Friday, November 28, 2014

Interview with Kathleen Krull and Paul Brewer


The DMS was lucky enough to interview Kathleen Krull and Paul Brewer. Fairday reviewed their unique children's picture book Fartiste, and it was great to share our thoughts about it and hear yours! We're excited to learn a little more about their story. So, without further ado... take it away, Kathleen and Paul!
What inspired you to write Fartiste?

It was all Paul's idea. Paul is attracted to extremes in information and found out about Joseph Pujol (Fartiste’s real name) in an obscure book about bodily functions. We keep a library of such books in one of our bathrooms, so obviously I’m on board with weird information too, and it didn’t take much to persuade me that his story could make a unique children’s book with no competition.

How long did it take you to write Fartiste?  What was your research process like? You wrote the book together, how did that work?

It took several months. We digested the only biography of Pujol, decided to write the book in rhyme, passed the manuscript back-and-forth between us, wrote many, many drafts, and had a blast.
What are some of your favorite books from childhood? Were there any specific authors who inspired you?

Around the house we had lots of Little Golden Books and inexpensive editions of classics. The first book I can remember reading is Robert Louis Stevenson's A Child’s Garden of Verses, illustrated by Alice and Martin Provensen. Favorites included historical fiction (Laura Ingalls Wilder; Elizabeth Speare’s Calico Captive or The Witch of Blackbird Pond), biography (the Landmark Book series on people like Helen Keller, Elizabeth Blackwell, Susan B. Anthony; anything on queens), mysteries (the Famous Five series by Enid Blyton was thrilling), great fiction (Scott O’Dell’s Island of the Blue Dolphins, Louise Fitzhugh’s Harriet the Spy, Astrid Lindgren’s Pippi Longstocking). Above all, fantasy-- especially Edward Eager’s and Carol Kendall’s magical books.

How do you decided which biography you will write next?  Sometimes you work together and sometimes you work on different projects, how do you decide which projects will be written together?

I write about the person I am most passionate about at the time. Paul and I work together on our humorous books. He writes and illustrates his own joke books, so he’s the humor expert.  He did the research for Fartiste, Lincoln Tells a Joke, and The Beatles Were Fab (and They Were Funny), and our upcoming book I can’t talk about yet.

If you could befriend a person from any of your books, who would you befriend? Why?

Paul says Joseph Pujol.  Me not so much—more like one of the people in Lives of the Musicians or Lives of the Writers.
I know Kathleen likes to write in her office, possibly with a face mask on.  Kathleen- Do you listen to music while you are writing?  Paul- Where do you like to write or illustrate? Do you have any special conditions for writing/illustrating?

Paul works in an office right next to mine. We can hear each other laughing throughout the day. We listen to a huge array of music, often from eclectic radio stations like FIP (in Paris) and KCRW (Santa Monica) or enormous playlists on Pandora and Rhapsody.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be? Why?

We both vote for San Diego—we love it here.  But if we were independently wealthy, we'd divide our time between here, Paris, and New York—all stimulating places.

Are you currently working on a book? If so, can you tell us a little bit about it?

We have collaborated on two books for the Heinemann Leveled Literacy Intervention series – Robots in Space and The Theremin: Play, But Don't Touch.  And we're working on a new funny biography that we can't QUITE talk about yet—stay tuned.

Where can we purchase your books?

At a terrific independent bookstore like The Hickory Stick Bookshop in Washington Depot. Fartiste makes an unusual holiday gift!

Read the reviews
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44 comments:

  1. Read many of those books as a kid to. haha fartsie would sure make an unusual holiday gift

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    1. Pat- Fartiste would make a fun gift for someone! :) ~L

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  2. I suspect my great-nephews would LOVE Fartiste. Thanks for another great interview.

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    1. Elephant's Child- So glad you enjoyed the interview. I hope your great-nephews get to read it! :) ~L

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  3. I can think of several people who would appreciate a copy of fartsie - thanks for a fun interview.

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    1. Barbara- I am glad you liked the review! Fartiste is sure to be a holiday hit. :) ~L

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  4. Thanks, everyone. The trend is people buying this for their male adult relatives!

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    1. Kathleen- Thanks for stopping in! We are so excited we got to interview you on our blog. :) ~Stephanie and Jess

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  5. I bet it was fun just chatting with them!

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    1. Patty- Paul and Kathleen are a great couple! :) ~L

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  6. The book sounds absolutely hilarious! I'm so glad Kathleen and Paul wrote it in rhyme. I read a bit in the last post, and loved what they did with it. Wishing them a "buttload" of success! lol

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    1. Lexa- Your comment had me cracking up! :) Fartiste really is a hilarious book. Glad you enjoyed the review. ~L

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  7. Great interview. Paris and New York are wonderful places to be. This looks like a fun read, and thank you for the giveaway.

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    1. Medeia- I would love to visit Paris and NY is the best! :) Good luck in the giveaway. :) ~L

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  8. Ooh great books that inspire. I've read all of them. :)

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  9. Thank you to Kathleen and Paul for sharing your thoughts.

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    1. The Armchair Squid- Thanks for visiting! :) ~L

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  10. A giveaway. You guys are the best. I just read Lexa's comment. Hehehe. Fantastic interview. I loved hearing about their story. Only! GAH. Black Beauty wasn't on their list. MAN! I must remind the world about that great book.

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    1. Robyn- Lexa's comment made me laugh out loud! Good luck in the giveaway. :) Hopefully they will saw your comment about Black Beauty and will start reading! Don't they know it is one of your favorites? ;) ~L

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  11. I can already think of someone who will love that book.

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    1. Vanessa- Awesome! I hope they get to read it soon! :) ~L

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  12. Fantastic interview and agree Paris would be a nice place to live.

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    1. Kimba- Thanks for visiting! So glad you enjoyed the review. :) ~L

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  13. I think kids will love Fartiste! Great meeting you. Waving to Jess :)

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    1. Carol- Fartiste is a great book for kids (and adults). :) Waving back! ~Jess

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  14. What a fun story behind the book! Wonderful interview, and I love hearing about couples that work together this way :)

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    1. Meradeth- I always love hearing the story behind books. Kathleen and Paul work together beautifully and are such a fun couple! :) ~L

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  15. I like odd trivia too. lol @ the book of bodily functions in the bathroom. It's great that they enjoy what they do! My special talent is puzzles. :) (Obviously not riddles though.)

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    1. Molly- Puzzles are so much fun! You are doing great with the riddles. :) Riddles can be tricky! Trivia is awesome. ~L

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  16. Fartiste is definitely a book my son (and husband) would enjoy!

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    1. Sherry- I hope they get to laugh over it soon. :) ~L

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  17. Nice interview! this sounds like a fun read.

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    1. Shooting Stars Mag- Thanks for visiting! It is a great read. :) ~L

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  18. Awesome interview! I loved Little Golden Books when I was a kid. Do they still make those?

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    1. Stephanie- Thanks! I looked it up and they do still make Little Golden Books! They even have new ones for adults. :) ~L

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  19. Posted this to FB today - thanks so much for the interesting questions & excellent graphics. And the comments, esp. the fart-puns ones--now you see why we had such a blast writing this.

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    1. Kathleen- Thanks for posting the interview to FB. We loved interviewing you and Paul. What a treat! :) ~Stephanie and Jess

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  20. Kathleen has a very interesting work habit. I've already read Fartiste so I'll look out for the next funny biography. The ones about Lincoln and The Beatles sound exciting and I'm really hoping there are copies available at my library. What a fun interview, guys!

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    1. Claudine- She definitely has a unique writing process. :) Thanks again for introducing me to Kathleen's books. I have now read about 20 of them and she writes fascinating biographies. I love the unique details she finds. Wilma Unlimited is a book that really touched my heart. I also adored Lincoln Tells a Joke and The Beatles Were Fab and They Were Funny. I hope you can find copies. :)
      ~Stephanie

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  21. I think this book sounds hilarious. I know my kids will enjoy it.

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    1. Heidi- They will totally love it! Good luck in the giveaway. :)
      ~F

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