Interview with Ingrid Law

Jen: This week we welcome children’s author Ingrid Law to Book Talk. Ingrid, will you please share a short bio with us?
Ingrid: I was born in Plattsburgh, New York, and moved to Colorado with my family when I was six years old. I’ve never lived anywhere but Colorado since. I’ve worked a lot of different kinds of jobs and had a lot of different interests over the years, but I’ve always loved stories of all kinds, whether those stories are told as books, movies, plays, and even comics and animation. I am also a mom!

Jen: Tell us about Savvy and where it’s available.
Ingrid: For generations, the Beaumont family has harbored a magical secret. They each possess a “savvy” — a special ability or power that strikes when they turn thirteen… and now it’s the eve of Mibs Beaumont’s big day. Savvy is a story about magical children that never uses the word ‘magic.’ The book should be available at a variety of bookstores.

Jen: At what age did you discover writing and when were you first published? Tell us your call story.
Ingrid: I’ve always enjoyed story in all forms. I’ve been known to say that I never grew out of ‘playing pretend.’ As I grew up, I simply turned that imaginative play into vivid stories inside my head—stories that did not begin to find their way onto paper regularly until my early twenties. I’ve been writing, off and on, ever since. But it was only in the last few years I decided seriously to try getting something published. Savvy is my debut novel.

Jen: How does your family feel about your career?
Ingrid: My family is very supportive and happy for me. They have always encouraged me in whatever creative endeavor I’ve approached. Now, they are excited that I have found a way to do something I love full-time. My daughter loves that I have a job that revolves around books! Probably because I always come home with more and more for her to read these days.

Jen: How do you approach your writing? Do you plot or go with the flow?
Ingrid: I’m very character driven. So, I go with the flow and listen to what my characters want to do. Sometimes, though, my characters like to ramble, then I have to find a way to rein them in and help them (really me) focus on moving the plot along.

Jen: How many hours a day do you write?
Ingrid: It depends. Right now, anywhere from 4-10, every day. I rarely have a day when I don’t write, and if I do, I’m still answering email messages or coordinating appearances. It’s a lot to juggle some days. When I was writing Savvy, I was still working another job as well, so I would grab my writing time whenever I could. I’d come home from work with my pockets filled with scraps of paper filled with little notes, then wait for the opportunity to sit down at my computer and add them to my story.

Jen: How do you pick the character’s names?
Ingrid: Some names just pop into my head and feel right—first names especially. Others take more time to find. The Beaumont kids all have unusual names that set them apart just as their abilities do, however, like their abilities, as you get familiar with them, they start to seem normal and just part of who they are—even their names get ‘scumbled.’ Mibs, on the other hand, has a nickname (her real name is Mississippi) that sets her apart even from her siblings. This is because, as the main character, I wanted her to be even more different.

Jen: What’s the most rewarding aspect of writing?
Ingrid: Feedback from readers—especially from the kids. I love seeing kids get excited about imagining what their own ‘savvy’ talents might be, whether those talents are totally imaginary, like flying or becoming invisible, or simply everyday, like being great at math or soccer.

Jen: Most people only dream of becoming a published writer. Now that you’ve accomplished that goal, is there anything else you dream of doing?
Ingrid: I’ve been traveling quite a bit for the book, which has been fun. But I never get to spend much time in any one place or see any of the sights. I’d like to do some traveling that is leisurely. Having grown up a huge Anne of Green Gables fan, I’ve wanted to go to Prince Edward Island since I was eleven. That’s high on my list.

Jen: Who are some of your favorite authors and books? What are you reading now?
Ingrid: A couple of my recent favorites have been A Crooked Kind of Perfect, by Linda Urban; and Red Glass, by Laura Resau. I also still read aloud to my daughter every night for an hour or more, and am happy that we haven’t lost this tradition yet, even though she’s almost fourteen. This past year we’ve read all of Anthony Horowitz’s Alex Rider books and are now working our way through The Ranger’s Apprentice series. T. A. Barron’s books of Merlin may be next. We’re still deciding.

Jen: What do you do in your free time?
Ingrid: I read, listen to music, and I love, love, love going to the movies. I’ll even see the same movie multiple times. We don’t watch regular television, but my daughter and I also enjoy getting shows on DVD to watch. Also, living in Colorado, there are all kinds of beautiful places to walk and explore.

Jen: What’s next for you?
Ingrid: I am currently working on a follow up to Savvy. The new book explores what it’s like to grow up and experience a ‘savvy’ birthday from the perspective of a new character. The story takes place nine years after Savvy, but, while the main character is someone no one’s met before, there will be some familiar faces along the way.

Jen: Where can you be found on the web?
Ingrid: I have a website ( where you can also find a link to my blog. I’m also on Goodreads.

Jen: Is there anything you’d like to ask our readers?
Ingrid: What’s black and white and black and white and black and white? …it’s a joke. (Answer: A penguin rolling down a hill!)

Okay, trying to be more serious now…

Being a big fan of both books and movies, and looking at the potential of having my first book adapted as a feature film, I’d love to know what your readers think is the most important element in a good book-to-film adaptation. What makes them love or hate an adaptation?

Jen: Ingrid, thanks so much for being our guest this week. Readers, Ingrid will be stopping by the blog to answer any questions you have for her. And two lucky commenters will receive autographed copies of Savvy. So comment away and I’ll pick the winners on Thursday, April 16 around 5 pm PST.