Saturday, October 11, 2014


Kathi Appelt showed up on my radar on August 2nd, when her book The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp hit the #8 spot in the Children's section of the Amazon Kindle store. Kathi is the author of over twenty books, ranging from picture books through to young adult. She has won many national and state awards for her writing, too many to list here. You can see her press page for full details.

I had the honor of meeting Kathi and hearing her speak at the 2011 Highlights Writers Workshop, so I was especially delighted when she answered my request for an interview. Enjoy! 

Tell us what The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp  is about.

A swamp is a hard place to love. It’s filled with all sort of biting critters and stinging vines. But it’s also the home to thousands of species who need its tall trees and slow-moving bayous to make their nests and raise their babies. Our swamp, the Sugar Man Swamp, also the home of a mysterious creature known as . . .yes . . . the Sugar Man, is under attack. It’s up to the raccoon brothers, Bingo and J’miah, to stop a family of marauding feral hogs from mucking up the sugar cane that grows in abundance. And it’s up to 12 year old Chap Brayburn to stop a greedy developer from turning the whole thing into a theme park. Will they succeed? Will the Sugar Man wake up? Read it to find out.

How did you get published: Traditionally or independently?

What top factors do you believe put your e-book where it is now?
I attribute enthusiasm for the book to all those librarians who have championed it, along with booksellers and others.

How are people finding out about your book? Tell us about your marketing and use of social media.

I have a Facebook page, and a website:  

What is your target audience, and how do you believe the e-format works for that audience and serves their needs?

My ideal audience is between 7 and 12 I’d say. However, I hope I’ve spun a tale that anyone would enjoy, not matter what their age. 

What were your initial thoughts about e-publishing? Have those initial thoughts changed now that you’ve done it?

I’m enthusiastic about e publishing. While there’s hardly anything I love more than a beautiful bound book, I appreciate any form of media that gets my work into the hands of my young audience. 

As you got into e-publishing, have you discovered unexpected things?

I’m not sure I’ve been in it long enough to say.

What does your writing schedule look like? What are you working on now?

I made a commitment years ago to always write at least 5 minutes each day. I’ve never broken that commitment.

As we speak, I’m in the early stages of a new young adult novel. Well, I think it’s going to be young adult. I’m not sure yet. 

Time to pull out your Magic 8 Ball: How do you see the world of e-publishing developing for children and young adults over the next 5 years?

Gosh, I have no idea. I never thought we’d be where we are today in e-publishing, so no telling what we’ll see in five years. 

Learn more about Kathi and her books at her website or by following her on Facebook or on Twitter.

See the latest Kids' EBook Bestseller List for more top ten e-format authors and their books. It's updated every Saturday morning.

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