1. How old is she?
This is the most popular question so far. Get out a calculator and subtract 1957 from the current year and you’ll have your answer. (Surprise! Math!)
2. Where does she get ideas?
From eavesdropping, reading old waiting room magazines and dusty books, observing people on the street and in grocery stores and in classrooms; by remembering her childhood, what was said during car pool, memorizing other people’s embarrassing and heartbreaking experiences. Don’t sit behind her on an airplane, or she’ll steal everything you say to your best friend and put it in a book. Oh, she also gets ideas from dreams. Her first book, AGNES PARKER GIRL...IN PROGRESS, came from a dream she had during a nap.
3. Did she always want to be a writer?
Yes—and a lot of other things too. But writing is her favorite thing. After working in a library at her children’s grade school, she decided to try writing a novel for kids. After some years, Dial Books for Young Readers wrote back and said, “We’ll give you a chance.” That was a good day.
4. Did she ever have a real job?
Yes. In public relations.
5. Name all her books in order of publication:
6. What’s her favorite sport?
Walking. (Really, just walking.)
7. Where was she born?
8. Graduate from college?
University of Washington
9. Where does she live?
10. What’s her favorite color?
Moss green and blush pink, but not at the same time.
11. What book of her own does she like best?
OPHIE OUT OF OZ was the most fun to write.
12. Does she have kids?
Two college-aged sons and a Pug named Max—who is almost a kid.
Singing, making up songs, watching old movies, fortune telling, researching everything from the history of perfume to art deco furniture and, of course, reading.
My books have been on many state lists for recommended reading.
15. How do I become a writer?
By writing! There’s no “becoming” without the actual writing. When you find a writer you like, imitate them for fun. Try to figure out what they do and how they do it. Doesn’t matter what you write. Experiment. Make a fake diary. (Which, in the case of this author, has to be more interesting than an actual diary, hence this advice.)
16. Please tell me the theme of each of her books for my book report.
I asked, and she doesn’t know. Can you believe that? If she had to do your homework, she would flunk.
Now the homework fairy is getting REALLY tired. (To be frank, when I took this job I thought it was a gig for SCOTT O’Dell. Dolphins! Diving for treasure! Dog sledding over the tundra! Oh well...)
If you need more stuff, you can always mail the author at firstname.lastname@example.org
Check out her blog @ kathleenodellsbookblog.blogspot.com
And as always, Happy Homework!
© 2014 Kathleen O'Dell