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.

September 1999


Dear K.A.,
A hoi hoi! G'Day! I'm from Hawaii. My name is Kimberly. Or Kimi. NOOO one spells it that way. So what, I'm unique! Aaaaaaanyway, I am really hoping you FINALLY answer my questions. I send this letter everyday for more than a year. Well, here's my questions.
1. Why not make Rachel and Marco a couple? They fight like their married and they always end up on the same side in arguments, and opposites attract. Sometimes I see a few hints of them liking each other (Marco rules!!!!! Rachel too).
2. I read somewhere that you were thinkin' about adding a female character to the Animorphs crew. My name is Kimi/ that? Kimi or hair, brown eyes, *hint hint!*
3. Do you watch a lot of Xena? I do! I do! It's m' favorite show on the dear ole telly. (Callisto is better......)
4. Do you reply to people's letters when they mail you? not e-mailing.......

Hi, Kimi:
1) Funny you should mention this. Read Megamorphs #4 when it comes out.
2) If I add a female character I'll make her look just like you.
3) I used to watch Xena, but it's on at a bad time in this market.
4) I'm not going to lie, if you send me snail mail it gets answered by my fan mail person. I read the letter and sign it. If you e-mail to the Scholastic site they send it on to me and I pick a few to answer. Like I'm doing right now. As for regular e-mail, I keep my e-mail address Top Secret. And in any case I delete all mail unread unless it's from someone I know.


Dear Ms. Applegate,
I am 14 years old and in high school and I still read your Animorphs books. I am also a huge fan of Everworld. I have more of a comment than a question. I've recently read Animorphs #33 The Illusion, and I loved it. This was the best Tobias book you have ever written, and all your other books were really great. I think this book gave you a better of sense of Tobias's life, and him being able to learn about the Andalite's world was an extra spice to it. I started to read this book and I could not put it down. I am a big fan of your books and hope to be a writer myself one day. I hope this gets posted because I want people who haven't read this book to know that this is definitely a good one!

Hi, Stephen:
Thanks! I'm glad you liked #33. And glad you like EVERWORLD. Don't be self-conscious about being outside the age guidelines. That's all nonsense. They're just categories invented so the bookstores can keep things straight. I get letters from people in their 20's who love ANIMORPHS. Maybe some day, when you're a writer, you'll remember this advice: don't write "for kids." Write the story, write the characters, let the readers decide for themselves if it's for them. If you like it, you like it.


Hey K.A!
I have just two questions --
1) When one of the gang morphs something small, say, Rachel morphing her Eagle morph, the un-needed body mass floats around in Z-Space until they regain their natural form. Well... what happens when Rachel morphs her elephant morph? Surely that elephant weighs much larger than Rachel does. Where does Rachel get the extra body mass?
2) Like above, is Tobias's extra body mass still out there in Z-Space?
If you answer these questions - Thankie.
-Julie K

Hi, Julie:
I am happy to have this chance to clear up the question of body mass and zero-space. As you will see from the following equation -- 3.562>3.4x.007+(-.00001)?65@!+=}> -- I have absolutely no idea what I'm talking about. Nevertheless, let me just say that there is a fair amount of loose, unclaimed matter in zero-space, some of which is used to create the additional mass required for morphing something large. What is the source of this mass? Lost socks.


Dear K.A.
Hi. I'm writing from Australia. I hope you get this. Firstly, I would like to say that Animorphs was a great idea and I think you deserve the number of fans and readers who write to you on this Web site. I have some questions.
1. I know you work at home but do you have a boss? I mean like someone who tells you whether what you write is good enough?
2. Some have a natural talent for writing and some don't. If somebody tried really hard at writing and the natural writer didn't really care but still wrote something good, who do you think should be celebrated?
3. If the Animorphs win the Yeerk war, will everyone know it was them? I've written before but even though I was not answered, I would like to say this is a brilliant way to let kids express their thoughts.
That's my name.

Hi, True:
Cool name.
1) Well, there is my editor, and above her are the Powers That Be at Scholastic. But no, no one tells me what to write. I would consider my editors to be my partners, not my bosses.
2) My friend, that is a very good question. And probably over my head, so take what I say with a grain of salt. Let's break it down into two separate questions: (a) Which is more useful in writing, effort or talent? And, (b) Which is a virtue, effort or talent?
On question (a) my sense is that it's a matter of balance. As a rule you need both talent and effort. It may be that more talent demands less effort and less talent demands more effort. And there are always going to be people who succeed with talent alone or effort alone, but I suspect they are a tiny minority. Generally speaking the publishing world is so competitive that at least some talent is required to get anything published, and to be published well, over a long period of time, is most likely going to take a fair amount of both talent and effort.
As for part (b), I don't think accidents of DNA are laudable. I think talent is something you get along with your eye color, your height and your skin pigmentation. I don't think you can claim any particular virtue for the accident of being born with blue eyes or a musical or writing talent. You certainly can be considered virtuous for working hard to exploit your talents, or working hard to compensate for your lack of talent. (Unless it turns out that a capacity for hard work is just another accident of DNA, in which case, I don't know, call in the Philosophy professors.) So, who should you "celebrate?" Celebrate talent but know that it is an accident of birth. Don't ascribe virtue to individuals merely for possessing talent. Lots of very talented people have been rotten human beings. And celebrate effort and hard work because those are genuine virtues. But again, lots of hard working people are miserable human beings. So, to summarize this absurdly windy digression into matters I don't understand . . . If you have two books, one seems to be written by a talented but lazy writer, the other seems to be written by an untalented but hardworking writer, go find a third book. One written by a talented and hardworking writer.
3) I think yes. I'm pretty sure CNN would go wall-to-wall with the story. Ted Koppel would cover it every night for a week. Dan Rather would walk us through every battle scene along with Norman Schwarzkopf. MSNBC would force various pundits to debate the entire thing till they literally fainted from exhaustion. 60 Minutes would confront Chapman and do an interview that'd make Visser Three sweat. And of course Dateline NBC would try to find a link to Princess Diana.


I have just recently bought #6 The capture and from the beginning to chapter 5, the book was written upside down and backwards! Is this a one of a kind? Thanks!
Rachel C

Hi, Rachel:
You must have gotten the Australian version of the book. See . . . upside down? You know, down under? Australia? Hello? Is this microphone working?


Dear K.A.
1) My mom thinks it's weird that I have to leave home every few days, what should I do. (she's kidding-right?) uuuuuhhhhhh, no. AAAAHHHHHHH!
2) Do you know where the Animorphs live, town perhaps?
3) That's enough turn -- we came up with an idea of another team of "Animorphs" who got their morphing powers from the Ellimist. (can you guess who "the team" is) What do you think?
Val & Amber (can't tell you our last names -- you know the rules)

Dear Val and Amber:
1) That's right, watch the sound effects there, young ladies. A scream is "Ahhhhh!" It can be all caps, or it can be lower case, depending on the severity of the situation. "Ahhhhh!" indicates fear. "Arrggghhh!" indicates pain. "Pah-LOOSH!" is something big falling in the water. And "Thunk!" is the sound my laptop makes when it hits the wall after the software crashes yet again.
2) Yes, I do know where the Animorphs live. At home.
3) So you want to be the Animorphs 'B' team, eh? Okay, but I can't pay you much. Minimum wage, you have to work weekends, and you will have to wear a hairnet while morphing fur-bearing animals.

According to K.A. Applegate
1999 - [ Jan, Feb, March, April, May, June, July, Aug, Sept, Oct, Nov, Dec ]

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