Five Fun Things Authors Have Said

Alison Morris -- May 20th, 2010

More tidbits from Paris and London are forthcoming. In the meantime I bring some you quick, light entertainment — perfect for those of you having weeks as hectic as the one I’m currently experiencing!

During the three years in which I’ve been writing for ShelfTalker, I have amassed an untold number of notes, ideas, links,  suggestions, thoughts that have never made their way into blog posts. Over time these unmentioned bits and pieces have become a depressing symbol of the things I haven’t done on or for ShelfTalker. I’ve hated to throw them away (in the case of the physical notes) or send them to the recycle bin (in the case of all the e-mails I’ve sent to myself!), because 1) I still like them, and 2) I keep hoping I’ll find some opportunity to include them in a post here or there.

Enter the theme of today’s post and a new plan for yours truly. Every now and again I will do a post featuring five fun things. They will all be book-related, as that’s the theme of ShelfTalker, but in some cases that may be the only thing they have in common, in others not.  Many of them will be culled from my archive of unmentioned tidbits, but others of them will be new material. The point will be to give you five book-related bits of entertainment, or  fivenew things to think about, look at, or long for in each of those five fun things posts.

To kick things off, I give you five interesting or entertaining things that authors have told audiences during events at or sponsored by Wellesley Booksmith at some point during the past nine years (the length of time I’ve been with our store). I KNOW they’ve said these things because I wrote them down at the time. (I find I retain and process their words better if I take notes. The notes later become useful tools for advising other authors on what makes a good school or public presentation and also make for fun trips down memory lane on the rare occasion when I shuffle back through them.)

1. About his dog Earl, author/illustrator/comics artist Patrick McDonnell says, “I always try to put his happiness into my artwork.”

2. Michael Scott, author of the Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel series (and an terrific presenter), explained to students at a local middle school that mythologies evolve, change, and even relocate over time because they travel with the people who know them. He has found dragon lore in San Francisco that no longer exists in China and banshee stories in New York City that no longer exist in Ireland.

3. Kate Klise (who writes for People magazine when she’s not penning terrific picture books, novels, and non-fiction) tells kids that she never interviewed a guitarist who hadn’t grown up wanting to play just like Joni Mitchell or others in that league. The point, she says, is that imitation is a good way to learn how to do pretty much anything.  (Kate, by the way, cites Harper Lee as the person she was the most excited to meet, out of all those she’s covered in her reporting career.)

4. Until John Green was seven years old he thought he was the only human on earth and that all other “humans” were actually aliens in disguise.

5.  Kid to Kate DiCamillo: “Where do your ideas come from?”

Kate DiCamillo to kid: “Do you know what eavesdropping is?”

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