Saturday, February 7, 2009

Wow! ANOTHER Interview!

Hey, evryone, this is Carl. Isn't the internet great? You can do all sorts of cool things on there--play games, find out interesting stuff, and read other blogs. This last one is great because I learn about great new books through other blogs. Sometimes I get to find out about new books before they come out. That's how I found out about Mudville by Kurtis Scaletta. It sounds like a good story and Mr. Scaletta sounds like a good guy. (I was so intersted in this book that I contacted him through his website) Do you know what?? This book hasn't even come out yet!! And do you also know what? This is his FIRST BOOK!!! I wonder what it must be like to be a first-time author. Well, we're going to find out because Mr. Scaletta gave us an interview!

Could you tell us about your new book? What is it about? How did you come up with the story? How long did it take to write it?

Mudville is about a town where it’s been raining for 22 years, so a generation of kids haven’t been able to play baseball unless they drive to another town. There used to be a big baseball rivalry with the town next door, but that town has been washed off the face of the earth. When the rain finally stops, the kids decide to put a team together and stage a rematch, which is hard since most of them don’t know how to play and their rivals don’t exist anymore.

What is it like to have a book published for the first time?

It takes a while for a book to go through editing, so there’s plenty of time to get used to the idea and start fretting that it won’t be a successful book and that the publisher will regret investing in you… but when the book is actually out – just 22 more days! – I think I will be able to stop fretting for a second and just enjoy the moment.

You have another book coming out! Tell us about that one too.

I have a work in progress that will most likely come out next year. It’s about an American kid who lives in West Africa because his father is in the foreign service – that part is based on personal experience. This kid befriends a mamba, though – one of the deadliest snakes in the world – that part is definitely not based on personal experience!
What did you like to read as a boy? Did you have any favorite comics? Any favorite heroes?

My favorite writer when I was a kid was Daniel Manus Pinkwater, who wrote silly but often poignant books. My favorite comics—if I’m being honest—were Archie comics. I read crates of them. I liked Spiderman a little but didn’t really get into the superhero genre very much. My heroes were Indiana Jones and The Fonz.

Why is it cool for boys to read/write?

There’s really nothing more natural than sharing stories. Human beings have been storytellers from the first time cavemen gathered around a campfire and talked about how they caught their dinner. Whether you do it in book form or not, you listen to stories every day– you watch movies or play video games, even look at ads in comic books. They are all stories. You probably tell stories too -- you tell your buddies about your trip to Florida and maybe exaggerate a bit to make it more exciting, or you reenact your favorite scenes from a movie you saw.

Reading is just one more way to share stories, but I’ve always thought it was the best way to really get pulled into the story, and as a writer I find nothing more rewarding than making up the stories that kids can get pulled into.

What are your favorite sports? Favorite teams?

As you might guess, my favorite sport to watch is baseball. I’m a Twins fan, since I live in Minnesota. I also root for the Gopher football team and the Vikings. The only other sport I watch is golf, which I also sort of play, if you can call what I do “golfing” instead of just tearing up the golf course and cursing a lot.

Which do you like better—cheeseburgers or pizza? What do you like on them?

When it comes to guy food, my favorite is a plate of hot wings with plenty of bleu cheese to dip them in. However, if pressed to decide between the two options listed, I am not averse to a bacon cheeseburger with lettuce and tomato and a side of onion rings. In fact you’ve got me craving that now and it’s only 7:30 in the morning.
Thanks, Mr. Scaletta! The library has already ordered copies of his book, so be on the lookout for it.

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