An Interview with Don Gallo: About My Books

DG: Bat 6 received the Jane Addams Award. It was a very gutsy book to have written, I feel—one that looks at prejudice from a perspective that no other writer for teens has attempted. What are your feelings about that book?

VEW: I am humbly grateful for the Jane Addams award because it's given to books that strive to promote peace and equality. Thank you for saying that you feel Bat 6 is gutsy. It certainly was gutsy for me to write. Most of what I write (most of what all of us write?) is done where angels fear to tread, and I had no idea how difficult this book would be. And I can say that writing it was its own reward. The opportunities to quit were many. My literary agent, Marilyn Marlow, who knew me quite well, said, "If you don't finish this book, you'll never know. You'll always wonder." She was right. What would have happened if I'd just swallowed all those girls and their dilemma, and they'd had to live the rest of their lives—and mine—down there in my stomach?

DG: How have readers reacted to Make Lemonade?

VEW: I've had letters from kids who say it helped them empathize with somebody unlike themselves. And I've had letters from kids who say they know teenage mothers and they believe that book speaks particularly to them.

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Don Gallo, who hosts a website called Authors4Teens, published an interview with Virginia in 2000, before the publication of True Believer in 2001 and This Full House in 2009. Excerpts from that interview may be found here, as well as some newer material.

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