Q: What inspired you to write Violet and the Pie of Life, and how did you create your character Violet?
A: I wanted to share the joy I get from theater and math. Yes, math. With the help of an artist from my publisher, Holiday House, I created cute and funny charts, graphs, and equations illustrating Violet’s personal problems and her attempts to solve them. I hope readers will find them as cute and funny as I do.
To add depth to my novel, Violet’s parents separate, she has problems with her best friend, and she learns that people she envies may be hiding painful secrets.
Creating Violet was easy because she is much like me at that age. My parents separated when I was 10, I had a domineering best friend, and I was in The Wizard of Oz like Violet is.
Q: Can you say more about why you decided to include a school play of The Wizard of Oz in the novel?
A: I think most kids are familiar with the play, so I didn’t have to explain it to them and could get right to the plot. I love the play and movie of The Wizard of Oz, and I played the Wicked Witch in middle school.
Also, I like the symbolism of a timid girl who wins the part of the lion and finds courage.
Q: How was the book's title chosen, and what does it signify for you?
A: The title I chose originally was horribly boring. My agent and I brainstormed for something more intriguing. She eventually came up with the title Violet and the Pie of Life. “Pie” in the title reflects both Violet’s love of eating pie and the pie charts she makes to illustrate her life.
Q: The Publishers Weekly review of the book says, "Green sincerely conjures Violet’s deep pain, confusion, frustration, and worry over shifting relationships; her frank, energetic voice carries this sensitive narrative." What do you think of that description?
A: I’m so happy my book got good or great reviews from every professional reviewer. Since Violet is based on me, I take it personally when reviewers like her voice! There is also a lot of humor in the book, which many reviewers enjoyed.
Q: What are you working on now?
A: I have a story coming out next year in the anthology Coming of Age: 13 B’nai Mitzvah Stories. I’m also working on a middle grade novel and a chapter book.
Q: Anything else we should know?
A: Thank you for interviewing me. And I thank anyone who takes the time to read this interview. I’m especially grateful to the readers of my books.
--Interview with Deborah Kalb