Elizabeth Moon’s “Books That Inspired Me”

 

Welcome to Booked! A feature where we ask an author to share their favorite books with our readers. Contributing today is Elizabeth Moon, whose next book, Kings of the North, will be released March 22!

Elizabeth says: My mother created two books for me when I was a little girl (preschool — three and four mostly). One was a book of etiquette, inspired by my complaint one day that I’d been punished for something I didn’t know was wrong. (The rule for that occasion became “Whatever it is you have to say/ Can wait until we drive away.”) The other was a “day in the life of” book about me and the little boy who lived across the alley from us. She wrote them, illustrated them, bound them, made individual cardboard covers for them. The titles of both use my first name, which I don’t use anymore (“Susan’s ‘What to Do’ Book” and “Susan and Michael” [except she misspelled Michael. Throughout. I noticed it. She was not thrilled. I also noticed when, decorating a bar mitzvah cake for friends, she misspelled the honoree’s name. She wasn’t thrilled about that, either.]) She read them to me, then I learned to read them myself.

Very shortly after that, I switched from drawing pictures and telling stories about the pictures to writing, and my first “book” (unfinished, naturally) was an attempt to copy the format she used, stapling pages 1/4 the size of typewriter paper for the book pages. So although I was also inspired by books I read later, I’m absolutely positive that those two books started the writing process… the experience of seeing one of them in progress, the understanding that books come from real people in the same way that my clothes came from her sewing machine.

Hand-drawn art by Elizabeth Moon's mother EMoon_1

Hand-drawn art by
Elizabeth Moon's mother

Hand-drawn art by Elizabeth Moon's mother EMoon_2

Hand-drawn art by
Elizabeth Moon's mother

Hand-drawn art by Elizabeth Moon's mother EMoon_3

Hand-drawn art by
Elizabeth Moon's mother