A love of baseball really comes across in this book, and after talking to Greg for a little while, you can't help but share his love of the game.
1. What brought you to writing? And what made you decide to write books for children?
I have been writing for decades. As a perennial student writing countless papers; as a pastor writing countless sermons; as a teacher writing any number of class outlines, I have been writing most of my life. I have kept journals for years and am now writing frequently in separate journals for my grandchildren (thoughts, life-insights, reports of their activities that their parents don’t have time to record). It’s natural for me to write books for children because I am constantly telling stories. My kids and I would make up stories before bed. We would tell stories while taking long road trips. We would tell each other our dreams (or nightmares!). I love exercising my imagination and including my listeners, children or adults, in the process.
2. Where do you find inspiration for writing?
It’s just in me. It’s a part of who I am. I write and tell stories as a way to help me organize my thoughts, or work out a solution to a particular problem, or entertain others. Also, I am a voracious reader. I always have been. I read anything and everything, even cereal boxes. I just love words. Of course, not all my reading is necessarily enjoyable. Some, I just have to do (like email). Good writing, fiction or non-fiction, however, is such a passion of mine that I fear I might go crazy if not surrounded by books and the written word. I am also something of an introvert, in the sense that I live in the world of ideas. I love to ponder. I get energy from being able to think, dream, and wonder. Although I love being with people, and am naturally gregarious, I can be depleted by a crowd. Books help me re-charge.
3. One of the important themes in Betsy’s Day at the Game is family. Did you model any of the characters after members of your own family?
I did. The little girl is modeled after my daughter. She is and has always been a very strong, capable girl. Athletic. Smart. Open to fun and new adventures. She was the kind of girl who would dig up earthworms to go fishing, not minding the fact that she was chipping the fingernail polish off her tips. Catching the foul ball from her favorite players is modeled after my son’s experience of chasing down a ball from one of his favorite players.
4. Another great thing about the book is that it comes with a scorecard so that children can learn to keep score along with Betsy. Who taught you how to score baseball games? Is it something that you have taught your children and grandchildren as well?