Thursday, July 22, 2010

Interview with Zetta and Mitchell Hupf

I had the double pleasure of interviewing Zetta Hupf and her son and co-author Mitchell. Zetta and I became friends through her blog, The Book Cubby. She has interviewed me in the past and I’m excited she agreed to an interview herself along with her very talented son.

Zetta and Mitchell are co-authors of several children’s books including Alex Fox Moves to Town, Max and Daisy’s Adventure to the Big Woods, Henry Goes to the Park, and Detective Buddy and the Case of the Missing Football. Her books are available on and through her website.

But enough about that. On to our interview.

BJS: Tell me a little about yourself.

I am originally from a small town called Thomas, WV and now live in Wisconsin. I joined the army straight out of high school. and met my husband, Chris, while serving. We have a 12-year-old son, Mitchell, who is the co-author of our children’s books. I am a huge dog/animal lover. I guess that’s why our characters are mostly animals.

Mitchell: I’m 12 years old and love the outdoors. I enjoy hunting, fishing, football, riding ATVs and most anything to do with wildlife.

What is your latest published work?

Zetta: Detective Buddy and the Case of the Missing Football.

BJS: Why did you write this book?

Zetta: We had recently adopted our dog Buddy from the Humane Society and loved watching him try to sniff around and find things.

Mitchell: He reminded us of a detective trying to find his clues. So he soon became Detective Buddy!

BJS: Where do you get your ideas?

Zetta: We like to get our ideas from everyday life. Things that we like to talk about and things that we think other children will enjoy reading about. Or playing out the scenes after reading the story.

BJS: What are you working on right now?

Zetta: We have two stories in the works right now.

Mitchell: The first is: My Dad is a Soldier, Yes, He Is. It’s a story of a little child missing his dad who has gone off to war.

Zetta: Our second is The Hunt For Underwater Treasure. It’s a story about Tony Turtle, a young turtle who has heard many stories about a treasure lost at sea. Tony sets out to find it.

BJS: Do you use a set process when you write such as outlining, or do you just sit and type?

Zetta: We usually create drawings while watching a movie or by playing our travel game. One makes a squiggle and the other has to create something out of it. Once we have a character drawn that we really like, then we’ll sit together and write in a notebook the type of story we could see that character in. We really feed our ideas off of one another.

BJS: What do you like the most about writing?

Mitchell: We really like seeing the story take shape and can’t wait to see the completion. It’s truly amazing to see the story bring the characters to life.

BJS: Who is your favorite author and why?

Zetta: Jane Austen-Her stories are so pure and truly amazing for her time.

Mitchell: S.E. Hinton (The Outsiders), J.K. Rowlings (the Harry Potter Series) and Gary Paulsen (Brian Saga)

BJS: Do you have any advice for other new or wannabe authors?

Zetta: Stay true to yourself. Always write about things that you believe in. Try writing with a child, it is amazing. You will get wonderful ideas from a kid’s point of view, not to mention how much fun it is to create together.

Mitchell: And never give up.

BJS: Is there anything else you'd like to add?

Zetta: You can find out more about us and our stories by visiting us on our website.

BJS: Thank you so much for taking the time for this interview.

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