Southwest Children's Literature

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This House is Made of Mud/Está casa está hecha de lodo

Author Interview with Deborah Buchanan:

There are two photographs: one of Ken Buchanan and one of Deborah Buchanan.

Why did your husband write this book?

Ken Buchanan knew he wanted to be a writer since he was a little boy. The reason why he wrote this book is because he wanted to give a gift to his two sons. He was filled with so much love for his children, and he thought if he could give them any gift, he would want it to be a home just like the one in the story. He wrote the story and after the story was written, the family built a home surround by the animals of the desert.

How long did it take to write the story?

Ken wrote the first draft of the story in one sitting. It took a couple of months to revise the story to the final copy. However, it took seven years for the book to be published.

Has he written other books?

Deborah and Ken have written two other books. They are called: Lizards on the Wall and It Rained on the Desert Today. Lizards on the Wall is a continuation of the book This House is Made of Mud. It Rained on the Desert Today also describes life in the desert.

What is the best thing about being an author?

Being able to visit schools and reading the stories to the children are the best things about being an author. Deborah has traveled to over one hundred schools throughout the United States and Germany (American military base schools). Ken has only been on half of these trips because he is currently working. Their talks include a number of topics from writing and rewriting the story to where the ideas of the story come from, how and why they both became writers, and what it takes to become a successful author. They also tell the students how they had always dreamed of becoming authors and how they made their dreams come true.

How many children do you have and do you have any pets?

Deborah and Ken have two children; they are both boys. They also have one dog and one cat.

Do you and Ken live in Arizona?

They both grew up in Tucson, Arizona, but they are currently living in northwestern Oregon.

Others facts about this book:

The book This House is Made of Mud was the Arizona State Library Association's "Children's Book of the Year" in 1991. This book is also a "Reading Rainbow" book. The book This House is Made of Mud will be on the show Reading Rainbow. The title of the show is Piggy in the Puddle. It will be on December 21, 1999, on PBS.

This interview took place on November 9, 1999. If you would like to visit their web site the address is: If you would like to contact Deborah and Ken Buchanan, you can reach them online at: (If you are a student e-mailing the Buchanans, please give them your grade level and the city and state where you live.)

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