Ms. Ard, I loved reading your book Saving Halloween and would like to ask you a few questions-
Ms. Ard: Hello Ava, Thank you so much for reading Saving Halloween. I’m glad you enjoyed it! I’m happy to answer your questions.
1.When did you know you wanted to be a writer? Did you write stories when you were a girl?
Although I wanted to be an author as a child, I don’t recall writing stories. I did read a lot. It was only after reading to my own children that I decided to give writing a book a try.
2.Do you like Halloween best of all the holidays? Do you dress up and go trick or treating?
I do love Halloween! I wait until October 1 to put out my decorations – some I’ve bought and some have been passed down from my mom and grandmother. I dress up, almost always as a (good) witch and greet kids at the door with candy. I wear my favorite red witch’s hat on my school visits too.
3.What kind of books did you like best when you were my age (9)?
I loved anything by Roald Dahl, my favorite author. Fantastic Mr. Fox, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The BFG, Matilda, etc. were all favorites. My mom and dad gave me a hard cover copy of one of his books at the end of each grade school year and I still have them. Saving Halloween is a nod to Dahl’s Matilda in a couple ways – can you guess? (see answer below **)
4.Have you written any other books? If so what were they about?
I have two books published in my Dream Seeker series (ages 7-10). Fright Flight introduces readers to Patrick, a dream seeker, which means his dreams really happen. In book one, Patrick dreams of an outer space adventure that thrills and chills him. He must master some self-control to survive an intergalactic battle. In book two, Dream Team, Patrick dreams up an unusual baseball game, meets some of baseball’s all-time greatest players, and deals with adversity.
5. Who was your favorite author when you were a girl? Who is your favorite author now?
Roald Dahl is still a favorite. JK Rowling too.
6. Do you have children?
I do! My 13-year old son, Holden, is in seventh grade and almost as tall as me (5′ 11″)! My 11-year old daughter, Molly, is in sixth grade and just started an arts & communication magnet (middle) school. She loves to write stories and draw too.
7. Who was your favorite character in the Saving Halloween?
Oooh, that’s a hard question. I love Signora because I’d like to be that kind of mom – magical, always in the kitchen whipping up treats, feeding and loving my family, never seeming to have enough time, but always making time for what’s important…. But then I’m very fond of Fenris Spavento with his tender, gentlemen-ly ways, impeccable dress and his expression “you will see what you wish to see.” I think there’s a lot of truth to that statement. If we look for the good in people and things, we will find it.
8. What message would you like children to get from your story?
First of all, I hope that readers have fun with the story. I tried to work in little puzzles or duplicate meanings — in the title and character names, for instance. Secondly, I hope readers understand that families can look very different. In life, we have the families we’re born into and the families we find along the way.
Since I love Halloween, I will tell all my friends about your book !
Ms. Ard: Thanks Ava. It’s been a pleasure conversing with you in such a high-tech way. If we were in my book, I’d send you a message through the wind, blowing the fallen leaves around to say “Happy Halloween!”
Thank you so much for answering my questions.
Here’s the answer from question #3**:
Aunt Mattie and Aunt Tilda are a nod to Roald Dahl’s Matilda. Also, Anne Parson’s parents are like Matilda’s parents in that they don’t relate to their daughter. In fact, they’re quite awful, just in a different way than Matilda’s.