Wednesday, October 28, 2015


Today 6th graders Skyped with author Paul Catanese!

They were super excited to "meet" Mr. Catanese, especially since they just finished reading his first novel, The Thief and the Beanstalk.

Mr. Catanese gave a brief introduction and then dove right in to answer student questions:

"Where did the idea for the book The Thief and the Beanstalk come from?"
Mr. Catanese use to read to his daughter every night and for an entire week she wanted to hear the story of Jack and the Beanstalk.  He began thinking about the description of the beanstalk growing, which is not told in the original story.  This prompted him to sit down and write a description of the beanstalk growing, which eventually turned into the sequel to the original story.

When asked about his revision process, he said it's his goal to go back and cut out unnecessary words in order to make his story "lean and muscular."  When revising, it's his goal to "make the book a little bit skinnier."

When asked about how to overcome writer's block, he said that it's important to "just keep writing."
 Some other tips:
  • Skip over the place where you're stuck and move on.  You can always come back to it later.
  •  Do research.
  • Write biographies for your characters.
  • Write an outline
One of the last questions was, "Is there going to be a sequel?"
He said that he had an idea to write a sequel involving vikings, a return to cloud island, and exploring beyond the castle.  But unfortunately, his editors wanted him to focus on the other stories in the series instead.  But as Mr. Catanese stated, at least the ending gives you a "feeling that the adventure can continue."  And the "hope of another adventure."

We ran out of time for all of the questions, so feel free to email Mr. Catanese your questions and he'd be more than happy to answer:

Thank you Mr. Catanese!  

We have all of the other books in the Further Tales series as well as the Books of Umber.  Come check them out today!

Here are some pictures and a video of the event:

Mr. Catanese talking to the students

Student asking Mr. Catanese a question
Our "thank you!" and goodbye