Christina Soontornvat

  • 3 min read

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When you were my age (9), did you like to read? 

I loved magical fantasy stories, like Matilda or Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I also loved comics! My favorite ones were Calvin and Hobbes and The Far Side.

What was your favorite story?

I read The Hobbit about a hundred times!

How do you get your ideas? 

I get some of my best ideas when I have to make up a story on the spot for kids. The Changelings books came about when I made up a story about two sisters for my nieces. Somehow when I am telling a story out loud, my imagination really takes over and goes to some wild places.

Why do you think diverse/multicultural books matter? How would 9 yr old you react to the books? 

I think diverse books matter because we live in a diverse world. For a long time, books featured only one type of character, which is a shame because our world has so many different types of people in it. All those different people deserve to be heroes in books! And personally, I don’t want to read books about one type of person all the time. I want to read books that show me the whole wide world.

What author do you really like right now?

I love so many authors, how could I choose just one? One of my favorite authors is Lindsay Eager. Her book Race To the Bottom of the Sea is one of my favorite magical adventures. There are pirates and candy and sharks and heartaches. It has everything.

Do you have any new or lesser known authors you would suggest?

There is a new book coming in December, called Blizzard Besties written by Yamile Saied Méndez that is about a girl who has to save her little brother during a snow storm (with the help of a lovable dog). I love snow survival stories so I’m really looking forward to it!

What advice do you have for a kid who wants to be an author?

Now is the time to try out writing whatever you want. Don’t worry about anyone reading it, don’t worry about being perfect. You don’t have to show anyone if you don’t want to! But the more you can practice and stretch your writing muscles now, the better you will get.

As an author, do you hear from your readers? What do you like about that?

I do! I love getting emails from kids or their parents telling me they read the book. I never, ever get tired of it. My Changelings books have big twists at the end, and I love hearing from kids who never saw it coming!

If you could portal into any book (yours or another person’s), what book would it be?

I’d portal into Middle Earth (from the Lord of the Rings books). Hopefully not during a battle. I would prefer to portal straight into an Elvish feast with lots of singing and good food!

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