Our blog has been taken over this morning by my 8-year-old daughter, Julia. Her favorite author, Nick Bruel, author and illustrator of the Bad Kitty series, came to her school for a book signing. As she danced around the living room, I asked if she wanted to do an interview with Mr. Bruel and she sat down to write some very important questions. (And to spare her teachers, I have corrected the spelling.)
Nick, thank you for joining us here this morning to answer the questions that are on the minds of 8-years-olds everywhere. Your Bad Kitty series is very popular and in fact, your Bad Kitty for President received the Third Grade to Fourth Grade Book of the Year Award.
I will now turn over this interview to the Bad Kitty superfan. Ok, Julia. Take it away.
How long have you been writing books?
Since I was a kid. Now, I’ve been writing books that have been PUBLISHED for about 10 years now. But just because you write a book and go through all that effort and energy and heartache, and it doesn’t happen to wind up on the shelves of your bookstore or your library doesn’t mean it’s not a book. Of course, it’s a book. It just hasn’t been published. That’s an important distinction. So, I’ve been writing books since as early as first grade.
What inspired you to write books?
Other people’s books. I try to read as many children’s books as I can. One of the secrets to being a writer is that you have to read as much as possible. It’s really the secret to all walks of life.
(Julia) How many books have you written?
14 have been published. But I can’t count the number of books I’ve written since first grade.
When did you write your first Bad Kitty book?
I started writing “Bad Kitty” back in 2003. It didn’t become an actual book you could hold until two years later in 2005.
What series of books do you like?
I absolutely love Cynthia Rylant and Arthur Howard’s “Mr. Putter and Tabby” series. For slightly older kids I’m very fond of Scieszka and Smith’s “Time Warp Trio” series. “Summer Reading is Killing Me” is a particularly wonderful book from that series.
What is your favorite book?
“The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein. It’s one of those rare books that transcends its purpose in this world beyond being just a book.
Are you married?
I am. But don’t tell my wife.
When is your birthday?
What is your favorite food?
I’m half Chinese, so I can eat Chinese food three times a day, every day of the week. If I had to pick a specific food it would be duck chow fun, a wide rice noodle dish with sliced duck. I almost never have it anymore because as much as I like duck… I like ducks – they’re neat animals, and I just can’t bring myself to eat them anymore.
Great job, Julia!
One more question before you go, when can we expect to see your next Bad Kitty story?
Look for “Bad Kitty: Drawn To Trouble” in early January. It’s the book I’ve been wanting to write for many a year now. It’s got everything – a lion, a zombie, a talking turnip, a giant octopus invasion. You name it. But more importantly, it’s my Bad Kitty book about how to write a Bad Kitty book.
Thank you Nick for joining us here today to talk about Bad Kitty.
You’re welcome. Thanks for all of the great questions.
Congratulations to the winner of the signed copy of Bad Kitty — Jessie L.
NICK BRUEL is the author and illustrator of, among other books, BAD KITTY, POOR PUPPY, BAD KITTY GETS A BATH, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BAD KITTY and BAD KITTY VS. UNCLE MURRAY. A former bookseller, Nick used his quirky sense of humor and cartooning skills to get out from behind the bookstore counter and onto the shelves. But Nick was a born writer. When he was in first grade, he loved nothing more than to write stories and make drawings to go along with them, which he still does to this day. Nick claims that, if he were to be compared to any of his characters, he would definitely be “Strange Kitty” from HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BAD KITTY. According to Nick, “I was definitely the cat who would go to a birthday party and spend the entire time sitting in the corner reading comic books, rather than participate in all the pussycat games.”
Nick lives with his wife Carina, daughter Isabel, and cat Esmerelda in Tarrytown, New York. During his down time, he collects PEZ dispensers and grows tomatoes in the backyard. For a full list of MacKids titles by Nick (much to Bad Kitty’s chagrin), visit Nick Bruel’s author page as well as the Bad Kitty Website for games and more.