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DishDiva: This afternoon we are proud to bring you K.A. Applegate who will talk about her new book, "The Mayflower Project."
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DishDiva: Lots of animorph fans here this afternoon
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DishDiva: We will be starting today's event with K.A. Applegate in approximately 15 minutes.
DishDiva: K.A. will answer audience questions about her new Remnants series.
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DishDiva: Thanks for all the great questions and comments for K.A.
DishDiva: We are pleased to be bringing you a very special chat with K.A. Applegate in just a few minutes.
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DishDiva: Welcome to MSN Live. Today we are pleased to welcome author, K.A. Applegate to MSN Live. K.A. may best be known as the author of the popular "Animorph" series. Her new series is Remnants with the first book being "The Mayflower Project."
DishDiva: K.A., welcome to MSN Live. We're happy to have you here to talk about your new books.
KA Applegate: Hi, Everyone. Thanks for coming. I hope no one is missing any good TV.
Wolfblade62: Which series has been hardest to write
KA Applegate: "Everworld." The voice was a stretch for me. The books were long and they required research and I set up a style which required constant jokes or asides and it was tiring.
Guest_Crayak: Why was the last book called "The Beginning"?
KA Applegate: Well, first of all I don't name the books, the editors do that. I think it was the cliffhanger ending that caused them to think along those lines. Plus it seemed more optimistic and original than the other choice: The End.
superstarchic2:Why did you choose writing sci-fi books?
KA Applegate:I kind of didn't. I started off to do a series about animals. I wanted to get readers into the minds of the animals. Then it occurred to me that I needed some jeopardy. Suddenly I was a sci-fi writer.
mindseye_007:How on earth did you come up with the type of steel the Coo-Hatch use in Ever World?
KA Applegate:I don't remember. I have this vague memory of riffing on some other idea that led me there. But aside from the everpresent subliminal Tolkien inspiration, I don't recall.
ThE_GaMe_13_7:In Remnants, people use screen name as their names. What would yours be?
KA Applegate:Something very prosaic. I guess I'd probably keep my own name. I don't really approve of screen names.
DishDiva: K.A., we have a lot of questions about Rachel.
Evermorph: What made you decide to kill Rachel?
KA Applegate:Someone had to die and she was just so annoyingly thin and well-dressed. Okay, seriously? Animorphs was a war story. In wars people die.
KA Applegate: Not just bad people or irrelevant people, but people who are the center of someone's life, as Rachel was to Tobias. I wanted to show that. I wanted it to be hard, not easy.
animorphs_newsletter: How many Remnants books have you currently written (besides 1 & 2)?
KA Applegate: We have 14 planned and I've written four. Outlined a few more beyond that.
BekkiKoons: In the everworld series, when they reached Atlantis how could they see under water?
KA Applegate: Visine. Actually, the deal with EW was that the laws of physics had been rewritten by the gods who created the place. Just as have laws of physics, they did, but perhaps not identical.
Justin_6898: When you first started writing Animorphs, how long did you think it would last? How long to you think Remnants will last?
KA Applegate: I thought Animorphs was over around book 11. I thought 'that's it, I'm done, that's all I can think of.' Turned out I was wrong. As for Remnants, I don't want it to go beyond 14.
KA Applegate: I think series should have some limits. I probably should have ended Animorphs about ten books earlier than I did.
Dahjo799: Can you tell us more about The One at the end of 54? Is it the voice in 41?
KA Applegate: You know what? I'm counting on all the Fan Fiction writers out there to figure that out. I wrote the cliffhanger ending because I wanted to show that Jake could only really find himself again when he stumbled back into a war.
KA Applegate: I wanted to show that one war often leads seamlessly into the next. But a part of me was thinking, "here's for the fan fiction writers.'
Guest_Katherine: My dad is making me say this. He likes your books (I got him hooked.) He wants to know how you view future technology?
KA Applegate: With a mixture of optimism and dread, edging closer to optimism. To the extent that technology is destroying personal privacy, I despise it. On the other hand, medical science is technology, too. I am very excited about the genome project. Plus I'd like someone to make a toaster that can actually brown the bread evenly.
KA Applegate: Whoever does that gets my vote for Nobel prize.
DishDiva: Let's get down to some basic questions about "The Mayflower Project."
mindseye_007: What is the basic plot for your new book, "The Mayflower Project?"
KA Applegate: Hmm. Well, the basic idea is 1) Blow up the world, 2) Send a few survivors hurtling through space where they 3) run into strange and exciting things I'm not going to give away yet.
KA Applegate: If you want to get all deep on it, Animorphs was a war story and a story about transitions, Everworld was more philosophical, and Remnants is more political and historical.
goldmeganium: All my friends say that you will start a series called Animorphs2 after you finish Remnants. Is this true?
KA Applegate: No. I will not write another Animorphs. We talked about it (Scholastic and me) and I felt very strongly that we had gone on long enough. You gotta walk off stage before they start throwing fruit.
WartyBarrell: How do you like being published in ebook form?
KA Applegate: Sorry, everyone. I was cut off. Funny, but just before I lost the connection I saw Steve Case's face on my screen.
WartyBarrell: How do you like being published in ebook form?
KA Applegate: E-books? As I writer I love the idea -- once we can figure out how to charge for them, after all, I do have to buy groceries.
nmatt101: Do you base any characters you've written on yourself?
KA Applegate: No. Not even close. I don't base them on anyone, that's too limiting. I'd be trapped by the reality of wondering what I'd do if the world was blowing up. And since that would be drink heavily, eat cookies and watch movies, that would make a weak story.
Justin_6898: When you first started developing the charector Jobs, how did you go about that? Did you go very deep at first or just let him develope book, by book?
KA Applegate: I always start with a "Series Bible." It's sort of a dossier on characters, sets, ideas, plots, toys and tech stuff. With characters I start compiling their looks, their likes and dislikes, their quirks etc... Then, as I write all that changes.
KA Applegate: But it gives me a place to start.
Sky_Sorceress: I liked Animorph's ending and thought it fit much better than some happy flowery ending, but I couldn't help wondering if you planned to end the series like that when you started, or planned anything specific about the ending at all halfway through.
KA Applegate: I didn't think too much about the ending till I was about half a dozen books away from it. Once I started thinking about it I knew what I wanted and what I didn't want.
KA Applegate: I know a lot of people are mad about the ending. But I couldn't write an ending full of parades and high-fives and parties. That's not a real war ends, so that's not how my pretend war ended.
Jake_The_Animorph: Have you ever looked back on a book or something you did and wanted to change it in the Books?
KA Applegate: Oh, all the time. Unfortunately writing a series is an assembly-line job. You can't stop and rethink and rearrange very much.
KA Applegate: You have about eight seconds t come up with a metaphor, and if it doesn't come, too bad, move on.
LSKY7: Remnants Official Site, it mentions to characters: Dallas and Wyslon Lefkowitz- Blake who we haven't met yet. When will we meet them?
KA Applegate: In book Two. Dallas actually uses a different name, and Wylson is her Mom.
Justin_6898: Was it your idea for Remnants books to come out every other month?
KA Applegate: I don't decide those things. When Animorphs first started it came out every other month, then went monthly, and eventually we were doing two books in some months.
KA Applegate: Scholastic handles that. I kind of stay out of their decision making because they are good enough to stay out of mine.
cheetahgurl848: Who is your favorite author, besides yourself?
KA Applegate: For kid's books? e.b. white. For adult books? Proust? Oh yeah, can't get enough Proust. (Kidding.)
Cait_Sith99: Which book, in any series, was your favorite to write?
KA Applegate: Animorphs #19. I thought I wrote that pretty well. Also I was proud of Hork-Bajir Chronicles. And I guess the book with Christopher and Doinysus in EW, the number of which I forget.
KA Applegate: I liked Christopher as a character because he was such a jerk, and yet okay underneath it all.
KA Applegate: Dionysus.
DishDiva: Pick up K.A. Applegate's books now at MSN
Becca_519: When will the Baby be born?
KA Applegate: Ahhh, the Baby is going to be lots of fun. I'm not even going to go into The Baby at all. Except to say: don't judge me till you have a four year old. Then you'll understand.
Evermorph: Who are Michael and Jake, the two people you always dedicate your books to?
KA Applegate: Michael is my husband and co-author, Jake is my son and the inspiration for The Baby.
Guest_Padfoot: What class in school was your favorite?
KA Applegate: Boy, I can't say I was ever excited about anything in school. I was in chorus for a while, and that was okay except that it was in the South and they required us to sing Dixie.
Anifan20007: Did you name Jake from Jake of the Animorphs or did you already have that on the 'name list' before Animorphs was created?
KA Applegate: I knew when I named my son Jake I'd be dooming him to this. Nope, I just liked the name. Actually, it's Jacob. That way if he's an academic he can be Jacob, and if he's an action figure he can be Jake.
glittergal228: What does K.A stand for?
KA Applegate: Katherine Alice.
KA Applegate: The whole initials thing is ovedone, don't you think? It was okay for e.b. white, but now everyone is doing it.
TobiasBradshaw: What do you think would have happened to Rachel if she lived (If you hadn't killed her! Why! Why must you do such things?)
KA Applegate: Rachel would have done poorly in real life. I tried to show over time that she was deteriorating mentally, becoming too addicted to the action, too much a creature of the war. She was straying close to the old good-evil line
Tigina: What was one of your favorite lines from animorphs?
KA Applegate: Hmmm. "Globules!" When Ax goes nuts eating chocolate in the movie. Also I liked all the Helmacron stuff, I enjoyed them. Plus "De-Morph!" just because it comes up so regularly in everyday life.
DishDiva: K.A., thanks for joining us this afternoon and for sharing the secrets of the Animorph and Remnants series.
KA Applegate: Thanks for coming. I think Will and Grace is on tonight. Oh, and please try out Remnants. Maybe you'll like it, maybe not, but I think it will surprise you.
DishDiva: Pick up K.A.'s new book, "The Mayflower Project" now at MSN
DishDiva: Thanks for joining us today on MSN Live!
DishDiva: We'll see you tomorrow on MSN Live.