Tuesday 21 July 2009

Featured Author: Gail Carson Levine

Gail Carson Levine is one of my most favorite authors. My sister Becca introduced her books to me, and I fell in LOVE! Who doesn't like a traditional fairytale with a twist? Let me introduce you to her! I know you'll love her too.

Gail Carson Levine was born on September 17, 1947 in New York, New York to her father, David, and mother, Sylvia. Her sister, Rani, is an artist and a professor of fine arts. Levine's mother wrote full-length plays and her father was interested in writing. Her parents believed that creativity was an important tool in life and encouraged their children to respect other's creativity as well as their own.

Levine read many fairy tales as a child and during elementary school, and she was a member of a club called the "Scribble Scrabble Club" and in high school she wrote poems that were published in an anthology. She attended City College of the City University of New York and received her Bachelor's of Arts degree in 1969.

Levine did not pursue a career in writing until she took classes on the subject of writing and illustrating children's books. She found an interest in the writing of the stories more than in illustrating them. The types of children's books that she writes include fairy tales that she reinvents into fascinating new stories with an added twist and recently realistic fiction. One of the first stories that Levine worked on was "Ella Enchanted," which she began in one of her writing classes. She won a Newbery Honor in 1997 for this story.

Her Start as a Writer

I wrote as a kid, but I never wanted to be a writer particularly. I had been drawing and painting for years and loved that. And I meditate, and one time when I was meditating, I started thinking, “Gee, Gail, you love stories—you read all the time. How come you never tell yourself a story?” While I should have been saying my mantra to myself, I started telling myself a story. It turned out to be an art appreciation book for kids with reproductions of famous artworks and pencil drawings that I did. I tried to get it published and was rejected wholesale.

That book led me to a class on writing and illustrating for kids, and when I went into it I thought that I would be more interested in illustrating. But I found that I was much more interested in writing and that I didn't like the illustrating at all. I had always been the hardest on myself when I drew and painted. I am not hard on myself when I write. I like what I write, so it is a much happier process.

That's how I got started. And then everything I wrote was rejected for nine years.

Her Published Books:
Ella Enchanted
The Two Princesses of Bamarre
Fairy Dust and the Quest for the Egg
Fairy Haven and the Quest for the Wand
The Wish
The Fairy's Mistake
The Princess Test
Princess Sonora and the Long Sleep
Cinderellis and the Glass Hill
The Fairy's Return
For Biddle's Sake
Dave at Night
Writing Magic: Creating Stories That Fly

this info was taken from HARPERCOLLINS


  1. I have never heard of this author before, think I might pop to the library.....

  2. I sure LOVE this author too! "Ella Enchanted" is one of my all-time favorite books! It was so... enchanting!

  3. I simply love Gail Carson Levine! Every single book she's written I love!
    -We've been in Idaho for 3 days and heading to Canada over the next 2 days, probably won't be available on cell for another 6 days then We'll be in Oregon and you can reach me again. Having a blast though, went to Grand Canyon and Salt Lake Temple (1st time for me) and I fish pond here in Idaho today and the kids caught fish. Liz named her minnow, "Minna." Love ya!

  4. "Ella Enchanted" was my first of her books and one of my favorites!!! Thanks for the intro to her.


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