Today we are getting to know the wonderfully talented ALICE KUIPERS. Alice is the bestselling, award-winning author of Life on the Refrigerator Door, The Worst Thing She Ever Did, 40 Things I Want To Tell You.
Her newest book, The Death of Us, hit bookshelves everywhere this week! Find her at alicekuipers.com for writing tips to bring into your classroom!
Q&A with Alice Kuipers
1. Have you always wanted to be an author (or did you want to be a firefighter or an astronaut?)
I’ve always read a lot, and writing seemed to grow naturally from that. When I was younger, I didn’t imagine I would actually ever publish books. Then, as I wrote more, the idea of physical books seized my imagination too and I began to be more serious about my writing. I thought I wanted to be an actor for a few years, but I never acted or read plays. I realized it was a total fantasy.
2. What was your favourite book (picture/novel) growing up?
I loved Charlotte’s Web. I still do. It’s a beautifully written book. And sooooo sad.
3. Are you like any of the characters in your books?
Like Sophie, in The Worst Thing She Ever Did, I used to have panic attacks. Writing about that was really profound for me. In The Death of Us, I see a little bit of myself in both Callie and Ivy – you’ll have to see if you can figure out in what way!
4. Do you have a special hideout where you like to write?
I sneak out the house and go to cafes sometimes. I put in headphones and write, write, write. Or I listen to the conversations of people sitting near me and secretly find inspiration. My main character in my next novel is a singer/songwriter, so I’m listening to loads of great music. It’s less about the place for me and much more about what I can hear.
5. What is your favourite, or the most rewarding, thing about being a teen author?
Great question. I love seeing all the YA bloggers out there. There are amazing passionate readers on the internet, who give frank, honest opinions about the books they read. Getting a great review from one of them is very rewarding. But even better than that is when a teenager comes up to me and tells me that one of my books got them reading again – books have been such a mainstay of my life that it feels good to open that door for a potential reader to discover the world of books.
6. Who is your favourite teacher in a book/movie/tv show and why?
Miss. Honey was such a sweetheart in Matilda, by Roald Dahl. But it was Agatha Trunchbull – the crazy headmistress – who stuck in my mind. What a great character to write!
7. Who was your favourite teacher or librarian while growing up?
A teacher really inspired me when I was at Sydenham High School. His name was Mr. Jope. He got us to write a novel when we were only about eleven or twelve and that experience stayed with me.
8. In your opinion, what makes a good story?
I think the main character has to grow or change during a great story. In that change, the story lies. If the character stays static and unaffected by a narrative, then the story is only an anecdote. Steven Galloway taught me that – he’s a writer who lives in Vancouver and I was at a workshop with him when I was writing Life on the Refrigerator Door. I credit him with helping me shift from unpublished to published writer and it was basically that idea about characters changing that got me there.