Gwendolyn Hooks is the author of 17 books for children. She writes both fiction and nonfiction to encourage children to explore their world. Readers will find pets, friendship, and family sprinkled throughout Gwendolyn’s stories because that’s what inspires her. Her latest, the eight book Pet Club series is all about pets: a cat, dog, fish, and a rat. Even her nonfiction books are about animals and a few plants.
Gwendolyn’s journey in her own words
I was born in Savannah, Georgia, but since my dad was in the Air Force we moved around a lot. I’ve lived in Texas, Washington, and Italy. I was really young when my family lived in Italy. I wish I was older so I could remember it better. I’m sure that’s why I love Italian food!
Some people know their whole lives they want to be writers when they grow up. Not me. I always wanted to be a teacher—a math teacher. Off I went to Oklahoma State University to begin my new life. My new life included my future husband, Edmond. After we became Mr. and Mrs., we moved to St. Louis, Missouri where I finished college at the University of Missouri-St. Louis with my math degree.
I taught seventh grade math until one day I realized I wanted to write for children. Now, I’m a children’s book author with 17 published books.
It is a super cool job. I work in my office at home in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. I can raid the refrigerator any time I get hungry. I walk in the park thinking of new ideas. And I travel to research those new ideas. It’s the perfect job for me.
Questions for Gwendolyn
1. What was your favorite book when you were a child?
I loved all of the Nancy Drew books. No matter where I lived, I could find them in the library. Nancy had a car and was always having adventures. What a life!
2. What’s your favorite line from a book?
“You don’t want me because I’m not a boy!” It’s from Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables. I cry every time I read it.
3. Who are your top three favorite authors or illustrators?
Christopher Paul Curtis, R. Gregory Christie, and Jacqueline Woodson
4. Why did you want to become an author or illustrator?
I had stories inside of me before I knew they were there. But once I found them, I couldn’t stop until they became published books. I’m still filled with stories. And I write almost every day because I don’t want to forget any of them.
5. Do you have any advice for future authors or illustrators?
Never stop reading, writing, or drawing. Whatever your passion, be persistent.