Q: How long does it take to write and illustrate a book?
A: Every book we create is different. Some books take longer to write and illustrate than others. Heckedy Peg took two-and-one-half years to illustrate and four months to write. Silly Sally took six months to illustrate and five months to write.
Q: What’s your favorite book?
A: Our favorite book as a team so far is Heckedy Peg.
Q: Where do you get your ideas from?
A: I get my ideas in many different ways such as thinking about my life as a child, my son’s life, my life experiences as a grown-up, dreams I’ve had, daydreams, and any subject that tickles my fancy!
Q: Where do you and Don live?
A: We live in The Napping House! Don used our house as the model for the house in our book The Napping House.
Q: How old were you when you decided to become an author?
A: In the fourth grade I decided I wanted to be an author when I grew up. That’s when I started writing stories. I was not published until I was in my twenties. My first book was published in 1978.
Q: Where do you work?
A: At home! We have two studios. One big studio where we sometimes work together on projects, and two smaller separate studios.
Q: What is your work schedule?
A: We work almost every day, but we love it. Writing and illustrating books are our passions. We also take time to play. Sometimes we’ll take off on a traveling adventure that will last several weeks.
Q: Do you have teacher packs?
A: Sorry, we do not have teacher packs. That’s one of the reasons we created our web site. My suggestion to you is to go through our site and download as many pages as you like and print them out. Many teachers and parents then make a book out of the pages or display them on their walls.
Q: Where can I find biography information on Don and Audrey?
A: There is a very comprehensive set of reference books called Something About the Author. Generally, they are found behind the reference desk in your public library. Don and I are in volume fifty and I am also in volume eighty-one.
Q: In what type of environment do you prefer to write?
A: On a bench, in my bed, on a plane, in a car, with people around me or alone. When I need to write I do it no matter where I am or who’s around me.
Q: What was the bad word that Elbert spoke in the book Elbert’s Bad Word?
A: I left that to the imagination of the reader, everyone knows a bad word.
Q: I find it intriguing that you have modeled several of the young boys in your books after your son Bruce. Have any other family members been fit into your books?
A: Myself (as the mother) in Heckedy Peg, my father (as the knight) in King Bidgood’s in the Bathtub, and Don (as the witch) in Heckedy Peg.
Q: Do you make personal appearances such as lectures or book signings?
A: Only in conjunction with my publishers and while on tour.
Q: Where did the idea for your book Heckedy Peg come from?
A: Heckedy Peg was inspired by a dramatic, acting out game that children once played, dating back to the medieval ages. The game has many variations, sometimes a witch and seven children and sometimes the villain is a man, other times a fox or wolf. The witch is named Heckedy Peg and the children Monday thru Friday. It is not a very pleasant game. The children are kidnapped one-by-one while the mother is away.
Q: What was the first book that you wrote and illustrated?
A: My first book that I both wrote and illustrated was 24 Robbers. Published by the British publisher Child’s Play.
Q: What was Don’s and your first book as a team?
A: Our first book as a team was Moonflute.