Hi, all! Welcome to my blog. I’m an author who loves giving seminars and workshops and chatting about writing. If you have questions or comments, please feel free to post. I hope you enjoy visiting, learning about some other authors, linking back to my website, etc.
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32 responses to “About”
Thank you kathy for visiting us here in Monroeville.
I LOVED it! Thanks for the wonderful hospitality!
Congratulations on your recent award nomination. The book sounds profound and deserving. (I read about this on Jean Reidy’s blog.)
Hi Katherine. I work at Penn State University Libraries, coordinating outreach activities for the Department of Library Learning Services. Do you do Skype interviews? If so, how much do you charge? Thanks so much!
Dear Kathryn Erskine
I am currently reading your book “Mockingbird”. I love it! One more thing you should know about me is that (well mabye two more things) I am 12 years old and I go to Centreville Middle School and in my language arts class we have to read a novel (mine is Mockingbird) and we have to keep a journal on the book we are reading. We have choices of what to write so I picked: write a letter to the author. I did so good on the letter, that the teacher said I should send it to you. So here I am and this is what the letter said: Do you have Aspergers yourself? Is that what inspired you to write this book? Does someone you know have it? Did someone who used to live next door to you have it? To me, so far, this is a great book. I don’t have Aspergers but I do have ADD and even though they are different I still face some of the same situations as Caitlin. Like the making friends deal, I am shy about that too. What happened to Devon? You should add that in the beginning because that was something I was left wondering until just a little while ago. And what happened to Caitlin’s Mom? That is something I’m still left curious about. Why is Caitlin’s Dad so quiet until when they started to work on the chest? Is it because of Devon’s death or Cailin’s Mom? I’d love to say more but I should stop now so this letter doesn’t go on forever!
Sincearly Reader, Annika Koehler
Oh, dear, I’m sorry I missed this message, Annika! It’s a beautiful letter and I can see why your teacher said to send it to me. I love it! Now, let me answer your questions:
I don’t have Asperger’s but actually quite a few people I know do. I was inspired to write MOCKINGBIRD because I wanted people to see what life was like from inside the head of someone with Asperger’s. I thought that if people could understand why Caitlin said and did things, it wouldn’t seem so strange. In fact, there’s a logic to the way she behaves even if it’s different than most of the rest of us. I think you’re right that having ADD or ADHD means that there are some things you can identify with and, in fact, I think we can all identify with Caitlin’s difficulties from time to time in our own lives. And making friends, that scene in the cafeteria, is something we’ve ALL had to deal with. (I was shy, too! I still am a little shy.)
I didn’t make it obvious at first what happened to Devon. Mostly, I didn’t want to come out and say he was killed in a school shooting because I thought it might be too scary, especially for younger kids. Caitlin’s mom died of cancer when she was 3 (that’s in chapter 13). And you’re right about Caitlin’s dad. He is grieving for his son but also remembering the loss of his wife. Some younger readers don’t understand that and wonder why the dad is being stupid or mean. You understand that he is in pain.
Thank you for reading MOCKINGBIRD, Annika, and I’m sorry I missed your message. I guess school must be winding down for you and I hope you have a wonderful summer!
All the best,
Hi Kathryn, I am eleven years old and your biggest fan! You are my absolute favorite author in the entire world and have read all of your books. I go to a specail preforming arts school, in which I had to try out for. I got in for creative writing. I am in the process of writing a book about a goth girl, who is secretly a rainbow fairy! I am on page 178 and going. Thanks for inspiring me,
Congratulations on writing your own book! You are obviously very creative and talented, and way ahead of where I was at your age! Thank you so much for being such a great fan. :o) I hope my next book will be out before long (it’s pretty much done, but there’s always editing, and then it takes a while for it to come out in the bookstores). Keep writing! It’s people like you who inspire me, too!
All the best,
I just finished reading QUAKING. I read it on a friends’, and Friends’ recommendation. I just retired from teaching at a Friends’ school for 29 years, got very interested in the issues around Overpopulation and am slowly working on a story about adults in one neighborhood that come together to gain awareness about Overpopulation under the auspices of the local Meeting. I haven’t exactly figured out how to write the tension of the various character’s stories and the interactions of the group, but when I was talking to my Friend about it, she wondered if it could be for young adults. She is a Chaplain and is always looking for books that teach about Quakerism. She suggested that I read QUAKING to help me out.
So first of all I want to say that I enjoyed it very much. I miss Sam, Jessica, Matt, and Rory already and I want to know what else happens to them. To me that is always a sign of a good book, they are full believable characters. I need to think about how you made that happen, but if you have any suggestions I would love to hear them. Also, will you write a follow-up, because I also think there is a dearth of books that show how bullies can learn from their mistakes. Obviously, Richard the Rat, and Mr. Warhead are in pain, what happens to them?
My friends’ suggestion for my story would be to somehow have students learning about Overpopulation and exploring some of the pros and cons, but tell the story from different students perspective, one a only child, one an adopted child, one a foster child, one a child with several siblings. That is as far as I have gotten right now, but I am thinking that maybe I should think about writing about Quakerism and how its love and potentially a consequence of bullying would be some kind of service that teaches both the bully and the targets. Any thoughts from you would be welcomed. Thank-you.
I am a middle school student. My class is in love with “Mockingbird”. I enjoyed how you made Caitlin achieve her drawings with colors and finishing them with eyes. I would love it if you were able to come visit my school so my classmates could ask you more about your writing.
Thanks for your message! I’m so glad you enjoyed Mockingbird. Thanks to your class (and teacher) for reading it. I would love to visit your school, too. It’s hard for me to get around to all of them, though. But if I’m in your area I can always try!
All the best,
Thanks for replying so early! My school is in Derby, CT! my eglish teacher is so happy to hear from you so early! hope to see you soon.
hi my teacher read to my class mocking bird and i really liked the book. what other book are you writing or what are you going to write.
I’m glad you like MOCKINGBIRD. Please thank your teacher for reading it to you all. :o) I’ve written IBHUBESI: THE LION, a coming of age story set in apartheid South Africa, QUAKING, about a girl seeking peace from bullies in her past and present, THE ABSOLUTELY VALUE OF MIKE, which has more humor altho’ the underlying theme is about the main character’s learning disability and how his father, who is a math genius, doesn’t understand him. I just finished a novel set in the early 1970’s which has to do with race relations and a boy coming to terms with his father’s death. My current novel is a Medieval adventure, and next I’m working on a teen road trip novel.
I hope you enjoy reading and writing, too! Thanks for your message!
i do like reading and writing and i entered a contest for a short story
Good luck in the contest, Dani!
hi kathy, my 7th grade english teacher read your first book mocking bird to our class and i loves it. i cant belive that was you r first book and i cant wait to read more of your books! i love how you wrote from catlyns point of view and showed that autsitic people arent stupid. they may lack in one thing but make up for it in another (drawing)
It’s great to hear from you and how much you enjoyed MOCKINGBIRD. A couple of my other books are QUAKING and THE ABSOLUTE VALUE OF MIKE. I do like writing in the first person (the main character’s point of view) and I think it was particularly important for Caitlin.
hi kathyerskine i read your book and i think it was one of the best book i ever read and my life.
Thank you, Max! I think you are pretty awesome!! :o)
My class just finished reading Mockingbird. It was such a good book, and i’m hoping we read another one of your books. How did you get the idea to create Mockingbird, and did it take long to finish it? I’ve been working on books but I can never get a great idea. I’m entering a short story contest and I was wondering if I could get some advice. That would be great! 🙂
P.S. It would be wonderful if you would do a skype chat with my class or come visit us! 😀
Good for you for entering a short story contest and for trying your hand at writing books, too. I think the best advice I can give is to write from your heart — what is it that you really love or that really bothers you? If you feel strongly about something, you’ll have plenty to say. Think about your pet peeve or when a family member makes you really mad. It’s easy to think of things to write when you’re upset about something, isn’t it?
Mockingbird didn’t take me too long to write but it was the exception — most books take years, start to finish. I was inspired to a great extent by people with Asperger’s and wanting others to understand them better. That was something important to me, so it was easy to write about. :o)
Best of luck, and thanks for sending me a message!
Thank you so much for coming over to my blog and commenting. Very gracious of you, and as a huge fan of your book, I am so thrilled.
I cried all the way through Mockingbird and made my husband read it too, and he loved it too much to want to discuss it. I pretend I’m all grown-up, but this book made me remember what a scared shy child I was. Thank you.
Thank YOU, Unmana. I was really touched by your post.
And I think a lot of us can relate to being that scared, shy child which makes it easy to empathize with Caitlin. :o)
I really loved your book, Mockingbird. It was the first book I had ever read from you. My teacher recommended it and I found it wonderful. I learned many things from the book and hope that you can write more books like that. Actually, I am also quite shy but I have alot of friends already.
I want to ask you something: What happened after that? Did Caitlin and Josh became friends?
Thanks for your lovely message. Like many writers, I’m shy, too, but as you know, shy people can have a lot of friends, too. Yay!
I like readers to be able to come up with their own stories for what happens to the characters after the book is finished. I like to think that Caitlin and Josh become friends. I picture them sticking up for each other in middle school, which is a very good thing, because middle school can be a tough time. Even the people who act cool or seem cool usually don’t feel that cool underneath.
Thanks so much for reading Mockingbird, Cindy, and I’m delighted that you enjoyed it! I have a couple of other books out and I suspect you might like my next one, although it won’t be out until next fall (2013). If you’re interested, it’s called Facing Freedom.
All the best,
Hi Kathryn. November of last year I had told you about me writing stories and had asked you about what to do when you get writer’s block. I took your advice and found a perfect spot to be when I get writer’s block. I’ve completed 3 short stories since then so I wanted to say thank you so much for your advice. You’re one of my favorite authors and I’m very excited for your next book. Thank you again!
Hooray! Good for you, Tiana! I’m glad I could be helpful. Congratulations on your writing accomplishments!
Is the book “The Badger Knight” going to be part of a series?
Not yet. :o) I would love if that happened — I think it’s a possibility if the book does well (that’s publisher speak for “sells a lot of copies and makes money”). I will definitely be posting about a sequel if that happens!