All through October, Alphabet Soup is celebrating turning three. We have heaps of writers and illustrators stopping by to answer THREE QUICK QUESTIONS and today’s visitor is Kathryn Apel, author of Fencing With Fear, and This is the Mud.
1. Where do you like to write?
Sometimes my brain likes to write by itself and I have to stop what I’m doing and dash for paper/pencil, computer—anything! —just to catch the words. My brain likes to write when I’m;
walking (with the dog)
in the shower.
I like to write at the computer, because I can organize my ideas neatly and I don’t have to worry about my handwriting, which gets messier and messier the faster I write. (And even messier still when I change my mind and start scratching things out.) Sometimes I decide; It’s time. I will write. I sit at the computer … walk to the fridge … sit at the computer … walk outside … sit at the computer … go on Twitter … check my blog … go to the fridge … sit at the computer … and FINALLY … the ideas and the words come. Yay and hurray, I say!
2. Can you name a book you’d recommend to our readers?
I really enjoyed the unexpectedness of the picture book Fred Stays With Me by Nancy Coffelt and illustrated by Tricia Tusa. I think it’s cleverly done. I even gave a bark of laughter—which is appropriate, because Fred is a dog.
3. Can you offer a word or phrase that kids could use for inspiration if they have writer’s block?
Kathryn Apel is the author of Fencing With Fear and This is the Mud. She’s here today to help us celebrate the launch of the Undercover Readers Club by sharing the books that she liked to read after ‘lights out’ when she was a child. Welcome, Kat!
What did I read after lights out when I was growing up?
Oh – that’s so easy!
If I was reading anything undercover when I was a kid, it would have been an Enid Blyton. (And then Nancy Drew … ) I loved the The Secret Seven and The Famous Five. I even staged a protest when our librarian banned these books from our school. Disgraceful – that they should be banned!
My lights-out reading was by the glow of the lounge room light spilling into my bedroom. I crouched near the door and tilted the words toward the light – but had to be ve-ry careful turning the pages, so I didn’t alert my parents to my presence. Just as well I had a carpeted bedroom floor. It softened flurried footsteps on those frantic flights back to bed! (Though the bedsprings did give me away on occasion … )
I also remember staying at my cousin’s house for a holiday and going to Vacation Bible School. My cousin and I were in stiff competition for the most bible verses memorised, and I needed an edge! My cousin was puzzled at how I had memorised so many verses next day – but I wasn’t telling him about that torch trick!
Yr 3 student Curtis Costa obviously had a few tricks up his sleeve, too. I was pretty chuffed by his review of my book Fencing With Fear: “When I was reading and Dad told me, ‘Lights out!’ I hid the book, turned on my lamp and kept reading because it was so exciting.” What an awesome review! Thank you, Curtis.
Hmmmm … All this talk about Undercover Readers is making me a bit suspicious of my two book bug boys … and their lights out routines.
Alphabet Soup magazine is celebrating the launch of Undercover Readers (our new reviewers club for kids)! If you’d like to join the Undercover Readers Club, you’ll find an information pack you can download from the Alphabet Soup website. As part of the celebrations, we have a different children’s author or illustrator visiting Soup Blog each day until 29 June 2010 to talk about what they used to read after ‘lights out’ when they were growing up.