Ask K.A. Applegate Q&A

Before the Official Website held it's "According to K.A" monthly Q&A sessions with the fans, Jeff Sampson from the Animorphs fan site had kept in personal touch with K.A herself by showing off his fan website to her. K.A agreed to his request of answering questions from the fans on his website. Unfortunetly, due to legal reasons, K.A soon had to stop doing this on a fan website, and it was from there that the Scholastic began holding "According to K.A" Q&A sessions once every month on the official site instead. These are the columns of questions that K.A answered to before moving to the Official Website.

Column #2

Are their going to be any other Chronicles books besides The Andalite Chronicles and the Hork-Bajir Chronicles?

Actually, we are considering something called the Visser Chronicles which would be the story of Visser One and Three. What do you think? Good idea?


Dear K.A.,
I think your books are soooooooooo great!!! I love how you narrate the books like you are a kid and not some adult impersonator. I was wondering how you get kids jokes and humour and favourites so well! I was also wondering if you could let out the little secret of where they live and how old they are. (an ongoing argument between me and my AniFriends) Thanks so much for writing my favourite books!
Your faithful fan,
Rachel AKA Exdrimi-Fresima-Midsidul

I don't know how I can sound like a kid. Maybe I'm just not very grown-up.

The more serious answer is that when you're writing you're not so much trying to sound like a kid, as you are trying to sound like a specific character. In other words, I'm trying to sound like Cassie or Jake or Rachel, each of whom just happens to be a kid. I never think "oh, I need to make this dialogue 'younger'." At most I sometimes think "hmmm, that word is out of place." I try not to ever condescend. I know sometimes the result is over the heads of some readers but I'd rather be just a little over their heads, rather than too "babyish."

I used to work as a ghostwriter for Sweet Valley Twins, and I always hated the way you had to use made-up rock stars and made-up stores and made-up TV shows. I decided that in my own series I'd try never to do that. Of course sometimes I do, as in the book (#12?) where I was pretty obviously spoofing Jonathon Taylor Thomas.

But mostly I try and stay somewhat in touch with popular culture, and I try to make references kids will actually get. I mean, if the characters are going to the mall what am I supposed to do, pretend there's no Gap? If they're listening to music why not reference anything from Hanson to Offspring? What should I do, pretend they're big Beatles fans? And if they're watching TV, why not use Buffy The Vampire Slayer, or X-Files? I like to stay as real as I can. Seems to me like the obvious thing to do.

And gee, I've rattled on and on, so I guess I just don't have time to get around to telling you where the Animorphs live.


Are you only going to do 30 books?

Honestly? I expect to sign for more Animorphs books.


Dear K. A.,
First of all, you rock! Simple as that. Now for my question: I know pretty much about the human members of the Animorphs, their families, that type of thing. But what about Ax? He is my favorite character, and almost seems like a friend. I want to know more about him. About his planet, his family, his friends. Will you ever put that type of stuff in?
Signed the #1 Animorph fan,

I may. You'll meet many more Andalites in book #18, but not members of Ax's family. However, the idea is an interesting one.

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