Author website/social media: http://www.asiacitro.com, facebook.com/funathomewithkids, twitter.com/asiacitroauthor, instagram.com/funathomewithkids
Tell me a little about yourself: I am a mom to two hilarious kids – aged 5 and 8. I used to teach 7th, 9th, and 10th graders science, but now I stay home with my kids and write books about science instead!
When you were my age, did you like to read? I LOVED to read. So much so that my parents had a hard time getting me to do anything else!
What was your favorite story? Oooh, that’s a tough one — I don’t think I could pick just one. Some of my favorites were (and still are!) Ramona Quimby, Age 8, Freckle Juice, and Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing.
How do you get your ideas? Why a girl and a cat? Zoey and Sassafras is sort of a combination of me when I was little and my daughter (who is now 8). We both love helping animals, doing science experiments, and we both have hilarious and clever cats. I wrote about a dragon in the first book because dragons are my daughter’s favorite animal.
Is it hard to write/illustrate a book?I think it is pretty hard! I love thinking of the stories, but having to sit down and write them is tough. I have a hard time getting my brain to focus and my body to sit still, so it takes a lot of self-discipline for me to get through that part. I also spend a fair bit of time working with my editors after I’ve finished a draft of a story, so it’s kind of a long process. As far as drawing — I leave all the illustrating to Marion Lindsay!
Do you have a favorite among the books you have written/illustrated? Oh that’s a tough question. I think my favorite activity book is my second — The Curious Kid’s Science Book — because it’s all about science, which I love! But…I don’t think I can pick a favorite book in the Zoey and Sassafras series. I like thinking about all the different magical creatures equally!
What author do you really like right now? The two authors I most admire are Sharon Creech and Katherine Applegate. They are so immensely talented and their books are so moving.
Do you have any new or lesser known authors you would suggest? A new author my daughter and I have been enjoying is Nicholas Gannon. His series The Doldrums was super fun to read together.
What advice do you have for a kid who wants to be an author?Read a LOT. Write a LOT. Imagine a LOT.
As an author, do you hear from your readers? What do you like about that? I do! And I think it’s probably my favorite part of writing. It’s really fun to see what characters or storylines kids connect with and it influences my writing moving forward with the series. For instance, I had heard from lots of readers that they were hoping I’d write about a unicorn — so book 6, which I am currently writing, features…. you guessed it! A unicorn!