A Mother’s Day Interview

Today for Mother’s Day I thought it would be fun to turn this blog over to my kids and let them interview me for a change.

My son, Joey, is 12 and contributed several puzzles to my recently released puzzle book, Paws 4 Logic. He likes math, board games, Minecraft, and puzzles.

My daughter, Ronni, is 15 and created the cover for the puzzle book. Her favorite thing is music and she loves going to concerts.

Both kids are my sounding boards for my stories and sometimes test solvers for my puzzles.

Interview with P.A.W.S. author Debbie Manber Kupfer

So here is their interview with their mom for Mother’s Day:

Joey – Why did you decide to become an author?

Well, I’ve been writing all my life and when I was a kid I wanted to be a journalist, but as often happens life doesn’t quite go as you want it to and I had many different jobs over the years – teacher, secretary, market research person, camp counsellor, lots of things – I even worked a day once dressed up as Tigger for a kindergarten orientation.

Throughout it all I wrote, but only for myself. I filled notebooks with stories and bad poetry (some of it is somewhere in my basement, maybe I’ll dig it up some day). It was only after going through cancer treatment however that I started to take myself seriously as an author. I kind of always thought that one day I would write a book, but felt I had all the time in the world to do that. Cancer made me realize that if I really wanted to do something I needed to do it now.

Ronni – Do you prefer writing on paper or the computer?

These days a bit of both. I write on the computer in the mornings, then take paper out with me to cafes in the afternoon and write some more and then come home and transcribe my words on the computer.

Joey – How did you come up with the idea of P.A.W.S. in the first place?

I’m a big Harry Potter fan and my favorite book was book 3, The Prisoner of Azkaban which introduced the idea of the animagus. I was fascinated by it, but wanted to know more. How did Sirius and James learn to become animals? What did it feel like changing?

From these thoughts came the idea of P.A.W.S., an institute where you could study to become an animagus. But where should the institute be located? For many years I’d visited Forest Park and on several occasions had tried to visit the Jewel Box, but it had always been closed, so I thought what if it was a just a front, what if folks really couldn’t go inside because it was actually the secret location of P.A.W.S.  From that thought the location for the P.A.W.S. Institute of the Midwest was born.

P.A.W.S. Book Cover

Ronni – Have you ever gotten an idea for a story from music or a particular song?

Not exactly, but I often have a soundtrack running in my head when I write certain scenes or stories. For example there is a scene early in P.A.W.S. where Josh is walking through a kind of washed out no man’s land. I always have Green Day’s Boulevard of Broken Dreams running through my head when I read that scene.

Also when I was writing Vodka and Watermelons (that can be found in both Fauxpocalypse and Will There Be Watermelons on Mars?) I had David Bowie’s Five Years running through my head.

Joey – Besides Miri who is your favorite character in P.A.W.S. and why?

Joey Marks of course! The animagus kangaroo exchange student. As you know I created him especially for you, Joey. I’m also rather fond of Gromer the Green, the old Welsh magician who appears first in Argentum and is coming back in book 3.

Ronni – If you were not a writer or a puzzle maker what would you do?

Maybe a travel agent. My dad worked in travel when I was growing up and we got to go to a lot of cool places because of that.

Joey – If you could have one superpower what would it be and why?

I’d like Mary Poppins power – the power to snap my fingers and have all the mess in the house put itself away in the proper place!

Ronni – What is something you feel you’re bad at and wish you were better at?

I wish I could remember numbers better. I’ve never been able to – I still don’t even know my own cell phone number!

Joey – What’s your secret identity?

Well, if I told you that it wouldn’t be a secret!

Ronni – What’s your favorite ice cream flavor?

Mint chocolate chip – can we go get some now?

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Happy Mother’s Day everyone!

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