QnA With the Authors of Animorphs

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QnA With the Authors of Animorphs

Post by capnnerefir » Fri Feb 19, 2010 10:05 am

AFF has had the good fortune of being able to contact K.A. Applegate and Michael Grant, and we have been even more fortunate in that they have agreed to bop in and answer some questions for us all. For their convenience as well as for that of everyone else, we will be posting questions from members in this thread, where they will be answered. Members can ask their questions in this thread, where they will be added to this one, or they can PM them to a staff member.

This first post will contain an index of questions already asked.
Also, note that the authors have stated that they do not speculate about "what if"s and "What happened after..."s and that they do not have the authority to publish more books, make a new TV show, or a movie - that power lies with Scholastic. Therefor, questions regarding these sorts of things are most likely to remain unanswered.

Some General Questions:
Spoiler:
[quote][list=1][*]What can you tell us about the re-release of "Animorphs Classic" and what might it mean for the future of Animorphs? [*]Could you tell us if there are plans for more books or a re-make of the television show? [*]How do you feel about fanworks (fanfiction, fanart, songs, etc.) and do you ever look at fan-made material? [*]The ending of the series is very ambiguous in regard to the ultimate fate of those involved - is there anything you would like to clarify about it? [*]Are there any characters, books, alien races, etc. that you would consider your favorite? [*]Are there any decisions you made about the series that you now regret?[/list] [goto=p92409]Answers[/goto][/quote]
More Specific Questions
Spoiler:
[list=1][quote][*][quote="Nykesutre"]What happened to Ax when he met the One? Did he get absorbed or Assimilated? Are you going to make a sequel to Animorphs? Why did KA write a bittersweet ending? Did the Animorphs survive the ramming of the Bladeship?[/quote] [url=http://animorphsfanforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=2055&start=20#p92398]Answer[/url][/quote] [quote][*][quote="hptwiani"]Heres's what vI would ask, Did David's parents find out about what happened? If Estrid had stayed on earth. would something develoip (sp?) between her and Ax? WHY isn't there an Everworld tv series? Does k.a. Approve of Animorphs/Harry potter crossovers? (I mean jk is alright with hp fics.) and of course what happened afther those 4 famous words?[/quote] [url=http://animorphsfanforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=2055&start=20#p92448]Answer[/url][/quote] [quote][*][quote="Blu"]1. Who are THEIR favourite characters? 2. ...And favourite species of Alien? 3. What did they enjoy most about the Animorphs series? 4. Is there any aspect of Animorphs that either regrets including (or was unsure about including)? 5. Was the ending of #54 intended to leave things open? Perhaps to allow people to create their own ending in their heads or in fan-fiction?[/quote] [url=http://animorphsfanforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=2055&start=20#p92457]Answers[/url][/quote] [quote][quote="Blueberry Chicken"]"What do you think of how people reacted to your characters?"[/quote] [goto=p93104]Answer[/goto][/quote] [quote][quote="Ferrous"]Would you have done anything differently from the ghostwriters for any of the books that were ghostwritten?[/quote] [goto=p93105]Answer[/goto][/quote] [quote][quote="Beckyno1"]If scholastics do another series of animorphs, will you be writing it, or will they be ghostwritten?[/quote] [goto=p93106]Answer[/goto][/quote] [quote][quote="Beckyno1"]How much of the series did Michael write? Like plot ideas, action scenes, ect.[/quote] [goto=p93108]Answer[/goto][/quote] [quote][quote="BeyondtheEllimist"]1. Did they always plan to end the series how they did? 2. Why did they have to kill the resident hot, possibly psycho, battle-ready, Xena-esque, fighter chick Rachel? 3. What inspired the Chee? 4. Did they give any thought to the scientific probability of the aliens? 5. Did they have to kill off the Arn? I liked those arrogant SOB geneticists. 6. If they have read capnnerefir's Neomorphs fanfiction series and decide to do a second Animorphs series, would they consider negotiating a deal with capnnerefir where they use the Neomorphs series as the continuation? It would make it easier on them as far as continuing the series is concerned, while at the same time putting an aspiring author into the spotlight.[/quote] [goto=p93110]Answers[/goto][/quote] [quote][quote="AneeshTheGreat"]"What was Tobias's inspiration to act the way he did in MegaMorphs 2 In The Time of Dinos (as in making such difficult decisions, being the leader when no one else had the spine to)? Why wasn't this leadership trait seen in later books (like in the Tailor books, where he's chosen acting leader, yet agrees to it grudgingly)? And HOW ON EARTH did NO ONE (esp smart, paranoid Marco) see through Taylor's paper thin ploy in #43 The Test?"[/quote] [goto=p94008]Answers[/goto][/quote] [quote][quote="capnnerefir"]I understand that the future of the series, if there is a future, is up to Scholastic. Is there anything fans could do to encourage Scholastic to resume the Animorphs series, with books, TV shows, movies, video games, or anything else?[/quote] [goto=p94009]Answer[/goto][/quote] [quote][quote="TwistyWristy"][b]1.[/b] Did you ever have a desire to or wonder how Animorphs might turn out if you were writing for a slightly older audience? [b]2.[/b] It's been nearly 14 years since the very first Animorph book was published; what has the Animorphs series meant to you and what did you first imagine the Animorphs series would become? [b]3.[/b] Everyone always ask what your favorite books are but I'd love to know, what were your least favorite books? [b]4.[/b] Are there any characters that you hate or hated having to write? [b]5.[/b] When you visited people while doing research for your books, are there any particular experiences that stick out in your mind? I can only imagine you must have seen a great deal of animals up close and I'm especially curious as to whether you ever got any personal tours of jets, tanks or carriers?[/quote] [goto=p94010]Answers[/goto][/quote] [quote][quote="John3Sobieski"]Did you ever have a timeline in mind that would correspond to real life events? Being a history buff, that would really interest me. It would also be extremely useful to fanfiction writers such as myself and capnnerefir."[/quote] [goto=p94011]Answer[/goto][/quote] [quote][quote="Luna May"]I would like to know how it feels like to know that people all around the globe have dedicated a fair slice of their childhood to your series. I, for example, live in Israel. I've been hooked since the age of ten. I can't even start to describe how much the series changed me as a person- from my way of thinking about morals and philosophy, to the understanding of a new kind of humor, writing style, plot structure and overall content. I would also like to mention that the series was what connected between me and sci-fi, which I've came to love. It also gave me a lot to draw, write and think about for years and years; my slight obsession with the series has manifested itself into Windowlites (link here), short fics, long musings, endless doodles, and even (embarrasingly enough) a book report. I even took #18 overseas with me on a trip to Argentina. The librarians were amused. As an eleven year old, I could tell that much.[/quote] [goto=p94012]Answer[/goto][/quote] [quote][quote="katie310117"]Will the rereleased books be edited in any way? Typos fixed, or more importantly, KASUS (Particularly the Canon-busting ones like Jake using thought-speech while a human in book 1)?[/quote] [goto=p94013]Answer[/goto][/quote] [quote][quote="capnnerefir"]1.) In book 8, Alloran (while tempoarily free of Visser Three's control) informed Ax that the Yeerks were on the Andalite Homeworld. This theme was echoed in book 18 (Ax gets worried when Visser Three morphs an Andalite bird), but it seems that nothing ever came of it after that. Is there any particular reason you dropped this plot point? 2.) Was The One the being responsible for showing Jake the alternate reality he experienced in book 41? Or was it another being entirely? Or did you just never speculate about that. 3.) Do you remember if there are any ideas for the series that you rejected (things like adding a new Animorph to the team, introducing new villains, etc.)? 4.) A great story isn't worth much if no one publishes it. Do you have any tips for aspiring writers when it comes to getting published? 5.) With the exception of the 1st Megamorphs book, all of the others involve time travel. Did you choose that theme on purpose?[/quote] [goto=p94014]Answers[/goto][/quote][/list]

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Re: QnA With the Authors of Animorphs

Post by Ellimist » Fri Feb 19, 2010 6:27 pm

First batch of questions from the members :
  • What can you tell us about the re-release of "Animorphs Classic" and what might it mean for the future of Animorphs?
  • Could you tell us if there are plans for more books or a re-make of the television show?
  • How do you feel about fanworks (fanfiction, fanart, songs, etc.) and do you ever look at fan-made material?
  • The ending of the series is very ambiguous in regard to the ultimate fate of those involved - is there anything you would like to clarify about it?
  • Are there any characters, books, alien races, etc. that you would consider your favorite?
  • Are there any decisions you made about the series that you now regret?
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Re: QnA With the Authors of Animorphs

Post by ApplegateGrant » Sun Feb 21, 2010 9:56 pm

Well, we've been told that Scholastic will release some books from ANIMORPHS classic in Spring 2011. How many books? Don't know.

We have briefly discussed the possibility of a 55th book. Or a second series, an ANI reboot. But nothing has been decided and as weird as it is, it's not our call. It's up to Scholastic. And bear in mind that thanks to the turnover in the industry there is no one at Scholastic who was around for the first run.

As for TV or movie again, we're all for it. But Scholastic literally does not talk to us about this. If you get the idea we're frustrated by this situation you'd be correct.

We have no problem with fanfic. It's flattering. Of course that's not an official grant of legal rights, as you no doubt understand, but just our personal feeling.

Clarify? Not unless there's a book #55. We left it open just in case. . . But it's not like we have an answer to what happened next. We never did know. We always just wrote ourselves into a corner then figured out how the characters would deal with it.

Favorite characters? Cassie is probably closest in character and interests to Katherine. Marco likewise to Michael. But we both loved Rachel and Tobias. We felt they were well-conceived characters. Vaguely Romeo and Juliet, doomed love and all that.

Decisions we regret? We burned through too many morphs early on. We didn't realize obviously that the series would last so long. By the end of the series we were out of animals which took us away from half of our core premise.

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Re: QnA With the Authors of Animorphs

Post by ApplegateGrant » Mon Mar 01, 2010 10:03 am

Blueberry Chicken wrote:"What do you think of how people reacted to your characters?"
The only important thing as a writer is to get a reaction at all. The thing you don't want is indifference. But it is very gratifying that people took the characters so much to heart. You may have noticed when we stared the publisher didn't want as many Tobias and Ax books because they were unusual characters. But Tobias became we suspect much more loved than Jake ever was. And of course Rachel started out as a conventional-seeming character and then went a different way and yet was embraced not for her all-American girl good looks but for the things that made her difficult.

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Re: QnA With the Authors of Animorphs

Post by ApplegateGrant » Mon Mar 01, 2010 10:08 am

Ferrous wrote:Would you have done anything differently from the ghostwriters for any of the books that were ghostwritten?
Of course. But we wanted that. We used to push the ghostwriters to add their own insights. We welcome anyone who has a good idea, because it's about the books, not about our egos as writers. But when it didn't work out -- and that happened sometimes -- we would rewrite it ourselves. A fair amount of what you read thinking it was a ghost was actually one of us.

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Re: QnA With the Authors of Animorphs

Post by ApplegateGrant » Mon Mar 01, 2010 10:09 am

Beckyno1 wrote:If scholastics do another series of animorphs, will you be writing it, or will they be ghostwritten?
The monthly series idea is kind of dead now because of the economics involved. So if there is an ANIMORPHS 2.0 it won't be the killer grind of 14 books per year, it would probably be 2 per year, maybe a bit longer. So most likely we'd do the work ourselves. Of the original series we wrote the first 24, the last 2, and all the MEGAS and CHRONICLES. Plus probably 15% of the ghosted books. Plus of course the outlines for ghosted books. While we were writing ANI we became parents for the first time -- the real-life Jake -- and that kind of knocked us on our butts in terms of keeping up.

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Re: QnA With the Authors of Animorphs

Post by ApplegateGrant » Mon Mar 01, 2010 10:11 am

Beckyno1 wrote:How much of the series did Michael write? Like plot ideas, action scenes, ect.
Neither of us could even begin to parse out who did what. We were writing in a sort of jointly-held voice that's a little K and a little M, but specific to ANIMORPHS. Each of us claims to have written the good stuff while the crappy stuff is obviously the other person's work.

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Re: QnA With the Authors of Animorphs

Post by ApplegateGrant » Mon Mar 01, 2010 10:15 am

BeyondtheEllimist wrote:1. Did they always plan to end the series how they did?
Plan? Us? Don't forget that when we were first signed it was for a handful of books. We had no idea it would go to more than 60 books altogether.
BeyondtheEllimist wrote:2. Why did they have to kill the resident hot, possibly psycho, battle-ready, Xena-esque, fighter chick Rachel?
Because of general George S. Patton. "There's only one proper way for a professional soldier to die: the last bullet of the last battle of the last war."
BeyondtheEllimist wrote:3. What inspired the Chee?
We're trying to remember if it was a contest or what, but some kid named Erik King was somehow chosen to be made into a character. It was supposed to be a one-time thing but we liked the Chee, so he ended up doing repeat performances. The Chee race though was inspired by dogs who have always been too good for humans.
BeyondtheEllimist wrote:4. Did they give any thought to the scientific probability of the aliens?
Not much. Just what we read in the media.
BeyondtheEllimist wrote:5. Did they have to kill off the Arn? I liked those arrogant SOB geneticists.
We wanted a good tragic thing there. Nothing's more tragic than a whole race disappearing.
BeyondtheEllimist wrote:6. If they have read capnnerefir's Neomorphs fanfiction series and decide to do a second Animorphs series, would they consider negotiating a deal with capnnerefir where they use the Neomorphs series as the continuation? It would make it easier on them as far as continuing the series is concerned, while at the same time putting an aspiring author into the spotlight.
Have not read it mostly because on any given day we're buried with reading and writing. Also we don't ever want to be in a position where it seems we've taken anyone's ideas. So we deliberately avoid reading things that are too close to what we're doing. Michael ran into an issue like this with Stephen King. King had gotten a copy of GONE but didn't read it until UNDER THE DOME was finished. Suddenly he looks at GONE and realizes Michael might think UTD was inspired by GONE. Clearly it was not. Clearly Stephen King doesn't need help coming up with ideas. But SK was worried Michael would be a jerk. No one wants to be accused of plagiarism and there are only so many ideas in the world. There's some clown suing JK Rowling claiming plagiarism. It's undiluted bull but still it makes one cautious.

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Re: QnA With the Authors of Animorphs

Post by ApplegateGrant » Fri Mar 19, 2010 8:35 am

AneeshTheGreat wrote:"What was Tobias's inspiration to act the way he did in MegaMorphs 2 In The Time of Dinos (as in making such difficult decisions, being the leader when no one else had the spine to)? Why wasn't this leadership trait seen in later books (like in the Tailor books, where he's chosen acting leader, yet agrees to it grudgingly)? And HOW ON EARTH did NO ONE (esp smart, paranoid Marco) see through Taylor's paper thin ploy in #43 The Test?"
Not to get all literary here but it was Tolstoy in WAR AND PEACE who made the point that the soldier who is brave today may be a coward tomorrow. And vice versa. The common misconception is that there are heros and cowards, but the reality is that heros aren't always perfectly heroic, and cowards don't always run away. If you read accounts of battles in the Civil War you'll find all sorts of situations in which troops that ran one day fought like devils the next. So in writing we've always tried to reflect the fact that while character is key, it's not a mathematical formula. In other words, sometimes the guy who usually doesn't step up, does. And people make mistakes. And sometimes they're just having a bad day. In The Time of Dinos maybe Jake was just sick of making all the big decisions and Tobias gave him a break.

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Re: QnA With the Authors of Animorphs

Post by ApplegateGrant » Fri Mar 19, 2010 8:37 am

capnnerefir wrote:"I understand that the future of the series, if there is a future, is up to Scholastic. Is there anything fans could do to encourage Scholastic to resume the Animorphs series, with books, TV shows, movies, video games, or anything else?"
Sure. You could email or write to David Levithan at Scholastic.