Get to Know Kenneth Oppel

Kenneth Oppel is the author of Hatch. He joins us on October 6 at 1:30 p.m. EST for an event for students ages 10-14, presented in partnership with Wellington County Library. Register for the event here.

What sparked the idea for the Bloom trilogy?
My eldest daughter told me about an incredible nightmare she’d had. It had something to do with a very peculiar rain. Not only did I steal it for a scene, it actually inspired the entire trilogy.

Without any spoilers, what can readers expect from book two: Hatch?
More delectable alien creatures! In the first book, you met some very interesting flora. Now you get to meet some fauna. Also, you’ll see my three heroes deal with some pretty challenging personal and physical changes as fault lines start to appear in their friendships. There’s a scene with six kids and an alien inside a boxcar that I’m particularly fond of.

What was your favourite book as a child?
Danny Champion of the World, by Roald Dahl.

What is something you’ve always wanted to write about?
So far, if there’s something I’ve wanted to write about, I’ve been lucky enough to write about it! I always have a list of story ideas contending for attention in my notebooks. Some have been there a good long time, tempting and defying me, but I hope one day I can make them all work. And no, I’m not telling you what those ideas are.

What is something you’d never write about?
A story so far outside my experience or imaginative powers that I don’t think I could do it properly.

Which fictional character would you like to be friends with?
I think Count Rostoff from A Gentleman in Moscow would make an excellent drinking partner.

Could you please take a photo of something in your workspace and tell us the story behind it?
This is an illustration by the incomparable Sydney Smith, from my book INKLING. Sydney was kind enough to give me the original (as well as an entire sketchbook of roughs!) and it sits proudly on my desk, reminding me of the daily challenges of the creative process.