Hi KIPPsters (and the world wide web)!
Today was a landmark day. It was a forget-me-not day. It was a “top ten day of all days” day… It was the day we got to meet Rebecca Stead. Although our blog is still called called “Ms. Stabookski and the Class of 2015,” its name will officially change shortly to include its newest readers/writers/members/fans… the Class of 2016. Today, the Class of 2016 got to meet the author of their first whole class novel (entitled When You Reach Me)… Rebecca Stead!
How cool! Yup, cool indeed. Ms. Stead came up from her home on the Upper West Side to join us for an hour of questions and answers with the KIPPsters. Upon arrival, she braved the wilds of a fire drill (and remarked on how absolutely, shockingly orderly the entire 10 minute process was… good job, guys!) politely sat through the startling heat and humidity of a small classroom packed tight with 75 teen-aged sweat machines, and proceeded to thoroughly answer TONS of questions about reading, writing, her novel, her family, her daily life and even her college choices. Ms. Stead, you are officially the person I’d like to be when I grow up. Officially.
She was one cool cucumber, answering questions about her inspiration, her location choices for writing, her revision process, her character-influences, her childhood, and so much more. Personal favorites of mine (in no particular order):
1. KIPPster: “I’ve been writing my essay on WYRM and I keep writing “Miranda’s mom.” I was wondering, what’s Miranda’s mom’s name?”
Ms. Stead: “That’s a great question! I don’t have a name for her. You can name her whatever you want to. I leave that up to the reader.” (Not a word-for-word transcription)
2. KIPPster: “How did you know when WYRM was finished?”
Ms. Stead: “Awesome question! My editor and I collaborated on revisions until things became clear and eventually came to an end…” (Not a word-for-word transcription)
3. KIPPster: “When and how did you become a writer?”
Ms. Stead: “As a kid, I read A LOT. I had this seed in me, this secret that I truly wished I could write books myself, but I never tried…. Not for many years until after I had children. I took a break and realized that I was ready to make that secret real. So I began writing….” (Not a word-for-word transcription)
Ms. Stead, a million thank you’s for making my day (and the other teachers’ days) and for sharing with the KIPPsters your beautiful insights into life, your lovely meditations on the writing process and, above all, for sharing with us your passion for reading, writing and constant learning. Thank you!