A Q&A with Katie and Kevin Tsang!

Good morning everyone!

Happy Monday… and what a surprise I have in store for you all!

A little while ago, I was asked about hosting a Q&A with the gorgeous duo of Kevin and Katie Tsang, authors of the amazing Sam Wu series! I was DELIGHTED to be asked, and I honestly can’t be happier!

For those of you who have been living under a rock, Katie and Kevin are the cowriting duo who are responsible for the incredible Sam Wu series! The final Sam Wu book came out recently and it is BRILLIANT. I am SO SO SAD this series is over! It’s an amazing series and it’s going down VERY WELL at school!

The latest (and the final) adventure in Sam Wu’s life sees him taking on being unafraid in Space!

When Sam gets the chance to go to Space Camp with his friends this summer, he has never been more excited. He is desperate for everyone to love it as much as he does – and together win the Space Camp Challenge trophy! But not everybody at Space Camp is ready to be a team player and for Sam it’s starting to look like winning the trophy might be as difficult as landing on the moon!

I had the absolute joy of reading Sam Wu in August (thanks Egmont!) and guys… ‪it was everything I needed and more! The final Sam Wu adventure takes him to Space Camp! After all the books we’ve had talking about how much he loves Space Blasters, I was SO thrilled to hear he was finally going to Space (well… kind of!). With all of his Space Blasters knowledge and everything he’s learned about being a good friend, this is a perfect challenge for his final story! This is filled with friendship and some brilliant challenges that Sam and his crew have to combat! I loved the messages of forgiveness and including everyone. Just like the rest of the series, this one is absolutely gorgeously illustrated by the brilliant Nathan Reed (I think the illustrations add SO MUCH!!) and the footnotes are just the best! I am so so sad to say goodbye to Sam Wu, but I can’t wait to introduce more children to these books!

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Tell us about the brand new Sam Wu book. What was your favourite bit of this book to write? 

The newest Sam Wu is SAM WU IS NOT AFRAID OF SPACE – and Sam Wu finally gets to go to Space Camp! We always hoped we would get to send our space-loving Sam to space camp so this was a really joyful one for us to write.

We had so much fun researching real life space camp. And it was really satisfying knowing that Sam has faced so many of his fears with the help of his family and friends.

What inspired you to write this series?

 We wanted to write a funny series about an ‘every kid’ who has to face various common childhood fears, and Sam Wu was born! Part of the inspiration came from Katie’s experience working at the reading charity BookTrust, she saw first hand how funny books inspired a love of reading in children. It was also important to us to write a book with a diverse cast of characters – the book is never about Sam’s Chinese heritage, but it is woven throughout his experiences, in the food he eats at home and how he interacts with the world. 

How does writing work for you? Do you take it in turns to write or do you pool your ideas together? 

 It took us a while to hammer out the best way to work collaboratively, but now we’ve got it down! First we talk through everything to make sure we are on the same page (pun intended!) for the book and the concept, and then we do a thorough outline. When we’re ready to start writing, we connect our laptop to a bigger screen so we can both see, and one of us types and the other one oversees and gives feedback, and we switch back and forth. Depending on who is more excited about a specific scene, we’ll take turns. We also take turns editing each other’s work and making sure that everything feels consistent and has a nice flow.

Which Sam Wu book is your favourite? 

 An impossible question! We think Ghosts has the best mystery, Sharks has the best facts, The Dark is probably the scariest, Spiders is the funniest, Zombies has the best illustrations (all the books are illustrated by super talented Nathan Reed) and is the most exciting, and Space has the most heart. We genuinely love all of them and are so proud to have six books in the series.

What’s your favourite thing about being authors? 

 We love coming up with stories! It is honestly the best job in the world. And we love when young readers connect with our books.

We always love a recommendation here! Is there a book you can recommend for kids and teachers alike?

We both recently read and loved My Life as a Cat by Carlie. We’d also love to recommend Catherine Doyle’s wonderful Christmas Carol retelling, Miracle on Ebenezer Street.

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A massive, massive thank you to Katie and Kevin for taking the time to answer my questions! I am such a big fan of Katie and Kevin’s work! I can’t wait to see what comes from them next! A massive thank you to Egmont for this opportunity too!

Have you read the Sam Wu series?
Which book is your favourite?
What are you absolutely NOT afraid of?

S x

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