Peter Lerangis: SCBWI Team Blog Pre-Conference Interview


Peter Lerangis is the award-winning author of more than 160 books for kids that have sold over 5 million copies, including the New York Times best-selling THE COLOSSUS RISES, Book 1 of The Seven Wonders Series. 

Peter took time out of his busy schedule to answer some questions before the conference. I have no doubt we are in for a fun ride with him come August.

When you were a biochemistry major at Harvard, or working as a paralegal, was there ever an inkling of that writer of over 160 books somewhere inside of you?

Yes, it was just behind my spleen and a little toward the vertebrae.  I thought the doctors got it out, but they were not inklingectomy specialists and instead removed that little thingy that controls your ability to say no.  As it happened, one day I took a wrong turn for a biochemical paralegal party and found myself in a publishers party instead, and it was downhill from there.

Truth is, I always did want to be a writer and performer.  Biochemistry and law were things I thought I had to do, so I gave them a try.  It wasn’t until I was actually accepted into law school that I had the guts to try a career in musical theater, figuring I could defer admission and then go back if I wanted.  I developed a copyediting career in between shows, because I was a terrible waiter.  Which of course led me to the stable, sensible career of free-lance writer. 

I wonder if law school would still take me ...

After your many books and amazing successes, how has your writing process changed from when you first began your writing career?

I use neither charcoal nor crayons anymore, resulting in beautiful hands but a really crappy carpal tunnel.  Also, I develop and write ideas using my name along with my warped sensibility, instead of a pseudonym along with my warped sensibility. 

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received about writing or the industry?

Marry rich.  But like every other really excellent piece of advice, I ignored it.  And I’m glad.

Want to see even more of Peter before the conference?

Peter on Twitter.

And, check him out rocking a toga at Comic Con NYC.