Kids Fun Q&A

The kids LOVE to know about authors before they visit. It adds so much to a school or library visit so a half-dozen questions and answers are shared below. Special thanks to Diane Nelson a teacher and librarian at the Mark Delay School for originally proposing these questions prior to a fantastic school visit.

What is your favorite food?
Patrick: I love french fries, but know they are not the healthiest food. So I try very hard not to eat them more than once a week. I like to exercise regularly, because then french fries and all foods taste even better, and I feel better. I think my next favorite food is onions. Really, I eat onions in just about anything — in eggs, salads and sandwiches, with grilled vegetables, and sometimes even raw. It’s kind of weird, I know! Sometimes I have a craving for a hot dog or hamburger and I think it is just because I can put ketchup, mustard, and ONIONS on top and eat them!

Do you have any pets?
Patrick: I don’t have any pets, and it seemed as though every time I was about to get a dog, friends asked me house sit their dog(s) for a week, and that cured me. Not that I don’t love dogs or pets in general, but I just didn’t want to have to walk a dog first every morning, before I even had a shower. Plus, I like to travel on short notice. Growing-up the only pets we had were fish or hamsters, so I don’t miss having a dog or cat. I enjoy playing with other people’s pets, dogs especially. Cats are okay too, but I have a mild allergy to cats so have to be careful and wash my hands after playing with cats. Otherwise, if will touch my face or neck and I breakout in a mild rash that lasts for several hours, and that is annoying.

Why do you like bridges so much?
Patrick: I think bridges are cool. There is a beauty and strength to bridges AND the idea of a bridge is so powerful. Here are these structures that allow us to walk through the air over water or deep valleys. If there were no such things as a bridge imagine having to scramble down and swim or take a boat across a river or lake and scramble up the other bank. However, with a bridge people can cross over all kinds of obstacles over and over again easily and efficiently. So bridges are a very powerful, useful, and very cool! Bridges (both natural and man-made) have probably been around for millions of years, and yet even the simplest of bridges are still used today.

What sport do you play?
My main sport now is racing sailboats, mostly here on Lake Michigan, but other places too. However from a very young age I have always enjoyed playing sports. Several times a week I exercise either going to the gym, swimming, or bicycling to stay fit. I really enjoy the competition and have made many friends participating in sports. I miss playing soccer most as I twisted a knee many years ago and can’t play and more. In Middle School I ran track. ¬†In High School I wrestled and played soccer. During college I played intramural basketball, football, soccer, and broomball. After college I continued playing soccer and the started sailing. I have also done triathlons, raced bicycles, run 5Ks, and have enjoyed snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, snowboarding, whitewater rafting, scuba diving, and even pine tree climbing. I like most any activity to get outside and play.

What is a favorite memory of when you were young?
Patrick: That is a tough question because I was very lucky to have a great childhood. I also experienced a living in several different places being born in Bloomington, Indiana and at two-weeks old we moved to Normal, Illinois. Then at age 7-1/2 we then moved to Fayetteville, Arkansas, and when I was 10-years old we moved to Youngstown, Ohio were I did most of my growing up. So I have a lot of fond memories of all those places and experiences. I live in Chicago and now can’t imagine calling anywhere else home.

Tell us something silly about yourself – the kids LOVE that kind of thing.
Patrick: Well I’ve already told you how I love onions, but I guess that is just kind of weird and not very silly. In general, I like to be silly and funny, and enjoy kidding around with people, especially if they are also funny and clever. I did take improv classes for a whole year just for fun and some of the things we did (like make up silly noises to pass an imaginary ball around in a circle) were very silly indeed. I can be very serious and there is a time and place for being serious and for being silly. It is fun to make people laugh, and a good way to get to know people, make friends, and find lasting friendships. Sometimes it is hard to resist being silly, because life is often completely silly!