• Read to Them

An Interview with Cynthia Lord

Hello, all, and happy Wednesday! We hope you're having a great time with some of the last chapters of Because of the Rabbit. While this is the last day of the read, we aren't quite finished yet. Recently, we had the opportunity to sit down with Because of the Rabbit's author, Cynthia Lord, for an exclusive interview! You can check it out below. Enjoy!


What was your relationship with reading like growing up?

I’ve always loved to read and make up stories. I grew up in a very small town, and the library was only open two afternoons a week in the summer. I planned my whole week around those two days to be sure I could get new books.


How did you find your way to becoming a writer?

As a child, I liked to imagine new stories for the characters from books I loved. I think storytelling and pretending were my first steps in becoming a writer.


Where did you draw inspiration from when writing this story?

My books always start with something real. It could be a place I love or an experience I’ve had. Then I build a fictional story around it. The real inspirations behind Because of the Rabbit were that we once homeschooled our kids, we have pet bunnies, and I have a son with autism.

I also love Maine’s Western Mountains. It’s a place of great natural beauty and wildlife. So I started by asking myself, “Who lives here?”


What have been your favorite reactions from readers about your books?

My favorite reactions are always when kids tell me they felt seen or heard in my books. One simple but powerful email from a child said: “I was so scared I was the only person who felt this way.”


What is something you hope families get out of reading Because of the Rabbit with Read to Them?

It’s a thrill to work with Read to Them. Thank you for your work and dedication to families in these challenging times.


First, I hope readers enjoy the book as a story. Then I also hope that Emma could show readers that they are not alone when they have mixed feelings about trying new experiences. And she would give them some courage to take a risk and grow in their friendships, like Emma does


What advice do you have for young readers and writers?

I think the hardest part is getting a whole first draft done. I don’t like blank pages, and often, the story in my head is so much better than what ends up on those first draft pages. But here are my own two rules for a first draft:


Dare to be bad. By that, I mean dare not to be perfect. It’s hard to keep going when the story in your head is better than the one on the pages, but every writer feels that way sometimes. The goal for a first draft is just to finish.


Just get it done. You can’t fix what doesn’t exist. So finish that first draft without worrying if it’s good or not. Revision is when you’ll make it good.


So don’t give up when a story gets hard. Every story or book will have hard parts that you just have to push through. The writers who get published are the ones who didn’t give up.


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As you prepare to finish your read, be sure to share photos with us of you and your family during the reading event on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Looking for a community to talk about all things Because of the Rabbit? Don't let the chance to join Flipgrid to share your thoughts with your peers pass you by. Be well, all, and happy reading!