Just over a week ago a beautiful picture arrived in my mailbox from Erik one of the new kids on the block in the 12x12in12 writers group headed by Julie Hedlund. I had won the gorgeous illustration by Lindsay Barrett George the author/illustrator of “That Pup” in a giveaway comment competition on Erik’s Blog. Isn’t it gorgeous?
Through emails, I found Erik to be quite something. I found him considerate, interesting, thoughtful, well mannered, witty and charming. Naturally after he gave me such a lovely mention on his blog linking mine to his, I just had to ask if he would be interested in doing an interview with me. Over the ensuing week I thoroughly enjoyed my interaction with him and so….. I was going to hold off for another day or two but I am so excited and delighted I couldn’t wait any longer, in introducing you to our youngest blogger….
ERIK! .. This Kid Reviews Books
Question 1…You mentioned on Tara’s website back in November how you came to have a blog and I wondered if you would mind briefly enlightening us about that…?
Erik: I got the idea to do reviews when my grandmom told me that a kid (a stranger) in a book store told her to get me “The Strange Case of Origami Yoda”. He said I would like it, so she bought it. It is a good book and I did like it! I thought that if my grandmom would take the advice of a kid maybe “this kid” (me) could help other kids and grown-ups looking for books. Plus I really love to read and I wanted to talk to more people about books. I wanted to write for a newspaper but my Dad suggested that a blog would be a good idea. My parents helped me learn how to set the blog up and I wrote my first post in January of 2011.
Question 2… You mentioned on your blog that you actually met Lindsay Barrett George the author/illustrator of “That Pup”. What’s it like actually meeting and interviewing authors…. I imagine it’s quite exciting and I have only done email interviews so far?
Erik: I am actually really nervous before I meet an author, but when I start talking to him or her I get less nervous. Just being at book signings and going to them is pretty exciting for me. I usually read one or more of the author’s books and go to their website before going to a signing or asking for an interview and I make my questions up before time. One time I went to the book launch party for “The Throne of Fire” by Rick Riordan (my favourite author). I had a lot of time to make my questions up (we had a long drive and a long time to wait in line). When it was my turn, Mr. Riordan asked me if I had any questions for him and I was so nervous I FORGOT THEM ALL and just got my book signed!! I did give Mr. Riordan my blog address and told him I was going to blog about the event. When I did the post I put the questions I didn’t get to ask him in it and Mr. Riordan must have seen them because he actually answered one of them on his blog under “the best question never asked”! I really like hearing what authors have to say about their books and how they got the ideas to write their books. Every author I have ever talked to has been very nice.
Question 3… Now I think everyone will laugh at me here, but then I think a few will be just as gob-smacked as I was when viewing your blog….. You just celebrated your 10th Birthday… that’s right folks 10! A very impressive blog I might add, your reviews are intriguing, thoughtful, well produced and researched …. Do you get any help with your posts/write-ups at all?
Erik: Thank you for the nice compliments! Yes, I am ten years old. People ask me that a lot; even when people meet me in person (I look older than I am). I do go through a couple drafts when I write all of my posts and reviews. The thing I wrote for Ms. Lazar’s PiBoIdMo literally took me all month to do. My parents do help me and I appreciate it. I’ll show them what I write and they will tell me if something doesn’t make sense or suggest that I re-write parts. They also make sure everything that has to do with my blog is kid-friendly and helped me learn how to set-up and run my blog. They drive me to the events I want to go to (not all of them, but a lot) and if there is something I want to learn about, they make sure I can find it. I get a lot of ideas from reading other people’s blogs (like yours J ) and people are really helpful to me when I ask questions. Author Michelle Isenhoff has helped me with learning about punctuation when writing conversations when I was writing my book. One thing that has helped me a lot with writing my blog is something my fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Deitrich, taught me about; hamburger paragraphs. If you don’t know what that is, it is a way of making a good paragraph. I took the hamburger and made it into a formula for my reviews (*hint* if you look at my reviews they pretty much follow the same formula). For my reviews I have 2 hamburgers, one for the story summary and one for my opinion.
(Here’s my story summary hamburger if you think it helps you can use it)
Question 4.…I believe, reading back on your blog, that you are starting a draft on your second book, following “The Adventures of Tomato and the Pea” (your first), can you give us an overview of what that one is about, and you also are talking about self publishing it… will you take us on that journey so we to, may learn from you?
Erik: THAT’S A GOOD IDEA! I never thought about blogging about trying to self-publish my book. I think I will (if it is OK to steal your idea –I’ll give you credit)!
Thank you for asking me about my book. The story I wrote, “The Adventures of Tomato and Pea,” was for an end of year project for the enriched program I am in at school. When I wrote it, I really liked the story and I added to it. Then decided I really liked it and added more and more to it over the summer. It finally became a book. Here’s what it is about; Tomato is Oarg’s greatest crime-stopper (Pea is his sidekick). Wintergreen and his gang have been trying to get rid of Tomato and his friends and take over Oarg for years. In a plan gone bad, Wintergreen and his gang and Tomato and is friends, get caught in a rocket ship and crash land on a strange planet called EAR-TH. The story follows the fighting bunch of aliens on EAR-TH as they try to get along and survive on the strange planet.
Question 5… I am sorry for asking so many questions, but I am so enjoying this and I could not let you go without asking you if you could finish up by giving us some advice from a teens point of view, what do you think would be a magic ingredient for writing the perfect book, for kids today?
Erik: I don’t know if it would be “perfect” for everyone but what I think a good book is, is a really good story but mixed with a little humor and a lot of adventure. I want to like one of the characters a lot. It doesn’t even have to be the main character, but I want him or her to be someone I want to be like or be friends with. I hope that makes sense.
Thank you for asking me to do this!
Erik, the pleasure is all mine.
I can just see my fellow writers making notes on your Hamburger analogy here and we did have some fun getting it to my blog, didn’t we! We would love for you to keep us informed on how you go about your self publishing venture, it would be fun to follow you on that, so no worries there.
I think I speak for many when I say, good luck in your writing and blogging and in the 12x12in12 challenge, we are enjoying having you along for the ride.
Thanks again Erik ……. your Kiwi chum
You can check out Erik’s blog here……http://thiskidreviewsbooks.com/