An Interview with Don Gallo, My Life Thus Far:

DG: Let's talk a little about your early years. Where did you grow up? And were you born there?

VEW: I was born in a hospital in Portland, Oregon, and lived in Oregon till I went to college. But in my childhood I didn't live in a town. Rather, we lived three miles from a town of about 200 people in northern Oregon.

I was born into a loving family, and in fact I was a planned child. My brother is two and a half years older than I. Our father, who had been a lawyer in Pittsburgh, had come west to Oregon to clear land and grow apples and pears. He was nearly twenty years older than our mother. He had built, with a work crew, a magnificent log house, with a stone fireplace and big ceiling beams, five bedrooms, enormous windows, views of more mountains than many people ever see in their lifetimes; this handsome nest is surrounded by apple and pear orchards and a forest of Douglas fir and western red cedar. We had a small grand piano and two bathrooms but no electricity. It was a wonderful place for a childhood to happen in. My father died of a heart attack when I was five, abruptly changing everything.

DG: That must have been very difficult to deal with. How did your father's death affect you?
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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.

Ripening red Anjou pears
in my family’s orchard
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