Hill, Susanna Leonard 1965-
Hill, Susanna Leonard 1965-
Born April 14, 1965, in New York, NY; daughter of Edwin Deane (a lawyer) and Judith (a lawyer) Leonard; married Eric J. Hill (a teacher and musician), April 21, 1990; children: three. Ethnicity: "Caucasian." Education: Middlebury College, B.A., 1987; Columbia University, M.A., M.Ed., 1991. Hobbies and other interests: Reading, running, horseback riding, hiking, piano, puzzles and games of all kinds.
Self-employed educational therapist, 1990-97; freelance writer, 1997—.
Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, Authors Guild, Authors League of America, Southwest Writers.
Included in Children's Picks List, Book Sense, 2005, and Feminist Books for Youth List, Amelia Bloomer Project, 2006, both for Punxsutawney Phyllis; Junior Library Guild Selection, 2007, for No Sword Fighting in the House.
The House That Mack Built, Little Simon (New York, NY), 2002.
Taxi!, Little Simon (New York, NY), 2005.
Punxsutawney Phyllis, Holiday House (New York, NY), 2005.
No Sword Fighting in the House, Holiday House (New York, NY), 2007.
Susanna Leonard Hill told CA: "I write because I love to write. I can't not write. There is something so exciting about a blank page, full of pos- sibilities, waiting for whatever story you dream up. I like to write stories that will entertain children or touch them in some meaningful way, that will encourage in them the same love of reading that I have always enjoyed.
"My work is particularly influenced by my own childhood and by my children. Everything is new to children. The world is full of wonder, full of things to learn and do and experience for the first time, and hence full of ideas for stories.
"Sometimes an idea comes full-blown to my mind, and I just write it. More often I get a piece of an idea—a character, a setting, a problem—and I have to let it sit in the back corner of my mind for a while to simmer until I get the rest of the story together and it becomes something that works. Once I have written a story, I try to put it aside for a while and forget about it, so I can come back to it later with a fresh perspective and see if it still works or whether it needs tweaking. A lot of the writing process is about the working in your mind that takes place before you ever set pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard).
"The House That Mack Built was inspired by my son, who loved construction vehicles when he was 2-3 years old. We had books that showed pictures of construction vehicles and told about what jobs they did, but nothing with parts that moved or that showed how a bunch of equipment could work together to complete a project. So I wrote one.
"Punxsutawney Phyllis was inspired by two things. There is much talk on the radio where I live on Groundhog Day about Punxsutawney Phil making his prediction. One Groundhog Day I was driving my children to nursery school, listening to Phil's prediction, and I thought—why should Phil always by a boy? A girl could do the job just as well! Also, where I live, winter seems very long. I thought, it's my story, I can make anything I want happen, so how about an early spring for once?
"No Sword Fighting in the House was inspired by my children's play and by a situation that I think is common in all families—the intentional or unintentional miscommunication between grownups and kids."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Susanna Leonard Hill Home Page,http://www.susannahill.com (April 30, 2007).