Sunday, January 2, 2011

Q&Q Writer Series featuring Helaine Becker

Hello World...Happy New Year!

I'd like to start 2011 with the interview of a writer who is the epitome of quirky. She is also fun, vivacious, generous and a wonderful friend!

Here is Helaine Becker, a prolific writer who has won numerous awards and written a poem about panties :) I was almost ROFLMAO at one of her presentations when she recited it. Another masterpiece is called "Sleepwalker's Dilemma" from Mama Likes to Mambo. This poem is the first one I heard from her repetoire and remains my absolute favourite!

A few notable mentions within her oeuvre are the Looney Bay series, Are you Psychic, Boredom Blasters and Secret Agent Y.O.U. The last two are winners of the OLA Awards. Amazing books by an amazing writer. You can check out Helaine's blog too; informative and good for a giggle.

Friends, here she is;

1) In one word, how would you describe your personality?
Passionate. Or loud. You can choose.

2) What is your deepest desire?
You mean only one???? Ok, my deepest desire is to help make the world a better place. And to have a school named after me, like Jean Little. Wouldn’t that be awesome????

3) Your greatest fear?
Being stranded on a desert island without chocolate.

4) Your favourite colour?
Pink. Preferably mixed with every other color in the rainbow, ala tie dye. I am also very partial to turquoise, the color of the Caribbean sea.

5) A song you can't help singing along with, every time you hear it?
I am a notorious singer alonger. My favorite for this purpose might be, Build Me Up Buttercup. Or anything by the Ramones. I love the Ramones. RAMONES!!!! That’s me screaming from the back of the bar, everytime.

6) A movie that made you cry?
The Blind Side. And the Bridge to Terabithia – I wept like a baby for hours after that one. And Up. And Toy Story 3, which I found totally absorbing and scary – I was instantly three again, while I was watching it, but then, watching the boy pack up for college? Well, my guy was leaving for his first year a few weeks later. I bawled like an idiot. My younger son, who I saw the movie with, had to keep patting me on the shoulder and telling me it would be all right.

7) A book you have read more than five times? Or a book that influenced you the most?
People who know me well know I am obsessive about To Kill A Mockingbird. I also read all the Narnia books about a gazillion times when I was a kid, along with A Wrinkle in Time, Harriet the Spy, Are You there God? It’s Me Margaret, all the books by Edward Eager. I read tons as a kid, I loved reading more than just about anything back then, and still do. I guess that’s why I grew up to be a kids book writer – kids books are what I always loved best. Oh! And From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basi E. Frankweiler. I LOVE that book.

8) From your own oeuvre: your favorite child?
You mean in one of my books? Reese McSkittles, from the Looney Bay All Stars series. He’s based on my son Andrew. Here’s another one: Porcupine. He’s not a kid, but I’m also really crazy about the porcupine in my new picture book A Porcupine in a Pine Tree. Werner Zimmerman drew him, and gosh is he ever the cutest critter ever! I’m thinking of getting mugs made for my family with his picture on it as Xmas presents. I’ve also written a character called Dakota in my current WIP, Trouble in the Hills. He’s a really obnoxious bad boy teenager, and I really really like him. He’s got a mouth the size of Manitoba, and a foot to fit in it that’s nearly as big.

9) One thing you hate about being a writer?
Having to write. It’s hard. I like coming up with the ideas, figuring it all out. But then the hard slog of sitting down and putting fingers to the keyboard. Argh! Sometimes the words come out fast and easy, but mostly it’s a struggle. And it interferes with my time to get together and talk about books with my friends.

10) One thing no one knows about you (and now will)?
I am nervous around grownups.

Thank you, Helaine!


Hélène Boudreau said...

We like all the same books! No wonder I like you.

Grandma's Best said...

I'm just finishing, "Are You there God? It’s Me Margaret."

Great interview!