Lindsey Leavitt

Lindsey Leavitt: 'I am a writer because of the librarian'

"I'm a writer because of the librarian."

I grew up going to library with my Mom and I actually would go to the school library at lunch everyday.

And I'm a writer because of the librarian.

I had an essay that the librarian encouraged me to turn in
about what my favorite genre books were. And that essay won the essay contest for the school in fifth grade, and after that I was always writing in the library.

So I write in the library now and I wrote in the library even when I was a kid. I started off writing "Sweet Valley High" fan fiction. I wrote quite a few "Sweet Valley Highs," if you're looking at pick some more up, I have them.

So I think just kind of through osmosis, of  having those  book around me all the time, I think that's what really drew me to go there... I checked out books, but I wasn't so great at returning them, so I actually had a rule that I would have to go to the library to read them, because sometimes I would lose them.

My fifth grade teacher is now a librarian. So, she was my favorite teacher growing up, and we've since reconnected and now I go to her school every year and speak. She was a librarian trapped in a teacher's body, I think, for a long time.

She was the one who really introduced me to "Bridge to Teribithia" and Lois Lawry  and all these different authors that turned me into a really hardcore reader.

I use it for research. I go there quite a bit. I'm in Las Vegas and so Clark County Library System. They have a really great system because it's all linked up, so if I need to get a book from another library they do transfers easily. I also go there with my children and we'll go during storytime and I'll write while my children are in storytime.

[On budget cuts] I think it's disgusting. I think saddening.I think it's maddening... again from Las Vegas...we're seeing more and more school libraries, they are cutting their media specialist, thinking that you don't need a degree in order to do this job and they're finding more and more that that's not the case, that there's all these librarians that have such a love for books and their students are excelling because of those librarians and so it's one of the most upsetting things, to me, in education happening right now. And that's both in schools and in public libraries, as well.

I think when the libraries go, I think society goes right after that.

[On censorship] I always encourage parents, especially, to read with their children and to be aware of what their children are reading so I support parents that are aware of that. However, I think every child has different reading needs and I think challenging can get in the way of... what one student needs is very different than what another student needs, so I don't believe in book banning.

I don't believe in challenging lists... responding I encourage it in the sense that it always seems, when that happens, that book gets more attention and I do encourage that.

But definitely I participate in Banned Books Week, as well. And also, it's been interesting to me, because I am in a rather conservative community. where I've seen that happen and what I always think is funny about it is the parent will say,"Oh, we can't read this because it has this word in it." So what you're protecting your child from, they already are aware that it's there, so I don't really see the purpose of it in that sense.

I have my final book in the Princess for Hire series.
It's called "A Farewell to Charms." It's a book for tween girls, and it's kind of the book where everything happens for the main character Desi, who gets a job substituting for princesses.

I also have another teen book coming out in March and that's called "Going Vintage." And it's about a girl who decides to let go of all modern day technology live like it's 1962.

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Book Title: 

Princess for Hire Series

Library Name: 

Clark County Library System, Las Vegas