Another Interview with Picture Book Author, Karen Kaufman Orloff
Today, I'd like to welcome another writer friend, Karen Kaufman Orloff and her main character, Alex. Alex's new story, I Wanna Go Home, will be released on September 25th.
Karen is an author of eight books for children, including the "I Wanna" series, from G.P. Putnam ("I Wanna Iguana," "I Wanna New Room," I Wanna Go Home.") Her other books include, "Talk,Oscar, Please," "If Mom Had Three Arms,"(both from Sterling) and three interactive "Nightlight Detective" mysteries from Peter Pauper Press.
Gayle: Hi Karen. Glad you could stop by with Alex. Karen:Thanks for having us, Gail!
Hi, folks. My name is Karen Kaufman Orloff and this is Alex, the letter writer extraordinaire from “I Wanna Iguana,” “I Wanna New Room,” and the newest book, “I Wanna Go Home.”
ALEX: Hi, everyone!
Karen: Alex, you seem to be very prolific with your letter writing.
ALEX: What does that mean?
Karen: Well, just that for a boy your age, you write an awful lot of letters! Why do you like to write letters… ALEX: And emails. Don’t forget the emails from “I Wanna Go Home.”
Karen: Yes, sorry. And emails. Why do you like to write so many letters and emails? ALEX: Glad you asked! People may think it’s because I’m kind of shy and don’t like to talk, but it’s actually because when I write stuff down, I can say exactly what I want to say. That sure comes in handy when I’m trying to get my parents to do something!
Karen: Hmm. Yes, I noticed that you do a lot of that – asking your parents for things.
ALEX: Yup! Like, in “I Wanna Iguana,” I asked them for an iguana, and guess what?
ALEX: I got one!
Karen: Well, good for you. I guess you always get what you want, is that right? ALEX: Nah. Not always. But sometimes, if I’m really persuasive, my parents make a compromise. Like in “I Wanna New Room,” I couldn’t get my old room back but my dad built me this neat treehouse! Karen: How about in the new book, “I Wanna Go Home?”
ALEX: Oh, yeah, well, that was sort of a different thing. See, in the beginning, I really did wanna go home! I mean, my grandparents, no offense or anything, are weird! My grandpa doesn’t have real teeth! Yikes! And Grandma is always pushing her broccoli lasagna. But after a while, I actually started having fun at their house. We did square dancing, and face painting, and I won money playing BINGO, and…
Karen: Yes, I get the idea. So, in that book, the thing you wanted – to go home – wasn’t really what you wanted at all?
ALEX: That’s right. You hit the nail on the head. I was having so much fun with the old folks, that I asked to stay for another whole week! Go figure.
Karen: So, are you saying you actually learned something about yourself, Alex?
ALEX: Yeah, okay, I guess so.
Karen: Can you tell us where to find all of your books, Alex?
ALEX: All the books can be bought online throughamazon.com, or barnesandnoble.com, and for those who live in Dutchess County, NY, please visit Merritt Books in Millbrook. They will have plenty of copies.
Karen: Great. And to conclude -- Are you planning on writing more letters and emails in the near future, Alex?
ALEX: Gee, I hope so! I kind of like being the main character in a series of books. Wouldn’t you?
Karen: I’m not sure about that! But thanks, Alex, and thanks to Gail Krause, too, for having us on her blog. ALEX: Thanks, Gail! Gayle: Thank you, Alex. And Karen, good luck with your book launch on September 25th. You can find lesson plans for the "I Wanna Books" at www.iwannabooks.com