Saturday, May 6, 2017

An Interview with Charlotte Agell by Alex Ericson

Charlotte Agell and Alex Ericson
Alex Ericson, HMS journalist, interviewed Charlotte Agell, our author in residence. 

We are pleased to share their fascinating conversation with you about Charlotte's 13th book. The working title is  Elba & Norris and the Big Block. It's a picture book with Scholastic, due out in 2019. 

Thanks to Alex for this compelling interview!

Our congratulations and best wishes to Charlotte! We're thrilled to know that our school had something to do with the idea for this book. We cannot wait to read her latest creation!

What inspired you to write this book?

This book was actually born in our HMS hallways! A student asked me if I ever got writer's block. I replied that I was more likely to have TOO many ideas, like a swarm of butterflies. This lead to me thinking about blocks and butterflies. In the book, Elba drags around a big black block. Norris has so many butterflies. The book came to be about the heaviness of grief and the importance of friendship.

How did you come up with the characters?

At first, I saw the characters as people. In a conversation with my daughter, I quickly realized they must be animals, so that they really could represent ANYbody. Elba, in my version, is a rhinoceros in a pink tutu. Norris is a crocodile in a top hat. This might change since, for the first time ever, I will not be illustrating my own book, which is both scary and possibly really cool.

What kind of books do you write?

I write the book that comes to find me and nags me the most. That might sound odd, but I mean it.

What do you enjoy about writing?

I enjoy writing; it takes me all over the place. I hate writing sometimes; it can be hard.  I can't help but write, it seems. It's always been that way for me.

I feel so lucky to work in a district that so values reading and writing. I am surrounded by readers and writers here in Yarmouth!

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