Gennifer says



Visit Al Capone
on Alcatraz

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Al Capone Does My Shirts was the most challenging book I’ve yet to write. While I was working on the book, I stood on my tippy toes stretching to do more than I was quite able. I’ve never worked so hard on anything, not ever. But I’ve also never felt so proud of anything I’ve done before.

Read an interview with Gennifer about "Receiving the Call" ... the call from the Newbery committee.

Q: What is your writing uniform?

I’d love to tell you I wear purple polka-dot tights, lucky earmuffs and my old brownie uniform, but the truth is I get dressed up every morning like I’m going to work. People say you need to show up to write at the same time every day, so your muse knows where to find you. I dress the way I do to remind myself that writing is my job and it’s very important that I perform to the best of my ability every day.

Q: Where do you write?

I write in a tiny shoe box sized room in my home. The best thing about my writing space is my chair. I’m like the three little bears about my chair. It is neither too big or too small, too soft or too hard. It is my chair and it fits me just so. The second best thing about my writing space is my door. I keep it closed so my characters will stay inside with me and not wander all around the house.

Q: How do you develop a voice for your characters? Do you, or do they come to you full-blown?

The voice for Al Capone Does My Shirts did not come easily. The early drafts of the manuscript sounded like every 1930’s book, radio program or movie I’d ever heard all rolled into one. Then one day I realized there were millions and millions of people alive in 1935—each with his or her own voice. That was a breakthrough. Moose’s voice came soon after that.

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