Photo: Mark Raynes Roberts
" We write out of love, out of a passion for what art can accomplish, especially art for young readers. And one can only believe that a prize such as the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Award came about out of the same love, passion and commitment to the field and to children. "
What are you currently doing?
I’m writing! It’s been over three decades since I won the Ruth Schwartz Award, as it was then called – and won it with my first book for children! But yes, I’m still up to my loft every morning. I don’t use a quill pen, anymore, of course! In fact, I’m working on my thirty-sixth book, now, which is a sequel to The Maestro: a sequel written twenty-five years later.
What did receiving the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children's Book Award mean to you?
As I mentioned above, I won this wonderful prize for my first children’s book, Zoom at Sea. Before that, I had written one adult novel and it was my intention to keep writing for adults. Winning the award was one of the reasons I turned my attention more to writing for children, something I’m so glad I did.
What does private arts philanthropy mean to you as a working artist?
What can I say except that it’s wonderful when a private citizen sees fit to recognize the work that we do. We write out of love – out of a passion for what art can accomplish, especially art for young readers. And one can only believe that a prize – an incentive –such as the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Award came about out of the same love and passion and commitment to the field and to children. It feels so much like a shared thing and that makes it very special indeed.