Guest Edition

Kathi Appelt–What Was on Her . . .

Kathi Appelt, 2013, Igor Kraguljac

Kathi Appelt & Mingus, her cat

Today’s guest edition features one of children’s and young adult literature’s brightest stars—Kathi Appelt!

Kathi, who has penned over thirty books, has had an absolutely stellar career. Her debut novel, The Underneath, won a Newbery Honor Medal, the USA PEN Center Award for Children’s Literature, and was chosen as a National Book Award finalist. Her second novel, Keeper, received four starred reviews and was named a Best Book of the Year by School Library Journal, Horn Book and Kirkus. And her latest novel, The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp, has earned five starred reviews and been chosen as a National Book Award finalist. In addition to all of this, Kathi is on the faculty of the prestigious Vermont College of Fine Arts Program in Writing for Children and Young Adults.

See what I mean? Stellar, absolutely stellar!

So, what is the rest of this esteemed author’s life like? Read on to find Kathi Appelt’s own account of What Was on Her . . . 

Mind:   The revisions that are taking me far longer than I ever thought.

Agenda:  Get in shape.  Lose weight.  Be a better person.  Eat fewer cookies.  Learn to speak Spanish.  Go to Ireland.  Plant a vegetable garden.  Meet Al Gore.  Catch up on the ironing.  Organize my bookshelves by author.  Take ukulele lessons.  Teach the cats new tricks.  Hike the Appalachian Trail.

Desk:  It’s actually a little scary, what’s on my desk.  The truth is, no matter how much I try to keep it cleared off and straight, there is no winning the battle of tidiness.  I do, however, have a lovely little lamp, a hand-drawn card from Tobin Anderson, a sweet photo of my husband, and a candle.  Okay, maybe there are two candles.  But all I see as I type this is one candle.

Nightstand:  A book of Sudoku puzzles.

To Do List That Didn’t Get Done:  One of these days I’m going to write a rock opera.  Maybe.  (Also, see “Agenda”).

Playlist:  Amos Lee, Patti Griffin, Bonnie Raitt and most recently, The Milk Carton Kids.

Shit List:   People who don’t vote, especially women.  What are they thinking?

Bookmarks Menu:  Daily Kos, Facebook, Talking Points Memo, Digbysblogspot.  Okay, I admit it, I’m a political junky.

Refrigerator Door:  A poem by William Stafford about a hummingbird, along with numerous photos, post cards, magnets, affirmations.

Catalog of Fears:  Being buried alive.  I can’t think of anything worse.  It’s why I’ve instructed my heirs to be sure I’m cremated and not put in a box.

TV Screen:  I don’t have a TV, but I’ve still managed to watch every episode of “Downton Abbey.”  I just stream it onto my laptop.  It has a nice, cozy feeling, watching it that way.

Instagram:  I don’t use Instagram, but I have tons of photos of my kids and cats.

To keep up to date with Kathi Appelt, follow her at and on Twitter at @kappelt. If you haven’t read The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp yet, don’t miss out. You can order by clicking below: 

The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp

And be sure to stop by again on December 10, when author Tim Wynne-Jones, a Boston Globe-Horn Book Winner & an Officer of The Order of Canada, will be joining us for our first What Was on His . . .

6 thoughts on “Kathi Appelt–What Was on Her . . .

    • That’s the beauty of Kathi’s What Was on Her . . . we not only learn her hidden truths–but what we have in common with her too. My overlap? Sudoku puzzles, Bonnie Raitt & the wish to hike the Appalachian Trail.

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