Performancing Metrics

There's A Book

The 20 Question Interview with our very own Turkeybird is a new feature interview that will be happening with all of the picture book authors and poets he loves! Today the Turkeybird is actually interviewing a favorite author of his mom’s, Diane Zahler, the author of the recently released book A True Princess as well as The Thirteenth Princess. Later today she’ll be posting a review of A True Princess as well as an opportunity to win a copy, but for now sit back and enjoy an interview with a 3 year old and a fabulous author!

1. So princesses? Why princesses?
Because princesses are amazing! They get to wear fabulous dresses and shoes and go to balls. And since they’re so amazing, astonishing thing happen to them. They get spells put on them, they have tremendous adventures, they go on quests. Some of them – my princesses – find that they’re amazing in other ways, too. They learn that they are more determined than they ever knew, and very, very brave.

2. Why not princes?
There’s nothing wrong with princes — in fact, there’s a prince in A True Princess, and he’s a wonderful guy. He’s handsome, strong, and brave – but he can’t quite save the day. It takes a princess for that.

3. What’s your favorite color? (Mine’s blue!)
Mine is blue, too! The royal flags in A True Princess are blue, with a pattern of stars and moons.

4. Do you like castles?
I love castles. Whenever I travel to a place with castles, I visit them. One of my favorite places in the world is the Loire Valley in France, which is just full of castles. In fact, one of the castles there was the inspiration for the palace in my first novel, The Thirteenth Princess.

5. I’ve always wanted to see a dragon. Do you have a favorite magical animal?
I might be scared to see a dragon. They breathe fire, after all! But I’d love to see a unicorn.

6. What food do you like to eat? (I love yogurt.)
I love chocolate. There aren’t many foods I don’t like to eat, actually. Not the innards of animals so much – gizzards and kidneys and so on. I’ll eat just about anything else. But I’ll take dessert first, please! (*Insert Turkeybird: If my mom would let me, I’d eat chocolate and dessert for every meal! I agree, it’s the very best!*)

7. Do you have any kids?
I have one son. His middle name is Tycho, which is the name of the prince in A True Princess. He’s funny and smart and great – just like you!

8. How old is he?
He’s nineteen and in college now.

9. Did you ever read to him?
I read to my son for years and years – all my favorite books. It was so nice, because I hadn’t read a lot of them in a long time. I got to enjoy them all over again, and to watch him enjoy them too.

10. What is your favorite picture book to read out loud? (I love when my mom reads the Elephant and Piggie books, they’re so good!)
I love reading Where the Wild Things Are out loud. I used to run a library story hour, and it was always my favorite book to read to the kids. And of course, Goodnight Moon at bedtime.

11. My mom told me you like to go places (travel). Is there somewhere you still want to go?
Oh, so many places! I want to go on a safari in Africa to see elephants and cheetahs and lions and wildebeests. I want to go to Istanbul, in Turkey, to see its museums and monuments. I want to see the pyramids in Egypt. I’d love to see the ancient cities and temples of Thailand!

12. Why?
I love to travel partly because I love history. I like to see where events happened, or where important people lived long ago, or where great art was made. I also really like to see places that are completely new to me. Unexpected things always happen when you travel – like when I decided to go on the zipline in Costa Rica a couple of years ago. I zipped through tops of the rain forest trees in a leather harness, screaming at the top of my lungs and scaring all the monkeys and sloths and birds. It was so exciting! Also, I love to eat, so going to different countries gives me a chance to eat different kinds of food.

13. Do you have a favorite book right now?
That’s a tough question! I’m always reading a lot, and my favorite books change from day to day. At the moment, my favorite grown-up book is Frankenstein (I just read it for the first time, and it’s both very creepy and very sad). See question 20 for my favorite children’s books. I listed a bunch of them for you to read.

14. Did you have to sleep a lot to write your book? I mean since there are all those mattresses, I’d sleep a lot! (Or maybe just jump on them. hehe)
Ummm…I always sleep a lot. I love to sleep! I only require one mattress, though if it’s lumpy I will complain just like a princess. But I stopped jumping on mattresses when my son did it (at about age 8 ) and sprained his neck and we had to call an ambulance! He was fine, but I haven’t felt the same about jumping on mattresses ever since. The zipline is way safer.

15. Did you always want to be a writer?
Always. For as long as I can remember.

16. Why?
Well, that’s a great question! Maybe because when I was a kid I enjoyed reading so much that I wanted to give the same pleasure to other people. Maybe because I love the idea of creating different worlds filled with characters I’ve made up myself. Maybe because I’m not much good at anything else!

17. Why do you like dogs so much?
Dogs are just wonderful. They love you no matter what, they cuddle with you when you’re sad and jump around with you when you’re happy. My dog always knows exactly what I’m thinking, and he always knows how to make me smile – even though he’s 15 ½.

18. Crayons or Markers?
Markers. The colors are more vivid.

19. Will you ever write a book for little kids? (picture book)
Another great question! I’ve thought about making my novels into picture books. I think they might make really good picture books! I’ve also written a picture book that’s not a fairy tale, but I’ve hardly shown it to anyone. I’ll let you know if I ever do.

20. What should I read next?
Well, let’s see. It’s a year until my next book, Princess of the Wild Swans, comes out, so here are some things to keep you busy in the meantime:
Everything by Dr. Seuss (you’ve probably read them all already, but they’re always good for a second read – or a third or fourth or fifth)
Here in Harlem: Poems in Many Voices by Walter Dean Myers (we don’t read enough poetry)
Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
Everything by Beverly Cleary
Half Magic by Edward Eager
The Saturdays by Elizabeth Enright
James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
The Cricket in Times Square by George Selden
All the Narnia books by C.S. Lewis

The Turkeybird Speaks: “Thank you very much for answering all of my questions Ms. Zahler!

“I’m really hoping you write that kids book soon, because my mom keeps talking about how much she liked your book. So I’m guessing you could write a pretty good kids book! Maybe you could even write one about dogs and princes this time, I know I would like that!

“Thank you again Ms. Zahler! And if you ever get to Africa you might have to let me know because my little sister really wants to see an elephant for real. They’re her favorite animal!”

About Diane Zahler
Diane Zahler, author of A True Princess, has loved tales of fairies and magic since before she was old enough to read. She has worked in the children’s room at a public library, in children’s book publishing, and as an elementary and high school textbook writer. The Thirteenth Princess, her first novel for young readers, was published in 2010. She lives with her husband and dog in an old farmhouse in the Harlem Valley that is held together with duct tape and magic spells. Diane’s website is:

Make sure to stop by the other sites along the Blog Tour for A True Princess:
February 1: The Compulsive Reader
February 2: The Brain Lair
February 3: Galleysmith
February 4: Write for a Reader
February 5: The Cozy Reader
February 6: Libri Dilectio
February 7: Tales from the Rushmore Kid
February 8: Green Bean Teen Queen
February 8: Mother Daughter Book Club
February 9: There’s a Book
February 10: Mrs. V’s Reviews
February 11: The Cazzy Files
February 11: Sonder Books
February 12: BookScoops

Thank you so much to the author, Diane Zahler and publisher, HarperCollins, for providing a copy of his book for review and giveaway!
Purchasing products by clicking through the links in this post will provide us a modest commission through our affiliate relationship with IndieBound.

10 Responses to Author Interview: 20 Questions with Diane Zahler

  1. What a lovely interview. I really need to get this book as I really think my students would embrace it for the wonderful magical novel it is. Thanks!

  2. What a great interview. I loved her answer about why she loves traveling.

  3. […] because I enjoyed the writing and story so much. One of the things that Zahler mentioned in her 20 Questions with Turkeybird Interview (posted earlier today), as well as on her own site is this… 15. Did you always want to be a […]

  4. Gina says:

    Yay! It’s Turkeybird’s feature! *claps* Same favorite color…love how the author explains the princess versus prince “debate”. Oh a safari sounds wonderful…and totally agree on the dogs. Great interview guys! Thanks for sharing. ^_^

  5. Diane Zahler says:

    Thanks so much for hosting me, Danielle! Turkeybird, you ask the best questions. And if your mom reads you A TRUE PRINCESS, you’ll find out there’s a dog in it. You can see his picture on the cover!

  6. What a creative idea for a feature on your blog. I look forward to reading more interviews. This one was great!

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