Deborah Ellis

Deborah Ellis is one of North America’s most popular writers of middle-grade and YA fiction. Most of the royalties from her books are donated to organizations, such as Women for Women in Afghanistan and UNICEF.

 Looking back, would you change anything about your childhood?

A   I’d take more risks, be braver, make an effort to get to know more people, especially other loners, and recognize how much power I have to make someone’s day better.

Q   What motivates you as a social activist?

A   Hope. Fear. Anger. Faith. Hope. Humour.

Q   What was your first act of activism?

A   I showed films of nuclear war in my high school.

Q   Your recent works cover war, AIDS and injustice. What draws you to these topics?

A   I’m interested in how people deal with courage, particularly when they have no resources to fall back on but themselves.

Q   What is your message to your readers about making choices and staying true to who they are?

A   That we ARE making choices, even when we think we’re not, with what we buy, what we believe, how we spend our time. There’s a lot we can’t control, but we can control our choices. Make them deliberately. Make them with thought and with courage.

Q   Do you seek writing advice from others?

A   I get advice from people who have gone before me, writers and activists. I learn from their victories and their mistakes.

Q   What would you say to an aspiring writer?

A   Don’t quit. Pay your bills. And don’t take yourself too seriously. There are much harder jobs in the world.

Q   What do you want to accomplish?

A   I want to work hard, do my best, fall in love, cook a meal that won’t kill anyone.

Q   What are you thankful for?

A   I’m thankful for being a woman born in Canada at this point in history; for books; for people throughout history who have valued books.

Q   Where do you do most of your writing?

A   In doughnut shops.

Deborah's books

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