Isabella Murphy’s debut children’s picture book, From Dark to Light, is coming on October 10th. In preparation for her book’s release, we would like to introduce you to Isabella.
When did you first start writing?
I first started enjoying to write in fourth grade when my teacher had us do creative writing and I wrote “The Dream”. It was the first chapter of a novel about a girl who had magical powers that I continued to write in fifth grade. From there, I wrote more stories in fifth grade, including From Dark to Light.
What is your favorite book?
My favorite book is Masterminds by Gordon Korman. I love this book because it’s full of adventure and mystery, and it teaches you how to learn from your mistakes.
Tell us about your other interests and hobbies.
I have been playing golf for four years. I am on the golf team at my middle school and I am one of the 2 girls on the golf team. We just recently won first place in the championship and I was very proud of myself and all of my teammates. I also like playing the guitar and participating in performing arts at my school. Being on stage has helped me be confident in myself and to overcome performing in front of people. I also like watercoloring and singing and baking and cooking.
When you get home from school, what’s the first thing you do?
I make myself a snack, a bagel and any kind of fruit like coconut, mango or an apple or banana. Then I go and practice the guitar or do my homework.
Describe the process of getting your book published. How long did it take?
I wrote the book when I was 10 years old. It took me three hours in one day. My mom and I thought it would be a great idea to share it with other kids for Halloween and raise money for children’s charities. We first looked into self-publishing but then sent the book to Pink Umbrella as we really liked the books they were publishing.
Name someone you admire and tell us why you admire them.
I admire Harriet Tubman because she was an African American during slavery and she escaped into freedom. I admire her for standing up for what she believed in and risking her life to do something she really wanted to do.
How do you balance school, social, and the creative parts of your life?
This is like a rule for me. First I get my work done and all I need to do, and then I go ahead and I can talk to friends over the phone or watercolor or sing.
What are your goals for the future?
I would want to write another book, but this time a novel instead of a children’s book. I want to go to college after taking a gap year when I travel around the world. I want to learn Italian so I can understand my mother when she’s on the phone with her friends. I want to do some volunteer work with children in Africa.
How do you deal with disappointment?
I feel sad for a few minutes, but then I find something to do and I don’t feel sad anymore.
What is something that terrifies you?
Spiders, cockroaches, and since I read Wave by Sonali Deraniyagala about the 2004 tsunami in Indonesia, I’ve been terrified of tsunamis.
Name the places you’ve lived.
I was born in San Francisco and have grown up in the Peninsula.
What makes you laugh?
I laugh at my own jokes when no one else is laughing. Once I start laughing, I can’t stop.
What advice would you give other young authors?
Follow your passion, don’t give up, and have the confidence and courage to believe in your own work.
What’s one food you can’t live without?
Margarita pizza, especially in Italy because the cheese is so gooey.
What’s your favorite holiday and why?
Halloween, because it’s a special time in my family, and I love us being together and carving pumpkins. I also love dressing up, plus there’s candy, and who doesn’t love candy? My favorite candies are Milky Way and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.
Isabella Murphy lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her family and two dogs. In addition to writing, Isabella loves sports, music, singing and dancing. She looks forward to writing more books that bring joy to her readers.