Monday, 10 February 2020

Kids ask questions about Quinn and the Quiet Quiet ....

I received some fabulous dioramas last week from kids in the Near North school system (see them here). 

THANK YOU! They told the whole story of my latest book, Quinn and the Quiet, Quiet.

This week, they sent a few more dioramas, PLUS they asked some great questions, which I've answered below. Enjoy!

  1. When I’m writing a story the hardest part is starting. How do you start yours? Percy

    A: I usually just start it, because you're right the hardest part IS starting. Staring at a blank page can be scary, so I usually just jump right in, because I know I can always go back and change things later, but NOT if I don't get it started!
  2. How did you come up for the idea of Quinn and the Quiet, Quiet? JoshA: It was kind of gradual. I wanted to add a dystopia to the Weird Stories Gone Wrong series, and I wanted it to have kids who stood up for the environment. I also wanted to write a story set on a glacier (read here about how I worked on a glacier one summer), so that all added up to: a story set on a glacier, with kids who resisted a greedy company which was ruining the environment. Once I started writing it, it all just came out!
  3. What made you choose blue as the main colour in the story? Jordy.
    A: Well, because I worked on a glacier one summer (see #2 above), I know what glacier ice, and mountain ice looks like; it's very blue! So when I needed to pick a colour for the rock of the mountain, and the brick that the greedy company makes, blue was the only natural colour. Plus, Blue BrickTM has a nice alliteration (the "b" in "Blue" and "Brick") which made it fun to write and easy to remember.
  4. Where did you get your idea for the characters? Helen

    A: You know, my characters usually just appear in my head. I think I'm lucky that way, I really don't struggle with the people in the story. In this one, I wanted the main boy, Quinn, to be kind of shy and scared so that we would feel kind of scared when we read about the Blue BrickTM company. To contrast him, I wanted a really strong girl, Clem, to run off into the storm.

    Snowlight is an imagined creature of the mountain; a glacier is huge, with lots of caves and mysterious, lonely places in it, so she was easy to imagine. And Dix and the Smallish Officer are the kind of friends I would want working on my side.
  5. How many snow creatures were in the story? Did they all have names? Ben

    A: There are four snow creatures in all, the last of their kind. Originally, I did give them all names, but it didn't really make much difference to the story and got kind of confusing, so I just took their names out. Generally, if you don't need to name a character, you don't. Originally, I had them all as different colours, too, (different mountains, different colours), but that got REALLY confusing, so I made them all blue, like Snowlight. 

    I'm curious now, though: what would you call the other three snow creatures?

  6. What is your Quiet, Quiet? Breahna

    A: What a lovely question! If I got to look into the mountain valley with Snowlight, I think my quiet, quiet would be a beautiful planet, with clean oceans, healthy air and happy kids and animals living together in a safe, fair, peaceful way. :)

    What's yours?
  7. Which of your books is your favourite? Ava

    A: It's hard to pick one, it's like picking which of my kids I like best (!) ... but I do sometimes have a favourite, depending on the day. TODAY, my favourite book in the Weird Stories Gone Wrong series is probably Quinn and the Quiet, Quiet, because I think it has a really important message for everyone: stand up for the environment, resist greed.

    BUT, overall, I really like OCULUM, my other environmental dystopia, which also has robots! Although honestly, there isn't a book of mine which I don't like, so I guess I'm lucky.
  8. In Carter in the Curious Maze, was Carters sister with him when he was time travelling? Madisyn

    A: haha, good question! No, I imagined that Carter was time-travelling alone, but because he is time-travelling all in one place ( he visits three time periods, but all in the same spot at the fair), his sister is there, just bopping along in her own time, and he can sort of see her red hat, when he needs to feel safe, or find someone to guide him.
  9. My favourite scene in the book was when Clem was under the tree and I thought she was going to be caught by the officer but then Snowlight came and saved her. Zydin

    A: Thanks Zydin, I liked that scene too. Do you know, I spent longer writing that scene than any other scene in the book? I wanted it to be creepy, but also tell you what it's really like to be on a glacier. I describe wind blowing past your ears; it really does blow and whistle in your ears, even though it's not blowing very hard.
  10. I made a diorama of the mine. The words gave me a picture in my mind and there was lots of detail describing it. Hunter

    A: thanks Hunter! I think it would be very difficult to work in a mine, so far under the ground. The Cavers are very brave, I think. I love your diorama. Thanks for sharing it with me!

    THANKS for the great questions and the wonderful dioramas everyone. KEEP READING, and snap some blue sparks with me!

    FOR MORE about Quinn and the Quiet, Quiet on this blog.


Unknown said...

Yay, the students were so pleased with the responses. Thank you for inspiring these young authors!

Philippa Dowding said...

Thank you for sharing their work with me, and for inspiring them to read and create such wonderful dioramas! I loved their questions too, because they see the book in an objective and curious way that I can't, because I know it so well. It was an honour to highlight their work!