Author Interviews

Five Authors and Five Conversations with Teens at the 2014 Tucson Festival of Books

During the 2014 Tucson Festival of Books, YA authors were interviewed by local teens from five different high schools.   Interviewer credits and thank yous.

Chris Crutcher interview

Chris Crutcher

"The first time I had my book got me on a list in USA Today with Kurt Vonnegut and Mark Twain and a whole bunch of really famous authors..." (audio excerpt 2m 38s)
Chris Crutcher has received a number of awards, including the American Library Association's Margaret A. Edwards Lifetime Achievement Award. Five of his books appeared on an American Library Association list of the 100 Best Books for Teens of the Twentieth Century (1999 to 2000). His years as teacher and school director and his subsequent twenty-odd years as a therapist inform his writing. He says, "I have forever been intrigued by the extremes of the human condition."
Cornelia Funke interview

Cornelia Funke

"...when I read fairy tales from Ukraine or from Nepal it feels like a time machine, it's almost like you go into another see their lost gods, you see their traditions..." (audio excerpt 2m 38s)
Cornelia Funke is a multiple award-winning German author of children's fiction including the Inkheart trilogy, published in 2004–2008. Her work fits mainly into the fantasy and adventure genres and her latest series is Mirrorworld. She was voted into the Time magazine's list of the 100 most influential people of 2005. Cornelia has never considered writing to be a lonely business. Although it seems there is no one around when she writes, actually all her story's characters are present.
Matt de la Pena interview

Matt de la Peña

"Do you ever feel the imposter syndrome?...we have that throughout time...the doubt never leaves...I love writing about teenage doubt..." (audio excerpt 1m 40s)
Matt de la Peña is the author of five critically-acclaimed young adult novels—Ball Don't Lie, Mexican WhiteBoy, We Were Here, I Will Save You and The Living. Matt currently lives in Brooklyn NY. He teaches creative writing and visits high schools and colleges throughout the country. The New York Times followed Matt into Tucson High School after his book was banned from the curriculum (along with the work of several other Hispanic authors). Read the article.
Lois Lowry interview

Lois Lowry

"There are things in the world of The Giver to which we are headed and we should be aware of that and be careful about it..." (audio excerpt 1m 16s)
Listen now to the interview.
(length 24m 37s)
Lois Lowry is credited with more than thirty children's books and an autobiography. She has won two Newbery Medals, for Number the Stars in 1989 and The Giver in 1993. As an author, Lowry is known for writing about difficult and complex subject matters including questioning authority such as in The Giver quartet. Ms. Lowry says it seems to her that all of her books, although with different settings and time periods, deal essentially with the same general theme: the importance of human connections.
R.L. Stine interview

R.L. Stine

"I've killed hundreds of teenagers (in my books), hundreds and I didn't know why, why I enjoyed it so much..." (audio excerpt 59s)
Listen now to the interview.
(length 18m 48s)
R.L. Stine says he has a great job: "My job is to give kids the CREEPS!" R.L.'s books are read all over the world. So far, he has sold over 350 million books, making him one of the best-selling children's authors in history.


Made possible by and thanks to...

Teens from Pima County Public Library's Teen Advisory Boards and CreateIT, the Nuestras Raíces group from Pima County Public Library, and Kathy Short and the Tucson Festival of Books.

Special thanks to...


  • Chris Crutcher
  • Cornelia Funke
  • Matt de la Peña
  • Lois Lowry
  • R.L. Stine

Chris Crutcher was interviewed by students from Sabino High School

  • Sarah Ellett
  • Allie Mitchell
  • Shanice Stevenson
  • Kyle Vasquez
  • Sean Pearson

Cornelia Funke was interviewed by students from Mountain View High School

  • Jia Liu
  • Alana Gonzalez
  • Vanessa Estrada
  • Victoria Mironenko

Matt de La Peña was interviewed by students from Tucson Magnet High School

  • Victor Settles
  • Elizabeth McCormick
  • Kerstin Moyer
  • Rizwan Zaki

Lois Lowry was interviewed by students from Tucson Waldorf School

  • Madison Sherman
  • Kambiz Salazar Weaver
  • Oliver Bates
  • William Park
  • Sosi Mehren
  • Andrea Wrenn
  • Kendra Posey

R.L. Stine was interviewed by students from La Cima Middle School

  • Gabriela Torres
  • Christine Jackson
  • Stephanie Hernandez
  • Eddie Vargas
  • Luz Dominguez Cota
  • Alfredo Ortega
  • Julie Sanchez
  • Cienna Kincade

Pima County Public Library Staff

  • Jennifer Nichols
  • Bria Dolnick
  • Michelle Martin
  • Jusdina Nolin
  • Amy Morris
  • John Muñoz
  • Pam Park
  • Reyes Suarez

School Librarians and Teachers

  • Amy Rusk
  • Pamela Gautier
  • Leva Daly
  • Marjorie Lowrance
  • Linda Braun
Return to top
Pima County Website