Lyn Thomas - Author
Lyn Thomas lives in Victoria, British Columbia with her husband and two ginger cats. She has written a number of books including My New Home, My Pet Hamster, What, What, What and Ha Ha Ha. She was honored to receive the Silver Birch Award in 2002 and the Red Cedar Award in 2004 for Ha Ha Ha.
September 9th --- I'm a Virgo.
Where do you live now?
Victoria, British Columbia.
When did you start writing?
During high school, when I thought I could quickly knock off the odd short story and send them into women's magazines. Naturally they were all rejected!
What did you want to be when you grew up?
I didn't have a fixed idea at all. I know I loved collecting odd things, like paper and pens and loads of exercise books in which I wrote and drew silly things. I loved animals but aside from being a vet, which I didn't want to do, I had no idea how to find a way of working with animals.
What is your favorite book?
The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Age 13 3/4.
Do you have any pets?
One extremely fat, but beautiful, black-and-white cat.
What hobby do you like best?
What was your training or schooling?
College and learning as you go.
How did you get involved with children's books?
I worked for a children's publishing company.
Do you have any tips for young creators?
Be yourself and keep trying.
What is your favorite movie?
The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
What is the thing you like the most about creating kids' books?
Working with talented people.
Where do you work?
In an office in my house looking out into my garden.
How do you research or create your stories?
By doing lots of research at libraries and bookstores, talking with children and watching trends and changes in lifestyle.
Where do you get your ideas?
Thinking and talking with others.
What's your greatest childhood memory?
I was living in East Africa, and my parents and I were driving from Kampala, Uganda, to Nairobi, Kenya, for Christmas with some friends. We had to pass through a dense area of bush on a narrow, dirt road. It just so happened the car broke down. My father was wondering what to do (since he was not a handy man when it came to car maintenance), and my mother and I were sitting and praying that the car would magically start again. It was very quiet aside from the sounds of birds. All of a sudden, out of the bush, seemingly out of nowhere, came a large group of baboons, probably about twelve. Some females and mothers with babies on their backs led by a huge male. They lumbered over to the car. The male looked at us with curiosity, at which point he climbed up onto the hood of the car and sat staring at us, like we were in a zoo. He was enormous, and I don't believe we breathed - let alone moved. After what seemed like hours (though it was probably only minutes), he was obviously bored with us and clambered off and led the group to the other side of the bush. For me it was fascinating, as I was only seven at the time and really didn't think that anything awful could happen. My parents, on the other hand, were horrified --- or so they said. Apparently seeing these animals was a very rare occurrence and, to me, very special. Oh yes ... and the car started without any assistance from my dad and we continued on our journey.
What is the weirdest or most interesting job you've ever had?
Working as a waitress in a very trendy London, England, restaurant where all the TV and movie stars used to hang out. I was lucky enough to serve the whole crew of the Apollo 11, when they were doing their PR stint.