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.

November 1998


Hi, K.A.. First of all, I just want to say that your books are TOTALLY awesome. I have read every Animorphs book printed. I visit this web site every day. I have a few questions (Please try to answer specifically.)
1. How should we picture the Animorphs? How they look on the T.V. show, or on the covers of the books?
2. What book will the Animorphs morph Yeerks?
3. What book will they meet the B.R.E.?
I bet these questions never get posted. Because if they do, I will TOTALLY FREAK!
Your (probably millionth) #1 fan,
P.S. I just want to say that you put a lot of feeling into your books.

Hi, Dan:
1) I know sometimes a cover picture or a TV actor's image makes it hard for you (or me) to hold onto the images you had in your head. But a book takes place in your head. In your imagination. So the "true" image of Jake or Cassie or Ax is whatever you think it is.
2) Hmm, I'm trying to remember the number, but I can't. I know it's a Cassie book, though.
3) #26. The long-awaited Big Red Eye will make his appearance.


Dear K.A. Applegate,
I am a very big fan of Animorphs. My brother, when he was only in fourth grade, got me hooked on them. I was in seventh grade at the time. I've been reading your books since then. Now I am in the ninth grade and I am still reading your books. I think they're great! My friend is hooked on them too. She borrows my books and my brother's books (we sometimes buy each other the books. We'll alternate on who spends our allowances on the books. Usually it's me, since I don't have the patience to wait for my lazy brother to buy them! I can't wait to read the next one.) You know what? I think that the other Animorphs readers must be very close readers if they ever found mistakes in any of your books. There was one girl, who's letter I've read at the webpage, and she said something about the Animorphs getting money for Taco Bell. That was something I totally overlooked. That was strange though...How the kids got money when they were flies...They're very good readers. I have not yet purchased the Hork-Bajir Chronicles. Are they about the lives of the two Hork-Bajir that the Animorphs have rescued? I've noticed that some of the Animorphs fans wants a Yeerk, Pemalite, or Leeran Chronicles. Would you ever write books on these aliens? In my opinion, I think there should be another book on aliens who we've not heard much about. We know that the Yeerks enslave sentient species, the Pemalites are extinct, but I think we should hear more about them. Or maybe other aliens who have been enslaved by the Yeerks. Like maybe the Gedds. Because I want to know what they're feeling when they were enslaved by the Yeerks. OK here's the question part. I was just sort of babbling for the first few paragraphs. Sorry! I underlined the main questions.
1) How do you come up with the names Andalite, Gedd, Yeerk, etc? And the other names like the Yeerk name, Aftran or Andalite name, Elfangor? Any other names? I think they're cool!
2) I know this may sound funny, but are the pictures of the Animorphs, on your books, real people? Like I said, it sounds funny, but I think the guys are pretty cute on some covers. Like Jake and Tobias on #3 (The Encounter). Hehe. My friend, also in ninth grade, and I like Tobias from the Animorphs series on TV.
Thanks for taking the time out to read my letter!
Age: 14

Hi, Laura:
I do make mistakes from time to time, I'm afraid. I try not to, but on the other hand, it can be kind of a game for readers: find the KASU. The Katherine Applegate Screw Up.
1) For names I mostly just babble till I get a sound I like. Sometimes this results in words that seem to derive from, or at least evoke, real words. "Visser" is a sort of combination of 'vicious' and 'vizier' and 'visceral.'
2) Yes, as I understand it, there are real people who work as cover models. So somewhere out there is a 'real' Jake or Tobias, waiting to meet you.


Dear K.A.A.
Do you/ have you/ or would you ever consider using ideas that people give you? Or do you like to keep the ideas original?

Hi, Josie:
I am actually kind of allergic to using any ideas but my own. The one time I recall using a specific idea was in the repeated fan requests for female Andalites. So I do listen to fan suggestions. But I sort of reflexively refuse ideas offered by non-fans, editors for example. Sometimes that's stupid because they may be good ideas. But coming up with ideas is the fun and easy part of writing. So I figure why should I let someone else do the fun, easy part and stick me with the hard work of actual writing?


Hey! I really love your books. My mom always groans when I ask her to buy me some. She thinks I should read Dickens. Yeah, right! Here are my dumb questions:
1. If Andalites eat by absorbing nutrients through the grass, then why in book number 14 do they have waste disposal modules? I mean, there is no raw material to be eliminated after the nutrients were extracted, because that�done outside the body my the hooves. Hey, I told you it was a stupid question.
2. In number 20, when David sends the e-mail from AOL, and Marco is there, why doesn't Marco just Unsend the mail? In the mail center, you can look at sent mail and unsend it. why doesn't he do that? Anyway, thank you for taking the time to answer my dumb, annoying questions. You are a great writer of children's books.
Your Fan

Hi, Pete:
Glad to see you're focusing on the important things like Andalite bathroom habits.
1) Andalite hooves essentially function as small mouths, with limited digestive capacities. They pass essential nutrients up for distribution throughout the body. But even efficiently processed nutrients retain some mass. And the mass has to come out somewhere.
2) For the very excellent reason that Marco wasn't using AOL, just a service that bore a remarkable resemblance to AOL. Also because I didn't know there was an unsend capability till recently. Incidentally, I agree with your mom. You should read Animorphs, but you should also read other things. Dickens, for example. Or Jules Verne, the Grandaddy of Science Fiction. Or the mighty J.R.R. Tolkien. As a personal favor to me, try reading the Lord of the Rings by Tolkien.


Dear K.A,
You have probably been hearing this question for a long time but-
1.When are you going to have a Animorphs Video Game. I can see it now. You have a list on what episode you want. Then you get to go threw that book episode. You get to choose what morph you want, when to morph it. It would be cool!
2.When are you going to have the Animorphs Action Figures. It would be cool. I would love to collect them all. I would travel to another state to get one. It will like one of those beast wars kind of thing.
3. Now I don' t want you to do the whole thing in one year. But when are you going to make Animorphs Comics! I love comics! It would be cool if you made a comic book series.
I know you have other letters to look at so that all folks. Please put this on Ask Kathine A. Applegate. Thank you!
Animorphs Pro- Race Bandack

Hi, Bandack:
1) I think there's already some kind of deal to produce an Animorphs video game, but I imagine it'll take a while for that to happen.
2) I know for a fact that Hasbro will be producing an Animorphs line of Transformers, which I personally think is very cool. You know, when I first started writing Animorphs a friend of mine predicted there'd be Animorphs action figures. I thought he was crazy. Guess not.
3) I'd love to see Animorphs comics, but I don't personally control that kind of stuff.


Dear K.A.,
I have more of a suggestion than a question. I think Ax should get a combat morph because sooner or later the Yeerks should notice that the only one of the "Andalite Bandits" that they have ever seen. Visser Three isn't a fool. He would start to think <Hey, I wonder why whenever there is a fight, one particular Andalite is never in morph. If he could fight without morphing so could the others. He'll snap his fingers and say, They must be humans and they don't want us to find out!>
Just a thought,

You know, Eric, that's a very good point. I'm going to have to deal with that issue in some future book.


Dear KAA,
Hi! I'm Ultramorpher. My real name will be unknown. But! My nickname's Jay. Here are my three qonderful questions for you:
1) Would you want someone to write another series based on what happens after the last Animorphs book?
2) How do you get ideas for Animorphs? I mean, some things are really really hard to imagine that someone just thought up.
And finally
3) Do you think you could like put short Animorph fan fictions at the back of the Animorph books. Like a contest. Well, that's it!
-Ultra the Morpher
P.S. Will you ever ask a kid to help you write an Animorph book?
P.P.S. Do you ever plan on the Animorphs on meeting someone from other Scholastic books?
P.P.S.S. sorry bout the P.S.s!

Hi, Jay:
1) Boy, I don't know about continuing Animorphs that way. Truth is we're going to hit more than 60 books, at least, and it's just hard to think that far into the future. I mean, sooner or later the kids are going to have to go to college and get jobs and get married if we keep this going too long.
2) You're asking me on a bad day. I'm having a hard time with my current book and frankly I'm starting to wonder myself where I get ideas from. About every tenth or twelfth book I feel like that's it, I'm burned out, nothing left in my brain, time to retire. But then the next book will be easier and I'll feel better.
3) I think that'd be great.
PS) Could be. I don't know, maybe if someone had the talent.
PPS) You mean like Marco goes out with Kristy from the Babysitters Club? Or R.L. Stine's newest monster is . . . an Andalite? Or Rachel gets into a fight with one of the Teletubbies? Hmmm . . . Rachel in grizzly bear morph versus Tinky Winky and his big red purse. Could be cool.
PPPS) No more PS'!


Dear K.A.
I love your books! If you could answer these questions for me I would be very happy:
1) How many Animorph books do you estamate you will write?
2) Can the Animorphs morph other people too? If so, can they morph each other?
3) How do Andilites get their nutrition if they don't eat?
Please write more books. I love them!

Hi, Susan:
1) It looks like I'm going to sign up for a total of 30 books beyond the thirty-five I'm already committed to. I think what this means is that I'll be doing regular Animorphs up through #54, and a number of Chronicles and Megamorphs books as well. Seems like an awful lot.
2) Yes, they can morph people, and they have done so.
3) Andalites get their nutrition the same way most kids do: from Pop Tarts.
Actually, Andalites do eat, they simply do it through their hooves.


Hey K,
I've got some questions for ya.
1.If the Chee are so advanced but can't fight the Yeerks how come they don't just give the animorphs their technology?
2.why don't the animorphs go back to the dome ship and look around? Maybe they could find some hand-held shredders there or even a profile on Elfangor's BIG JOURNEY.
3. Which book will Tobias find out about Ax and Elfangor being his family?
I know I'm supposed to limit it to 3 questions but PLEEEEASE tell me is Tobias's mother still alive?
Fan for Life,

Hi, Geck:
1) A gift of technology that could be used for weapons is not exactly a neutral, non-violent act. If some country gave an enemy of our country a nuclear weapon that was then used on us I think we'd consider the weapons- provider to have committed a violent act.
2) Hmmm. An interesting idea. The Dome was flooded, as you may recall, but maybe parts of it are intact.
3) Book #23
3A) Nope, I'm not telling.


I got questions for ya,(like everyone else!).
(1)Why is Animorph tv show different from the books?
(2)You morph by using DNA right? So were does the Andalte morphing technology go into, DNA or your bloodstream? see ya, can't tell ya my name or I'll do as Marco said "do the dissappering act"!

Hi, No-name:
1) Although the TV series is based on my books, I am not directly involved with the show's production and do not have the answers to why certain details need to be changed.
2) The morphing technology affects the body at the level of the sub-atomic particles.
Hah! Didn't think I'd have an answer for that, did you?


HI K.A.,
I am one (of many) of your biggest fans! I have read every one of your books at least 5 times each! I would read The Andilite Chronicles, if I could find them. I have written, I have yet to count, tons of letters to you, and I can understand that you have other letters to answer, I just am soooo fascinated with your books and where you get your ideas! I just plain old find it amazing that someone could have such a great imagination! Oh, yah, here are my questions.
1. Will Tobias ask Rachel out? (I figured that she must really like him, and the other way around, since in book#1 he landed on her shoulder and she rubbed her head against him.)
2. In The Change Tobias broke his wing, morphed, un morphed, then his wing was fine. But in Time of the Dinosaurs, Tobias broke his wing, morphed, un morphed, and screamed bloody murder 'cause his wing was still broken.
3. Will Jake ever kiss Cassie?
Pah-leese anwser these questions!!!
-Sunny G.

Hi, Sunny:
Sorry you haven't gotten more answers. I have my own assistant working on fan mail now so I hope to answer more letters. The Scholastic people do a tremendous job but they do have an awful lot of letters to deal with.
1) Ah, a romantic. The answer is . . . probably.
2) That's what's known as KASU: Katherine Applegate Screws Up.
3) Probably.

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

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