Question: Could you tell me something about yourself or something that inspired you to write Blizzard’s Wake?

I’ve read every book in the library in my town by you. You are honestly my favorite author of all time so when my teacher told us to pick any book and do a book report worth 3 test grades i picked one of your books. Even though your Alice books are my favorite I picked blizzards wake. I was wondering if you could write to me so i can put what you say in my book report im supposed to have a section in my report about the author. Could you tell me something about yourself or something that inspired you to write this book? Im pretty sure that im the only one in school to write to the author so that will make my report unique. Also I had a girl in my school read the agony of alice and she loved it shes doing a report on it I also had all of my friends read the alice series too!

PHYLLIS Replied:
I was supposed to give a talk at a conference in North Dakota, but a huge storm blew in, and the conference ended early. One of the librarians took me to her home to wait for the Amtrak train due in that evening. As the blizzard grew more fierce, however, the arrival time for the train grew later and later. Finally I suggested that the librarian and her husband go on to bed, and I would keep calling Amtrak and would wake them 45 minutes before the train was due to arrive. They did, and in the stillness of the house, with the wind whipping outside the window and the snow piling up, I picked up a self-published book by two newspaper reporters, recounting the blizzard in the Red Valley States of March, 1941. The true life stories were so harrowing that they helped connect a plot that had already been forming in my head, and when I finally got back home to Maryland, I knew that Blizzard’s Wake was a sto! ry I just had to write.

Posted on: March 26, 2009


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