • Are there any topics that you are hesitant to write about in a novel?
  • How long did it take you to write this book? Which of your books take the longest to write?

It’s always entertaining to hear the author interact with the students. The author sees how students have thought deeply about the book, and the students hear interesting stories behind characters, names, and ideas in his book. Both seem to enjoy the conversation and students definitely increase their understanding and appreciation of literature and the writing process.

Some fascinating quotes from Mr. Crutcher:

  • “When does innocence turn into ignorance?”
  • “It’s fun to poke fun at myself in the story.”
  • “Every human in the world has some creative way to express him or herself.”
  • “You hear 5 stories, 10 stories, and 50 stories, and some truth rises to the top.”
  • “I will tell you the truth in its native tongue.”
  • “Any issue that comes up, we need to be in a position where we can talk about.”
  • “Your body of work does represent what you’ve learned in life.” in answering a question about the message in the book.

Thank you to Orange County Department of Education for sharing this program with us.

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