Five Questions With Laura Toffler-Corrie

Posted September 01, 2017  | Written by PJ Our Way Team

In each installment of "Three Questions With," we get to know a different writer, musician, or illustrator by asking three questions about their work, process, and interests. Today we're chatting with Laura Toffler-Corrie, author of PJ Our Way selection, The Life and Opinions of Amy Finawitz.

Is Amy Finawitz based on anyone that you know?

To be honest, Amy is the me I am in my head. By that I mean I’m often tempted to say the kinds of things she would say, but worry that Amy’s sense of humor might be perceived as a little abrupt for casual acquaintances. But when I’m talking to family and close friends, I’m exactly like her. They often say to me, “That remark sounds like something Amy would say!”

What gave you the idea to write a book in email and play form?

When I was Amy’s age, my best friend and I liked to write short letters, plays and poems to each other. It was a fun way to share our experiences, gossip about people and make observations about our lives; a lot like the way people text each other now. When I started writing ‘Amy Finawitz...,’ I thought about using the same format. It seemed like a great way for a character to communicate so that the reader felt like her best friend. The more I wrote, the more natural it felt for me to tell the story that way.

What inspires you as a writer?

Hearing from readers! It’s a great feeling to know that someone has connected with one of my books and that it’s made him or her laugh, think or feel something. It’s also inspiring for me to take walks or ride my bike during twilight. It’s such a pretty time of day and feels peaceful and a little magical to me.

What is your all-time favorite book?

Yikes, it’s so hard to pick one because different books have meant something special to me at different times in my life. And it’s so great when I see or hear something that reminds me of a book I’ve always loved and gets me thinking about it again. For example, a few weeks ago I read that the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City was offering a special tour to commemorate ‘From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.’ Fans know that, in the book, Claudia and her brother run away and hide in the museum. The article reminded me of how much I loved the characters, humor and uniqueness of that story. So, for today, I’ll say the ‘From the Mixed up Files...’ is my all time favorite book.

When you’re not writing, how do you like to spend your time?

I spend a lot of time with my husband and two daughters. We like to pack picnic dinners and go down to the beach or go to the movies or ride our bikes. I also really like strolling around Soho and other fun neighborhoods in Manhattan, discovering cool shops and cafes. Once I found a tiny cupcake shop where they served the most awesome peanut butter hot chocolate!


Check out more activities, book lists, and interviews on the PJ Our Way Parents and Kids blogs.
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