David Stabler, Author of Kid Authors | Speed Interview
The Children’s Book Review | October 10, 2017
The Children’s Book Review: Which five words best describe Kid Authors: True Tales of Childhood from Great Writers?
David Stabler: Fun, funny illustrated true stories
Can you share one highlight from Kid Authors: True Tales of Childhood from Great Writers with our readers?
Roald Dahl, the author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, worked as a chocolate tester for the Cadbury Candy Company when he was a kid. The company would send him chocolate bars in the mail and he would taste each one and write down what he liked and disliked about it. It not only sounds like an incredibly fun job, but it also provided some of the inspiration for his most memorable character, Willy Wonka.
What has been the best reaction from a reader, so far?
I like it when readers take the time to write letters or e-mail me. A number of them have made excellent suggestions for new books in the series. One of the authors in the book, Stan Lee of Marvel Comics, once wrote to a writer he admired and was excited when he got a letter back. Ever since then he’s always made sure to send a reply to anyone who writes to him. I try to follow Stan’s example.
Why do you think true tales should be an important part of a child’s home library?
I think there should always be a good balance between fiction and non-fiction in anyone’s home library. True stories can spark a kid’s curiosity about the world around them, make them ask questions, do their own research, and learn more about the people and subjects that interest them. If you’re interested in becoming a writer someday, one of the best things to do is to find out how the authors you like got their start: when did they start writing, who inspired them, how did they hone their skills? By learning about what real-life people went through, you begin to understand what’s possible for you.
For your writing energy: sugar or salt, tea or coffee?
That’s a hard question, because I like all of those things. I try to keep salt and sugar to a minimum, because they’re not so healthy, and I prefer tea to coffee, so I’ll go with that. But mostly the key to having good energy when I write is just getting a good night’s sleep.
Writing tools: computer, pen and paper, or all of the above?
Mostly a computer. I do most of the actual writing on an Apple desktop, and I use pen and paper to make lists of things I need, like library books.
What’s on your nightstand? Any books?
Well I do most of my reading on the living room couch, so what’s literally on my nightstand is just a dish full of cough drops in case I wake up with a sore throat. But I always have at least two or three books going at any one time. That’s not counting the ones I read to research whichever book I’m writing.
Can you tell us something that even your most loyal fans may not know about you?
I never learned how to swim. If anybody sees me in the water, please alert the lifeguard.
Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?
Stay in school, keep reading and writing, and be kind to animals—including people.
Written by David Stabler
Illustrated by Doogie Horner
Publisher’s Synopsis: Funny and totally true childhood biographies and full-color illustrations tell the tales from the challenging yet defining growing-up years of J. K. Rowling, Beverly Cleary, J. R. R. Tolkien, and 12 other great writers.
Every great author started out as a kid. Before the best sellers, fan clubs, and beloved stories we know today, the world’s most celebrated writers had regular-kid problems just like you. Sam Clemens (aka Mark Twain) loved to skip school and make mischief, with his best friend Tom, of course! A young J. R. R. Tolkien was bitten by a huge tarantula—or as he called it, “a spider as big as a dragon.” Toddler Zora Neale Hurston took her first steps when a wild hog entered her house and started chasing her! Kid Artists tells their stories and more—the diverse and inclusive cast that includes Roald Dahl, Beverly Cleary, J. K. Rowling, Sherman Alexie, Jules Verne, Lewis Carroll, Stan Lee—through kid-friendly texts and full-color cartoon illustrations on nearly every page.
Ages 9-12 | Publisher: Quirk Books | 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-1594749872
About the Author and Illustrator
Author David Stabler and illustrator Doogie Horner have created several books together, including Kid Presidents (Quirk, 2014), Kid Athletes (Quirk, 2015), Kid Artists (Quirk, 2016), and Kid Authors (Quirk, 2017).
This speed interview with David Stabler, author of Kid Authors: True Tales of Childhood from Great Writers, was conducted by Bianca Schulze. For similar books and articles, follow along with our content tagged with Author Interview, David Stabler, Doogie Horner, Non-Fiction, and Speed Interview.
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