N.E. Bode isn't just an anybody and she's isn't a nobody. She is somebody named Julianna Baggott, author of The Anybodies, The Nobodies and The Somebodies. Her latest book is The Slippery Map, about an orphan on a fantastic journey in an imaginary land created by his parents.
Baggott teaches in Florida State University's creative writing program. She and her husband, writer David G.W. Scott, have four young children.
On a visit to Liberty Middle in Tampa, she was energetic, witty and entertaining. And she will be at many schools in Tampa this month. If the students are like me, they will enjoy the stories she has to tell.
Do you write on a computer, typewriter or use pen and paper, and why?
I write on a computer but also jot notes throughout the day and shove those bits of paper into my pockets and purse and in the glove compartment of the car. It's part of my process to take notes on what I see and hear. Learning to observe closely is a huge part of learning to become a writer.
How many hours do you write a day and do you take a day off?
It depends but I do it as much as I can. It's rare that I take a day off completely. If I'm not writing
. . . then I'm likely touring and therefore still working as a writer though not writing.
Did you have any weird jobs that inspired your writing?
I've taught English as a second language to Spanish pilots, middle school English and ballroom dancing. I ran a boarding house for five years. These things slip into my writing from time to time.
How many books have you written for children and adults?
In January 2009 my sixth novel for kids, The Prince of Fenway Park, will be published under my name, Julianna Baggott. In August, my eighth book for adults, My Husband's Sweethearts, will be published under the name Bridget Asher.
Have you written any screenplays?
Yes. I love them. It's like sketching — very quick, very fluid work that's easier to manage than a novel.
Do you have advice for budding writers?
Look closely at the world around you. Its hidden mysteries are all around you.
William Harvey, 12, is a sixth-grader at Liberty Middle.