Today we thoroughly enjoyed our skype visit with Derek Kent, the author of Scary School and Scary School Monsters on the March. He made us feel very relaxed, and we were able to ask lots of questions. We found out that he has always loved to make kids laugh, and he has always loved to write. He remembers that when he was in elementary school and creative writing time was over, everyone else closed their notebook, but he didn’t want to. He also remembers that he enjoyed reading the dictionary! He liked learning new words and then using them on his friends (who had no idea what they meant!)
Derek still loves making kids laugh. It is his goal that his readers laugh out loud when reading his books. We eagerly let him know that he indeed made us laugh out loud many times. We weren’t surprised to learn that he was a big Roald Dahl fan. He’s read all of Roald Dahl’s books! He’s also a fan of Louis Sachar. In fact the Sideways School books really gave Derek ideas to think about.
In creating characters, he was inspired by teachers, people he has known, characters in other books and movies, and himself! Dr. Dragonbreath is based on a teacher in Derek’s past who always wore a tie and unfortunately had a case of dragon breath! Charles Nukid is a character that Derek relates to. As a student in school, Derek was also kind of skinny. Steven Kingsley is based on the author Stephen King. The character, like the author, likes writing and baseball.
Derek is the only author in his family, but he did mention that his mother is a very talented artist. If you google her name you can see some of her art. Her name is Melanie Taylor Kent.
When asked if he is planning a fourth book in the series, Derek said he actually had a plan for each of six books, but only had an offer from his publisher for the first three books. We’re planning on writing persuasive letters to his publisher to let them know how much we’re enjoying the Scary School series and how much we would love to read more! We may also write persuasive letters to Nickelodeon to support the idea of his books being made into a series for TV.
We have become big time fans of Derek Kent. We hope he writes many more books!