According to K.A. Applegate

These were monthly columns that were held by Scholastic. Fans would send in questions to K.A. Applegate, and the Official Website would post them at the end of month with K.A's reply. Fans could either send their letters to K.A through an email form or through snail mail at:

K.A. Applegate, c/o Scholastic, 555 Broadway, New York, N.Y., 10012.

July 1998


Dear K.A.,
You are my idol! I love the Animorphs, I have since the beginning--before the shirts, the web site, even before anyone else had heard of them! I have a few burning questions to ask:
- Do you drink coffee?
- Will Tobias and Ax ever find out that they were related?
- Have you ever considered going on a book tour? (I would love to see you in person!)
PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE put this on the forum!! Please also note that I'm usually less frantic and am not a maniac. (As far as I know)
-- Eve

1) Do I drink coffee? Every square foot of my carpet has a coffee stain. I drink French roast, black.
2) Quite possibly, and fairly soon, too.
3) Well, no one has asked me to, possibly because they are afraid I'd say no. I guess you could say I'm very private by nature. I am flattered that people like my work, but I'm kind of uncomfortable with the idea of being a public figure. I like being able to go into a bookstore without being recognized. In this day and age (wow, do I sound old!) it's just sort of assumed that you must want to be famous, must want to be on TV and so on. But I just find that idea very odd. To me, privacy is precious and rare, and I don't want to trade that for something as empty as celebrity. I don't want to have to dress up and play a role every time I go out in public lest someone recognize me and think I'm a disappointment. I want to be able to cut someone off in traffic without them recognizing me. I want to be my usual self.
I do wish I could get out and meet actual readers, the kids who love what I write, because I think Animorphs readers are people of intelligence and imagination. But playing the big author is a trap. You step over that line and you have a hard time ever stepping back.


Dear K.A. Applegate,
I love your books. I visit your website every day, and love the variety of characters in the book. But I have a question: will the Animorphs ever come in contact with the council of thirteen?
-- Alliance64

Oooh, you are a fan. There's what, like one reference to the Council of Thirteen? Maybe two? I don't have any plans for the Council at present, but now that you've reminded me, I'll see about working them in some day.


Dear K.A.,
I just wanted to say I love the books. I am 24 and enjoy reading them. I especially like the morphings - it is a way to learn about how each animal acts and how their senses and instincts work. Do you do any research on these animals to make the morphingas accurate? I have an animal suggestion for you. Try a cougar. Keep writing and I'll keep reading
-- Heather

I do less research than I'd like. I have basically a month for each book so my research has to be fast and efficient rather than in-depth and complete. I try to get a few basic facts, especially having to do with the sensory capabilities of the animal; then I use imagination for the rest. I wish I could spend a year researching each animal. Or even a lifetime. Jane Goodall is one of my heroes.


Dear K.A. Applegate,
Hi. I just had to ask this, because I've been wondering about this a lot. In Megamorphs 2, if the Animorphs are in a Sario Rip, couldn't they just kill themselves and snap back to the present time? I mean, Jake did that in The Forgotten, didn't he?
-- Harrishawk2000

Well, maybe, but it's not the kind of thing you'd want to guess about, is it? Too late to change your mind if you're wrong.
And one correction: Jake did not kill himself in The Forgotten. He lost a fight for life, he didn't surrender to death. Big difference. One way you're a hero, the other way you're just a fool.


Dear K.A.,
What does Rachel wear for Halloween?
-- RSutter

I'm thinking straight black wig, leather dress, sword and chakram. She'd go as Xena, just to shock Marco.


Dear K.A.,
My son loves your books. Are you going to continue writing this series of books, or are you planning to create another series of books. As a teacher in the field of Special Education, these books are the first books some of my students have ever read. I sincerely hope to be able to read more of your books in the future. Thanks for your time
-- Barbara

Thanks, that's very nice to hear.
Well, as of this moment, I am signed up to write up through #30 in the regular books, plus six more "long form" books like the Chronicles and Megamorphs. But I imagine there will be more of the regular books beyond #30, too.
I am working on another series, as well. I figure if R.L. Stine can have Goosebumps and Fear Street, why shouldn't I have two series? After all, in the world of series, he is the Godfather.


Dear K.A.,
I really liked MEGAMORPHS 2! It was a very good book and me and my friends loved it. My favorite part was when they morphed a T- rex and busted into the the nesk base to find that little nuke of theirs. It was cool when the asteroid or comet was going to hit earth. That part had allot of suspense. I liked the part when you described the death of the dinosaurs as like a tape on fast forward. I have a few questions.
1. What happend to the Mercora?
2. What happened to the nesk?
I liked that note Tobias wrote -- you should have a note like that in every book.

1) In my own mind the few survivors of the Mercora devolved drastically and eventually became crabs. Fortunately, drawn butter was later invented to give meaning to their lives.
2) Eventually they, too, devolved, becoming indistinguishable from ants.
3) Thanks, but the only reason I had to write the note was that I was playing a bit fast and loose with the old research. Something I try to avoid.


Hello K.A.,
I would like to say something about something in Megamorphs #2. The part when Cassie said dolphins have souls, or it could be some DNA characteristics. Well, why would ONLY humans have souls? Is it odd that only one animal has them? Why cant they all have them? Is it because we have religion? I am curious as to your point on this issue.
Your #1 fan (I can prove it)

Great question, but I think I'll let the characters speak on this, and not intrude my own opinions.


Hello K.A. Applegate.
I am one of your biggest fans. I just love reading your books. Anyways I have a few questions for you. 1. What happens to the Time Matrix.
2. Why was Elfangor-Sirinial-Shamtur looking for the Time Matrix anyways, because it said in the Andalite Chronicles that he came to earth looking for it.
3. Will someone find the Matrix.
Well thats all the questions I have, please write back and answer me.
Your Biggest fan, Chris

1) It may just possibly show up in a future book.
2) Excellent question, and one that no one has asked before. Maybe Elfangor was planning to use the Time Matrix to save Earth? Or maybe, just maybe, he regretted his decision to leave his one true love and return to the war.
3) Could be. Could very well be. Or else, it may reappear because of the actions of someone else. That would be one of those things I can't give away.


Your graphics artists/cover artists/whatever they are called, are doing a great job.
1. I was wondering, do they use a graphics morphing program or do they do the morphs by freehand?
2. When you decided to "stop wasting time" and become a writer, how did you start? Did you submit a draft to a publisher?
-- Marvin
PS. You are also doing a great job. Thanks for taking time for kids (writing/responding/involving/etc.)

1) I totally agree. I love seeing each new cover. But I have no idea how they do their work.
2) As mentioned in an earlier question, I started by writing quizzes for magazines. I also did a couple of romance novels, then began to ghost-write for Sweet Valley Twins. Eventually I was asked to do my own series. I had already written about 100 books before I started Animorphs. And yes, on Animorphs I sent a letter, a series "bible", and three sample chapters to Scholastic. I told them I thought it was "a really cool idea." They agreed.


Hi K.A.,
My name is Franchelle. I'm 12, going on 13, from Puerto Rico. I enjoy reading your books, they are great!!! I had never heard of the ANIMORPHS until last year, when my mom had bought book #2: The Visitor, knowing I love to read, and ever since, I'm addicted to your books. Congratulations, because there are few writers who know how to impress the readers, and describe in such detail what is going on in the book. Also, thank you, because most of the books I read are mystery, and I like the combination of suspense, action, aliens, sadness, and a whole lot of feelings I find in your books.

Thank you very much and, by the way, thanks to your mom, too. --KAA


Hi K.A! I'm one of your GREATEST fans from Singapore. I have 2 questions to ask you.
1) Tobias never learned to morph clothing, and clothing isn't available in the woods, so how did he go to the prize-giving in #13? (YUCK!)
2) When they returned from Leera, did they still have they're Leeran morphs?
Thanks alot!
--Kenneth*** (The yeerks are among us!)
P.S: The Animorphs were on a ship to SINGAPORE in book #4???!!! What ship was THAT???!!! ( I am NOT going to faint. I am NOT going to faint.............)

1) I'm hoping that Jake or Marco loaned Tobias something to wear. Otherwise there might have been kind of a scene. And later, of course, Tobias did learn to handle the whole clothing situation.
2) Yep, we still have the Leeran morphs.


Dear K.A.,
I just finished reading #18 The Decision. I just was wondering what host Visser Four lived in (infested).
-- Anne

Good question. I don't know.


Dear K.A.,
At the end of Megamorphs 2, the Animorphs couldn't morph into any of the dinosaurs. I mean, why not? I know in The Forgotten, Jake was in 2 different bodies, and there was practically only one conscious mind, but in Megamorphs 2, they were in the same body the whole time. How come they couldn't morph into dinos?
-- Josie

Well, if you read very carefully you'll see that I weaseled out . . . er, explained all that by saying simply that it was something only Ax could explain. Human science is simply too primitive to be able to explain the complexities of it all.


Dear K.A.,
G'day! My name's Amy and I'm one of your many Australian fans. My friend and I have an Idea for your books. Why doesn't Marco actually get a girlfriend and he spends less and less time with the Animorphs. Then one day she and Marco (that sounds sick, doesn't it!) go for a walk in the Forest and they see Ax in his true form! And that's not all. I think that the girl should turn out to be a female Andalite stuck in human morph who used to know Ax! Please consider our idea. While I'm here I guess I'll ask some questions.
R> 1. Are you a millionaire? 2. How did your writing career start? (My Friend and I want to write, too!!!)
3. What do you have planned for the Future of Animorphs?
4. Could you PLEASE tell Scholastic to hurry up with the shipping? I mean we just got number 15!!!!!!
5. Last but not least, How did you become the most imaginative, the most interesting, the coolest writer on planet Earth?!!!!!!
Thanks sooooooooo much. Please, Please,PLEASE answer this letter. The last thing I'll say is... ANIMORPHS RULE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
-- From Amy

I have a question for you: with such an excellent imagination, why aren't you writing your own books?
1) Millionaire? Hah! I'm a billionaire. I am the richest woman in the world! My maid's name is Rockefeller. Bill Gates mows my lawn! I . . .well, no, I'm not really rich. I make a comfortable living.
2) I actually started off writing personality quizzes for YM magazine. You know, "Are you a procrastinator? Take this quiz and find out!" Kind of shows you what quizzes are worth, eh? I know nothing about psychology. Then I moved on to romance novels.
3) If I told you it wouldn't be a surprise, now, would it?
4) As I'm sure you understand, Scholastic ships to Australia only by canoe, and they are paddling as fast as they can.
5) (Blush.)


Dear K.A.,
Can Ax swim?
-- Your number one fan since the very begining, Samantha

Hey, I don't know. Let's throw him in the deep end of the pool and see.


Dear K.A.,
1. Why do you have enough time to answer all this e-mail?
2. Are the Animorphs ever going to beat the Yeerks?
3. Are the Andalites going to come to earth?
4. How many Animorphs books are there going to be?
5. Why are the Yeerks ranked?
6. Why does Visser Three get an Andalite host?
-- aximillie-egrrosth-isthl

1) I don't answer it all, just a few letters.
2) How can I tell you that without ruining all the fun?
3) See above.
4) I don't know yet. At least 38 or so, probably more.
5) I guess it's an easy way for them to keep track of who bosses who.
6) Well, he acquired the Andalite host to begin with, so I guess the Yeerk powers that be let him keep it.


Dear K.A.,
I was wondering: If the animorphs acquired a controller, would they be acquiring the Yeerk too? Is zone 91 like area 51?
-- Robert

No. A Yeerk is a parasite and its DNA is separate from the DNA of the host. Is Zone 91 like Area 51? Well. . . similar.


Dear K.A.,
My friend and I have been thinking (wow). We put a few clues together as to where the Animorphs live and we came up with Portland, Oregon. We were wondering if we're right. And finally, why don't the Yeerks just do an all out invasion instead of trying to act normal?

Now, do you really think I am ever, ever, EVER going to reveal the highly secret location of the Animorphs? As for an all-out invasion, you need to remember that the Yeerks are a parasite species, not predators. They don't want to kill humans, they want to infest them. So an all-out war would be counter-productive. Humans do have the ability to defend themselves, after all. Maybe we wouldn't win, but it would be messy before we lost.


Dear Ms. Applegate,
I have read all your books. Once I read one book, I couldn't stop. Everybody thought that Animorphs were dull, but since I've been reading your books, I have been getting B+s on my reading skills. You got me hooked on reading and now my mom is really happy that I am reading. I can't wait until I get all the series of Animorphs and Megamorphs. My teacher tells me that Animorphs are confusing to her, but I don't think so. Keep writing your books. I am one of your biggest fans.
K.C. Lee

I am always happy to learn that ANIMORPHS is getting people interested in reading. Reading is the best thing in the world. There are tens of thousands of great books, by thousands of great authors. If you spent every waking minute of your day doing nothing but reading, you would not scratch the surface of all the excellent books in the world. As opposed to TV, where, let's face it, the good stuff amounts to about five hours a week.


Our names are Christopher and Sarah, and we have read all the Animorph books so far (except #19 and Megamorphs #2, because they aren't in our bookstore yet). Here are some questions for you. Please reply.
1. You know how if the Animorphs were hurt in their regular bodies, they could morph into an animal and then morph back into a human their injuries would be gone, right? Well, could'nt Elfangor have done the same thing? Then he would still be alive.
2. Is Tom ever set free?
3. Are the Andalites ever going to return to earth?
-- Linda

Christoper, Sarah and Linda:
1) Hmmmm.
2) Don't know yet.
3) Also don't know yet. But I'm an optimist. Plus, I've seen a future issue of TV Guide and it seems the Andalite ambassador is booked on Larry King Live. (Kidding.)


Dear K.A.
I'm confused. In Animorphs #1 Elafangor's fighter crashed and Visser 3 ate him. But in #7, Elfangor and Ax are on the dome ship together. I thought Elfangor was dead.
a big fan!!!!!

Big Fan:
I believe you are referring to a flashback. That's when we step back in time and see a scene we may or may not have seen previously.


Dear oh almighty KA,
First of all, I totally looooooooooove your series! My questions are:
1. What's YOUR favorite book, or do you like them all, like me?
2. Who is your favorite character?
3. How big is a baby Hork-Bajir when it is born?
4. WHEN will an ANIMORPH morph Ax?
5. What are your favorite morphs?
6. I love your books!!!!!!!!! ( sorry, that's not a question )
7. Do you have to collect a lot of info on the animals that they morph?
8. Wwhat is your favorite species of alien to write about?
9. Are Cassie and Jake ever going to go on a date or something???
10. And finally, if I'm addicted to your books, is there anything wrong with me?
--another of your fast multiplying #1 fans
BirdGirl (fav. character, take a wild guess!)
P.S.the yeerks are out there, sssssssssshhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!

Bird Girl:
Wow, ten questions, huh? Do you grade on the curve?
1) At the moment, I am pretty proud of HORK-BAJIR CHRONICLES (which isn't out yet.) I started off thinking it would stink and be impossible to write. But by the time I was done, I was pretty pleased with myself. It was very heavy and serious. But I also tend to like the silly books no one else likes, such as the Zone 91 book, or the one I just finished, #24, which is totally idiotic and fun.
2) I have a favorite to write, which is Marco. He's easy to write. Jake is hard to write. But that doesn't make one my favorite. I guess I'm especially fond of Tobias and Cassie because I think they are more fully rounded. But this changes every month, depending on my mood.
3) 18 pounds, two ounces.
4) Eventually.
5) I still love the raptors, the hawks and eagles. Also the dolphins. And, weirdly enough, the flies.
6) Thanks.
7) I wish I had time to do a lot more research because it's so fun. I do as much as I can and then add a bit of imagination.
8) Naturally, I'm fond of Andalites. I also like a new species I just invented for book #24 (not out yet) called Helmacrons. They are completely moronic.
9) They are very, very busy people.
10) Hah hah, nothing wrong with you, kid. Now, if you were addicted to GOOSEBUMPS, then, sure, that'd be serious. (Kidding.)

According to K.A. Applegate
1998 - [ June, July, Aug, Sept, Oct, Nov, Dec ]

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