Kate DiCamillo, Alison McGhee - Author Picture

Kate DiCamillo, Alison McGhee - Authors

Kate DiCamillo: As a child

Kate was often ill as a child. She says, “You name it, I got it. Pneumonia, impetigo, pink eye, scarlet fever, mumps, measles, chicken pox. And because I got it, I missed a lot of school and spent a lot of time at home by myself. I am grateful for all that illness. Because I was alone for so much of the day, I learnt to entertain myself. I lived in my imagination. And I lived in books. For a writer, it was an excellent beginning.”

As an adult:

Kate studied English at the University of Florida, and then worked on a whole series of very different jobs. She says, “I worked at Walt Disney World (telling people to watch their step), I sold tickets at Circus World (I did not have to dress like a clown), I called bingo at a campground, and grew plants in a greenhouse. I cleaned bathrooms (I wasn’t very good at it) and sold advertising (I was even worse at that).” But all the while Kate she knew that what she really wanted to do was write.

As a writer:

When Kate was almost thirty years old, she had what she calls “a small epiphany: if I wanted to tell stories, I was going to have to do the hard work of sitting down and writing them. I started to write. For six years I wrote and wrote and wrote. And most of what I wrote was bad. But here is the beautiful thing about doing something every day; you are bound to get better. And this is true, even for someone as dense as me.” When Kate was thirty-five years old, she sold her first short story, This is Me, Lona Bretweiser, Leaving the Amusement Park of Love. That same year, she sold her first novel, Because of Winn-Dixie. “Now,” Kate says, “I feel as if I have been extraordinarily blessed; I tell stories for a living.” Kate's The Tale of Despereaux won the prestigious Newbery Medal in 2004.

Things you didn't know about Kate DiCamillo

1. She doesn’t know how to cook.
2. She refuses to learn how to cook.
3. She loves to eat.
4. She is an aunt to a dog named Henry. He is not a good dog.
5. She is a 'neat freak'.
6. Her favourite movie is Planes, Trains and Automobiles.
7. She wanted to be a vet when she grew up.
8. She has never grown up.
9. She used to dress up her poodle, Nanette, as a disco dancer.
10. When unobserved, she likes to dress the aforementioned Henry up in strange outfits.

Alison McGhee (pictured)

Alison McGhee is a professor of creative writing at Metropolitan State University, where she co-ordinates the creative writing program. She also teaches in the Master of Fine Arts in Writing for Children program at Vermont College. The author lives in Minneapolis, USA with her three children.

With three critically acclaimed adult novels under her belt, Alison was ready to turn her attention to the world of children’s literature. “First I wrote a picture book, which took me years and nearly unhinged me, because it was so difficult to do well,” says the adventurous author. “Then the idea of writing a children’s novel appealed to me.” The result was Snap, a gracefully told story about a sensitive girl who comes to terms with loss – and learns something about lasting ties. Of her inspiration for Snap, Alison says, “Recently I went through a rubber band phase, in which I wore several on my wrist at all times and snapped them in an effort to retrain myself out of a couple of bad habits. Sadly, the bad habits remained, but happily, Snap was born.”

Featured Books, with extracts, by Kate DiCamillo, Alison McGhee

Bink and Gollie
Kate DiCamillo, Alison McGhee - illustrated by Tony Fucile
Award-winning authors Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee have created a glorious pair of girls - tall, tall Gollie and her very short friend Bink. The two girls are as different in temperament as they are in looks but they remain...
Lovereading Price: £4.79 - Saving £1.20 (20%) Featured in: 7+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 05/04/2012
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Bink and Gollie
Kate DiCamillo, Alison McGhee - illustrated by Tony Fucile
A World Book Day 'Recommended Read' for 2011 With deliciously spare text and delightful cartoons, the way friends Bink and Gollie, two very different girls both with very strong views(!), manage to be supportive of each other and also to...
Lovereading Price: £7.19 - Saving £1.80 (20%) Featured in: 7+ readers | 5+ readers
Format: Hardback | Released 06/09/2010
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Author Info

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