Chatting With Chris Kurtz
By Chloe Grant, Read to Them Staff
Good day, readers! Today we’re sharing a chat we had with the creator of this wonderful novel, Chris Kurtz. Check out our interview below to learn more about how The Adventures of a South Pole Pig came to be, and what advice Chris Kurtz has for up and coming readers and writers, like you!
What was your relationship with reading like growing up?
When I was a boy, reading was a family tradition begun and sustained by my mother. She read to us long after we could read to ourselves. Those shared books are some of my best memories. I read constantly - war stories, westerns, historical fiction, and comics. But my favorite books were dog stories.
How did you find your way to becoming a writer?
I never imagined myself as a writer until my sister, Jane Kurtz, encouraged me. She is an author in her own right and she told me that I could share this dream, too. She held my hand as I practiced the craft of writing, read ALL of my rough drafts, and she still encourages and helps me today.
What was your inspiration for writing The Adventures of a South Pole Pig?
I was thinking what it must be like to grow up as an animal on a farm with no control over your own life. I thought how confusing that would be for a young animal who isn’t ready to just accept the rules, especially if they seem unfair. Of course I imagined these farm animals as if they had language and feelings like people. But I really care about farm animals being treated with kindness.
What made you choose a pig for Flora’s character? How did you decide upon The Adventures of a South Pole Pig being from Flora’s perspective? How would the story have been different if it was from another character's perspective?
When I am writing a story, I start by creating a character that I care about a lot. And when that character gets into trouble or puts themselves in trouble, that makes me care about them even more. So as soon as I started to really care about my little pig character, that’s when I knew I could write this book.
What is something you hope families get out of reading The Adventures of a South Pole Pig?
When I read, I learn more about myself somehow. I learn about what I care about and how much I care about important things. I learn how much I care about people who are not like me. I hope that readers will understand themselves better and care about others.
Unlike Flora and her adventure to the South Pole, COVID has put a pin in our adventures. What have you been doing during your time at home?
I have been staying home, watching TV, eating a little bit too much, and learning how important it is to understand and respect science.
What advice do you have for young readers & writers?
I would tell readers to find what they love, read what they love, and don’t be afraid to put a book back on the shelf if it isn’t what they want. And I would tell writers to read and understand what they love about writing by loving the writing of others. That’s what I do too.
One thing’s for sure, The Adventures of a South Pole Pig is certainly not a book we’re putting back on the shelf. We’re so glad you’re reading with us, and we can’t wait to see how Flora’s story unfolds. Pop on over to Friday's reconnect when you've finished the first week of reading for an activity and some writing prompts! Until next time, be happy and read often.