Thursday, July 11, 2013

An Interview With Kathleen Ernst

Today I am so pleased to share with you for our Summer Reading Club Weekly Post an interview with Author Kathleen Ernst. Ms. Ernst was kind enough to spend time answering some of my questions and I hope you will enjoy reading her answers as much as I did! Ms. Ernst is the Author of many of my favorite American Girl books such as the Caroline Series, and my most favorite American Girl Mysteries, Clues in the Shadows, Midnight at Lonesome Hallow and Danger at the zoo

How old were you when you started to read?
"I think I began reading independently in first grade, but I read with my parents before then."

How old were you when you began writing/telling stories?
"I was about 10.  I enjoyed books so much that it occurred to me that it would be even more fun to create my own stories."

Did anyone encourage you to become a writer or did you always know that is what you wanted to be?
"My parents always encouraged me to write, which was enormously helpful.  In school I had a wonderful English teacher who encouraged me as well.  The next year I had a teacher who was not encouraging.  Fortunately she was not the first person I encountered."

What is was your favorite subject to study in school?
"I always enjoyed English and history."

What was your least favorite subject to study in school?
"Math!  I didn't like physical education most of the time, either.  I was not good at either of those."

Where do you get your ideas and inspiration from when you write?
"I like to write about people in history who are not famous.  I read a lot of history books, and like to travel, and when I come across some little nugget of information that I'd never heard about before, I think--Aha!"

Do you write and read every day?
"Yes.  Writing takes practice, even for a published author.  Also, I write books for different publishers, so I have to keep up with my deadlines.  I try to read every day as well, although sometimes I'm so busy I'm not able to."

Do you enjoy reading out loud?
"I do!  I like listening to stories in the car, and sometimes my husband and I read a book aloud together, taking turns."

Do you have any advice you can give to those young story writers out there?
"First, keep practicing.  Keep a journal that's not for school, but just for your own ideas and stories.  Try to write a little every day, if you can.  Second, when you read a book you love, stop and think about why you loved it.  What can you learn from that?"

As I am a person who always struggled with reading growing up,and I shied away from reading for pleasure. Now that I am a mother I have found that when I get an MP3 Player with a pre recorded story on it for my children (who also have dyslexia and reading challenges), and the book to go along with it,  reading becomes much more enjoyable for them. I now recommend this on my blog for others who are struggling to read books at their peer levels but who really would like to be able to read the American Girl Series, Have you ever read your books for one of these MP3 Players? If so can you let me know which ones and if they are available on I tunes, or another site such as play away?

"To the best of my knowledge, only two books of mine are available in audio versions, Trouble at Fort La Pointe and Betrayal at Cross Creek.  Both of these are superb productions (in my opinion!), with talented narrators who do a lovely job with various dialects and accents."

 I wish to thank Author Kathleen Ernst, for taking the time to share with us personally about her own experiences. I was so touched when I got her answers. You can find out more about Kathleen by visiting her website by clicking here  and you can visit her Facebook page by clicking here

As with all my posts I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at

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