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The 20 Question Interview with our very own Turkeybird is our feature interview that will be happening with all of the book authors, illustrators and poets we love! Today the Turkeybird is extremely excited to share a favorite author of his and his mom’s, Joanne Rocklin. Her newest book, The Five Lives of Our Cat Zook is due to be published on the first of April and we’ve loved reading it. We’ll be posting a review and giveaway shortly, but until then we wanted to share a little more about this great author! So, without further hesitation on our part, the Turkeybird’s 20 question interview with Joanne Rocklin…

1. Zucchini and Zook are crazy names! How come you picked that for a cat?
In my novel, THE FIVE LIVES OF OUR CAT ZOOK, Oona, and her little brother Fred think it’s the perfect name. They lured that starving, abandoned cat home with them, using their favorite side dish from the neighborhood pizzeria—fried zucchini!  Fred just loves fried zucchini—it’s the only green food he eats, because it’s covered up. . . .

2. Do you really think cats have nine lives?
Yes, but only in a metaphoric sense—in other words, not really, but it sure seems like it.

3. Why?
All the cats I’ve had take wild risks. Death-defying risks, and then they survive them, as if they’ve “come back to life”! They lounge under cars parked in driveways, get locked up in garages and basements, jump from tall roofs, hide in clothes dryers, eat weird, strange-looking critters. Dogs don’t seem to do as many crazy things. Nobody says dogs have nine lives, right?

4. Crayons or Markers?
Both

5. Why?
Crayons for drawing when it’s ok to leave white spaces, and because I love their waxy smell. Markers for quick, messy, bright, wet drawing, and because I love their squeaks.

6. What’s your favorite color?
Depends. Blue and white for calm-me-down; yellow for cheer-me-up; red for wake-me-up; green for make-me-think; black for I-feel-smart; brown for I-feel-sleepy. See?

7. Are your cats really writers?
Yes.

8. I have a little sister like Oona has a little brother and I like to make up crazy stories for her. What crazy story do you think should I make up for her today?
All stories come from inside of YOU, depending on all the things that happen in your  own family, in your own neighborhood, in your own school, or from your own imagination. My character Oona gives her 8-point storytelling theory at the end of my book. But now I’m going to give you MY MAGIC STORYBUILDERS to help you build your story for Littlebug right away. It can be something that really happened, OR you can let your imagination run wild and be as crazy as you like. But begin each sentence with a different storybuilder. Here they are!

JOANNE ROCKLIN’S MAGIC STORY-BUILDERS

ONCE UPON A TIME
EVERY DAY
ONE DAY
BECAUSE OF THAT
AND THEN
BUT
TO HIS (HER) SURPRISE
FROM THEN ON

9. Do you have a favorite treat? (Mine is anything chocolate!)
Ice cream and french fries, but not at the same time, please.

10. When you were my age did you like to read?
No. (I LOVED to read!)

11. What was your very most favoritest book to read to your sons when they were my age?
It’s a book called Sesame Street Book of Opposites With Zero Mostel

George Mendoza (Author), Shel Secunda (Photographer.) See?  I just looked it up online and it’s out of print and costs $65 used!  I still have my copy and read it to my grandchildren!

12. Why?
The photos and the concepts and Zero Mostel make it the funniest book ever. It’s very silly and always made us giggle no matter how many times we read it together. It still does. See for yourself! I love it when silly books make me laugh out loud!

13. If you were four what would you read next?
Sometimes I wish I were four so I could read all the books for the very first time, or have them read to me. I think I would want to hear a very silly grown-up read JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH by Roald Dahl.

14. Why do you like to write?
I like to read, and I think reading and writing are quite similar—you sit in a quiet place, alone with your thoughts, travel to other places, and meet new people. Sometimes you laugh, sometimes you feel like crying, but you are never bored.

15. We both were born where it snows! Do you miss the snow? I do.
I like the snow, but the winters in Montreal where I come from are much too long! Sometimes they lasted from November through May! I like it better here in Northern California—I can drive a few hours to play in the snow, and then drive home to green grass again. OK, it does rain here every now and then!

16. Do you think magic is real? I know it is!
I would LOVE to know what magic means to you, Turkeybird! Can you tell me your answer in the Comments section? If you read ONE DAY AND ONE AMAZING MORNING ON ORANGE STREET, and my story about ZOOK, you will find out what I think about magic.

17. Swings or Slides?
Definitely swings.

18. Why?
Slides are over too fast.

19. What’s your favorite thing to do outside?
Go out on my back deck on a misty morning and watch a deer nibble at the greenery in the canyon. Stand very, very quietly. Stare into its eyes when it looks up. Then slowly go back inside so it could continue eating its breakfast in peace. That’s what happened today.

20. What are you writing about right now?
It’s a secret. If I talk or write about it, before it’s ready, it disappears like magic. . . . But, stay tuned!

The Turkeybird Speaks:
Okay, so that was the neatest way to write a story ever! Thank you so much Ms. Rocklin! My mom is helping me write down and tell some of my new stories into my camera so I can show them to my grandma and grandpa. I think they are going to think they’re super cool!

Magic is super neat! Sometimes I can make my sister think I can do magic by making something disappear, but that’s kind of easy magic. When I lost my tooth and the tooth fairy took it away, that was real magic! Oh! And when I’m looking for something and after looking for hours and hours and hours I find it. That has to be magic! How else would I find it? Magic is so neat! I’m having my mom read me the Zook book right now and so I get to find out about magic in your book soon and I’m so excited! I wish my mom read faster!

Thank you so so much Ms. Rocklin! Your answers were super neat and now I can come up with more crazy fun stories!

Find The Five Lives of Our Cat Zook by Joanne Rocklin at the following spots:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Powell’s Books | Indiebound | Book Depository | Goodreads

Thank you so much to the publisher, Amulet Books and the author, Joanne Rocklin, for providing a copy of this book for review! Connect with them on Twitter and on Facebook!
Purchasing products by clicking through the links in this post will provide us a modest commission through our various affiliate relationships.

2 Responses to Author Interview: 20 Questions with Joanne Rocklin

  1. Gina says:

    Yay! The return of the Turkeybird interview! Love these posts. OOh…yes, those are unusual names aren’t they? Agreed on the cat lives. I’d add colored pencils to that mix. LOVE the magic storybuilders. ^_^ GReat post as usual!

  2. Wow, was this interview ever fun to do! Wonderful questions, Turkeybird! Thanks so much for inviting me! Enjoy the magic! xo Joanne

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