The DMS was lucky enough to interview Rob Buyea, author of the middle grade novel Because of Mr. Terupt. Lizzy recently reviewed this inspiring book, and it was great to share our thoughts about it and hear yours! We are excited to learn a little bit more about the story behind the story. So, without further ado... take it away, Rob!
What inspired you to write Because of Mr. Terupt?
My former third and fourth grade students. I had some incredible young writers in my classrooms. I wanted to help them grow as writers and encourage their love for writing, and so I decided the best way I could do that was to become a writer first. And so I began.
How long did it take you to write Because of Mr. Terupt?
Six years. In the midst of writing this story, several other big events took place in my life. We moved from Connecticut to Massachusetts and I went from teaching third grade to high school biology. My third daughter was born, joining our three-year-old and sixteen-month-old. Things were busy. (They still are!)
What are some of your favorite books from childhood? Were there any specific authors who inspired you?
I wasn’t a reader. I always did very well in school, but I was all about sports. The only book I remember from my childhood is My Side of the Mountain. I grew up in the country and fantasized about being able to do what Sam Gribley did. I have loads of favorite books and authors now.
Where did you come up with the character Mr. Terupt?
Bits and pieces of me and my imagination. I had a lot of classroom experiences that helped me.
If you could befriend a character from any of your books, who would you befriend? Why?
I know I’d have fun with Peter. We’d end up in all kinds of mischief. And I could talk to Jessica about books all day long. But of all my characters, Danielle’s grandmother is the one I’d want to meet. My grandmother left a major impression on me. I miss her dearly. It was memories of her and the relationship we had that helped me create Danielle’s grandma. This character helped me spend time with my grandmother again.
Where do you like to write? Do you listen to music while you are writing?
Where I write often depends on what I’m doing in my writing. If I’m on the computer, then I’m at my desk in my office, surrounded by books. No music. If I’m working on paper then I might still be at my desk, or in a book store or coffee shop. I almost always have coffee with me when I’m writing. If I need to look at several pages at once then I might spread out on the floor or go to the science lab and spread out all over one of those big tables. I like a bright and warm atmosphere.
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be? Why?
I’ve traveled, but not enough to answer this question. There’s so much I haven’t seen. But if you really want an answer, then I’ll say Disney World. I’ve loved every trip I’ve taken there and I know my children would be happy -- and continue to come back and visit me even when I’m old.
Do you have a favorite teacher? If so, who is it and what did they teach you?
I’ve had many. I can’t pick one. But I will say the sport of wrestling is what prepared me for writing.
Where can we purchase your books?
My preference would be with your local independent bookseller.
Author Website ☞ Amazon ☞ Barnes and Noble ☟