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Probably most popular for her novels-turned-movies, "Because of Winn-Dixie" and "The Tale of Despereaux", Kate DiCamillo is one of the most popular children's author of today's generation. Her simple and innocent tales are those which should be enjoyed by all children and adults alike. Each story is unique and filled with magic.
Ms. DiCamillo answered a few questions for the readers at Teen Ink.
1. Both "Because of Winn-Dixie" and "The Tale of Despereaux" have been made into movies; are you pleased with how both turned out?
Yes, two very different movies and two very different experiences, but I was delighted with both movies.
2. Were you at all involved with the making of the movies?
I worked quite a bit on the script for the Winn-Dixie movie. With Despereaux, I just stood back and watched the dream unfold.
3. Your books are mainly focused on animals; are you an animal lover? If so, do you have any pets?
I *am* an animal lover. I have a part-time dog. Henry. He is snoring on the couch as I type these words.
4. How do you find inspiration for your novels?
I eavesdrop. I'm only partly kidding. I carry a notebook with me all the time. I write down things I hear, things I see, random strange thoughts that float through my head. There are stories everywhere.
5. Have you ever had friends or family give you an idea for a novel? If so, have you ever used them and in which novels?
I wrote Despereaux because my best friend's son, Luke, asked me for the story of an unlikely hero with extremely large ears. So that book is his book.
6. What are your hobbies?
Eating. And reading. And walking. And being with people I love.
7. Who/what are your favorite authors/books?
Oh, too many to list. But heading up the list: E.B. White. Isak Dinesen. Katherine Paterson. James Marshall. Anne Tyler. Alice Munro. Christopher Paul Curtis, Eudora Welty, Flannery O'Connor.
8. Which authors/books have inspired you in your writing?
Every good book I read inspires me. E.B. White is definitely at the top of the list here, again. I strive to write simple, beautiful sentences like his. I fail, but I try.
9. Both "The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane" and "The Magician's Elephant" are being turned into film's; are you excited? How are you involved?
I *am* excited. I'm involved in this way: hoping and dreaming.
10. When did you know you wanted to be an author?
Oh, I was a late bloomer. I didn't actually commit to being a writer until I was thirty years old.
11. Are there any new books you are working on or anything you are excited about that you would like to share with your fans?
I'm working on a novel. It's long. And ridiculous. It makes me laugh.
12. What advice do you have for the readers at Teen Ink?
Be who you are. Keep a notebook with you. Dream.