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Blog: This Writing Life


  • Writer's pictureMelissa Stoller

3 Question Interview - LISA AMSTUTZ

Lisa Amstutz is one of those authors who is so prolific you wonder how she does it! And then her latest beautiful book releases (FINDING A DOVE FOR GRAMPS, pictures by Maria Luisa Di Gravio, Albert Whitman & Company), and you marvel that she's done it again. I'm delighted to feature Lisa on the blog today, sharing her ideas about stories . . . creativity . . . and connection. Welcome, Lisa!

STORIES – Discuss what inspires your ideas and stories, and share the process about your latest projects.

Inspiration is everywhere once you get in the habit of noticing it – I get about five story ideas every day, sparked by conversations, random thoughts, library visits, and happenings around the homestead. Of those, maybe one is worth writing down. Most of them will never make it any further than my notebook. But still—the ideas are there if I want to return to them.

Finding a Dove for Gramps was inspired by my birding hobby and is one of the few stories I’ve written that pretty much came out fully formed. It still went through a lot of revisions before and after it was acquired, but the fundamental storyline and voice did not really change. That rarely happens, so I am exceedingly grateful when it does.

CREATIVITY -- How do you showcase your creative side through writing/illustrating and other pursuits?

My background is in science, and I didn’t start writing until I was 35, so honestly I’m still not really used to thinking of myself as a creative person. I try to nurture that side through photography, nature journaling, and scrapbooking as well as writing. I find spending time in nature inspiring as well. I’d like to set aside more time for those pursuits —maybe someday!

CONNECTION -- How do you connect to your young readers through writing/illustrating, and how do you stay connected to the KidLit community?

I enjoy doing events where I get to meet my readers in person and love it when kids write to me. As far as the KidLit community, I’m involved in my SCBWI region as Assistant Regional Advisor, participate in four critique groups, and use social media to stay in touch with writers I’ve met at events as well as to connect with new people. I’m grateful to be part of such a kind, generous, and encouraging community!


Lisa Amstutz is a freelance editor and the author of 100+ children’s books including Applesauce Day (2017), Finding a Dove for Gramps (2018), and the forthcoming Amphibiology (2019), and Plants Fight Back (2020). She specializes in topics related to science and nature. Lisa serves as a volunteer judge at Rate Your Story and as Assistant Regional Advisor for SCBWI: Ohio North. Learn more about her books and editorial services at



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