Let's Talk! With Amy Timberlake

September 18, 2020
FROM LEFT: PHIL TIMBERLAKE; STEPHEN BLUE FOR TIME FOR KIDS

TFK Kid Reporter Pranav Mukhi spoke with Amy Timberlake, author of the new book Skunk and Badger. Here’s part of their conversation.

1. What inspired you to write Skunk and Badger?

I was working on another book. As research, I was reading all these books on toy bears and bear mythologies, like Winnie-the-Pooh. I started to wonder: “If I wrote a book like Winnie-the-Pooh, what would it be like? What kind of story would that be?” That got me thinking.

2. Did you like stories when you were a kid?

My dad and mom read our stories out loud. I loved hearing stories aloud. When I started writing Skunk and Badger, I was thinking about how I could tell a story that could be read aloud. Like, open it up, and if you read it, you could sound brilliant. So I put in sound effects.

3. The book is about an unlikely friendship. What made you want to write that?

Sometimes, relationships get tricky. With two people, the closer you get, there comes a point where there’s something about them that bothers you. In Skunk and Badger, someone comes with all these chickens. Do you want to be friends with the person with the chickens? You could say, “It’s fine, I’ll be their friend”—or that it’s a deal-breaker, they have to move out. I’ve found that if you have more friends, you will find that your life is better.

4. What is your favorite genre to write in?

Fiction is my favorite. I love making up stories. It’s fun. And with fiction, you have opportunities to discover truth, which is different from facts. Facts are part of truth. But there’s a truth when you’re telling a story that’s really wonderful.

5. What do you do when you aren’t writing?

I read a lot of books and knit. I love to walk with my husband. We have done really long walks that we’d love to do again. We walked across England!

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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