Ellen Potter, Author of the Piper Green Series | Speed Interview
The Children’s Book Review | August 6, 2015
The Children’s Book Review: Which five words best describe the Piper Green series?
Ellen Potter: magic, Maine, fun, quirky, cozy
If you had to take a vacation with one of the characters from the Piper Green books, who would it be? Why?
Hmm, Piper would definitely be entertaining, but I suspect she would get us into all kinds of trouble. Her little brother, Leo, might be a better choice. If we found ourselves lost on a roadside or stranded in the woods, the boy knows his way around edible bugs. According to him, the green ones taste like bacon.
What has been the best reaction from a reader of the series, so far?
A little girl who lives in the neighborhood stopped by to say hello. When she saw the Advanced Reader Copy of Piper Green she asked if she could read it. I gave her the book and a glass of lemonade, and she sat down on my couch and started reading. She read the whole book in one sitting. When she was done, she handed it back to me, drained her glass of lemonade, and said, “Give my mom directions to Peek-a-Boo Island because I want to go to that place.”
I didn’t have the heart to tell her that the island is fictional.
What’s on your nightstand? Any books?
Dust. Where there isn’t dust, there are books. At the moment, I am reading Capote: A Biography by Gerald Clarke.
For your writing energy: sugar or salt, tea or coffee?
All of the above.
Writing tools: computer, pen and paper, or all of the above?
I start out writing by hand. It helps me to loosen up mentally. Once I’m feeling at home in the book’s setting and have nailed down the characters’ voices, I’ll usually switch over to the computer. When I get stuck, which is a fairly regular occurrence, I’ll often write by hand again until things start to flow once more.
Can you tell us one more thing we may not know about the Piper Green series, your writing style, or yourself?
- The idea for a fairy tree came, in part, from something a friend of mine had told me about a tree in her neighborhood. This particular tree was very old and very large, and the city decided it needed to be taken down. The people in the neighborhood were pretty upset about it. After the tree was cut down to a stump, one man in the neighborhood carved a hole in the stump, and people began to leave things inside of it . . . books, old toys, mittens. If you needed something in the tree, you could just take it, and you put something else in its place. I loved that idea! All it needed was a fairy or two.
- I write for about two to three hours a day, and think about what I’ll write next for the rest of the day.
Oops, you asked me to write about ONE thing, didn’t you? In that case . . .
- I’m not good at following directions.
Written by Ellen Potter
Publisher’s Synopsis: From award-winning author Ellen Potter comes a charming new chapter book series where kids, lobster boats, and a hint of magic are part of everyday life.
There are three things you should know about Piper Green:
1. She always says what’s on her mind (even when she probably shouldn’t).
2. She rides a lobster boat to school.
3. There is a Fairy Tree in her front yard.
Life on an island in Maine is always interesting. But when a new teacher starts at Piper’s school—and doesn’t appreciate the special, um, accessory that Piper has decided to wear—there may be trouble on the horizon. Then Piper discovers the Fairy Tree in her front yard. Is the Fairy Tree really magic? And can it fix Piper’s problems?
Ages 7-9 | Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers | August 4, 2015 | ISBN-13: 978-0553499230
Written by Ellen Potter
Publisher’s Synopsis: Book two of Ellen Potter’s charming new illustrated early chapter book series set on an island off the coast of Maine, where kids, lobster boats, and a hint of magic are part of everyday life.
As far as Piper Green is concerned, the day started out lucky:
• Lucky thing #1: Her mom is painting Piper’s bedroom her favorite color.
• Lucky thing #2: Piper found a perfect strawberry at breakfast.
• Lucky thing #3: Piper lost a tooth. And as everyone knows, tooth + tooth fairy = ka-ching!
There’s just one problem. According to her friend Jacob, too much good luck can sometimes equal bad luck. And when Piper gets to school that day, Bad Luck is waiting for her. Will the Fairy Tree in Piper’s front yard be enough to break her unlucky streak?
Ages 7-9 | Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers | August 4, 2015 | ISBN-13: 978-0553499278
About the Author
Although she doesn’t ride a lobster boat to work, Ellen Potter can look out her window and see islands, just like the one Piper lives on. Ellen is the author of ten books for children, including the award-winning Olivia Kidney series, Slob, and The Kneebone Boy. She lives in Maine with her family and an assortment of badly behaved creatures. Learn more about Ellen at ellenpotter.com.
This interview with Ellen Potter about the PIPER GREEN AND THE FAIRY TREE series was conducted by Bianca Schulze. Follow along with our content tagged with Author Interviews, Ellen Potter, Fairies, Piper Green and the Fairy Tree Series, and Speed Interview to discover more great books.