Audrey is a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators. She loves traveling, museums, and blackberry-apple pie. Actually, she loves all kinds of pie. And she especially loves her family. They have put up with Violet and Waxy for a long time. You can visit her at: www.audreykane.com. (Amazon)
BBB: What inspired you to become a writer?
AK: As a child, I always had a stack of books by my bedside—with a notebook and a sketchpad tucked underneath them. I honestly can’t remember a time when I wasn’t reading, writing or drawing. I loved creeping through castles and flying on broomsticks—especially when I was supposed to be sleeping! Not only did books keep me up late at night as they swept me away on fantastical escapes, they inspired me to use my imagination. My childhood passion for reading was tightly interwoven with my love for writing and art. They are passions I retain to this day. And although the fabulous Tory & Norman Taber illustrated The Purple Girl, color and art wriggled its way into my story, like it always does.
AK: The Purple Girl was born from a writers block exercise. A fellow writer suggested I try an exercise that would force me to take off my editing hat. My job was to write for twenty-five minutes without stopping. And there were rules! I wasn’t allowed to erase a word, revise a sentence or pause to collect my thoughts. The Purple Girl came to me…and I fell in love with her story.
But I will let you in on a secret. Children and adults who overcome obstacles are truly the heart of Violet’s story. They inspire me every day. And amazing kids who feel lonely or different always linger in the back of my mind.
BBB: What do you think readers will enjoy most about your book?
AK: I think readers will enjoy all of the little surprises in the story…the unexpected twists and turns, the adventure and betrayal. Readers tell me they were sure where the story was headed, but were surprised to discover where it actually landed. Even an author doesn’t always know where the character will take her.
Readers are also drawn to the unlikely friendship that grows between Violet and Frankie. And for a young reader who feels different—or like an outsider, it is reassuring for her to know she is not alone in her feelings.
BBB: Tell us about your main character, Violet.
AK: Violet observes the world with wonder and curiosity. Although she is extraordinary, she is still an ordinary girl who readers can relate to. She takes a risk and defies her parents as she tries to find her place in the world. Like so many children, Violet wants to belong. But is she a strong, free-thinking protagonist? Absolutely! I wouldn’t have it any other way. While Violet doesn’t let her purple define her, she has to reach deep to find her courage. Violet helps kids to love themselves.