1. Do you like tea? and is that one of things that inspired you to write "The Teashop Girls"?I do like tea very much. I drink it just about every day. I like teas with a lot of flavor, such as Jasmine green tea, Vanilla rooibos (this is a kind of herbal tea), and chamomile with mint in the evening. I think it's a good idea to try lots of different kinds, because all the varieties of tea taste different and sometimes people say, "I don't like tea," after they've only had one or two kinds. I also think it's a good idea to add just a tiny bit of sugar to your cup. :)
2. If you do like tea what is your favorite kind? and is it the same as Annie's favorite?
Annie's favorite is English Breakfast tea, but just like me, she loves all different kinds. In fact, I bet she would change her answer depending on what day you asked her. Right now, my favorite tea is chamomile with mint.
3. How many more books about the teashop girls do you think you will write?
I've already written two, and I think I will probably do a third one someday. But right now, I'm very busy with my other series of books called Planet Explorers. If I do write a third Teashop Girls book, what do you think should happen in it? I need some good ideas. :)
4. Would you every like to work at a teashop yourself like Annie wanted too?
I think working in a teashop would be lovely, but I mostly just want to write books now. I did work in a local restaurant for many years, which was part of my inspiration for writing The Teashop Girls. Teashops, cafes, and restaurants are very good settings for books because there are always so many interesting characters coming and going in them!
5. What was your favorite character from the book? and which character do you think was most like you?
I really enjoyed writing Zach, because sometimes the pest can be funny. But I think my favorite is Annie because she's the most like me.
6. I liked the ending when all the little girls in town became teashop girls and not just any and her friends. How did you think of that?
Thank you. Well, I wanted Annie to use all of her energy to think like an entrepreneur so she could help Louisa save The Steeping Leaf. I thought that if all the little girls in town wanted to come to Louisa's shop, it would always have customers. People like going to places where they see genuine friends, so it just made sense to make The Teashop Girls club bigger and welcoming to all girls.
7. Did you and your friends make up any little clubs when you were little like Annie and her friends did?
When I was about Annie's age, I loved these books called The Babysitter's Club by Ann M. Martin. My friends and I tried to make a club like that of our own, but we were never quite as organized as the girls in those books were. That's why I think tea is a wonderful way to have a club--it's not work, it's just fun and peaceful.
8. Will the steeping leaf face any other challenges in your other teashop girl books?
You'll have to read THE SECRET INGREDIENT to find out. ;-) I think you will like it.
9. Did you ever wish you could own a small business like the steeping leaf?
Yes. I love small businesses. Even though I don't own a teashop like The Steeping Leaf, I think of my books as a business. It's my job to create a product and then to sell it to my readers. I do most of that work at the computer, which isn't quite as fun as meeting customers at a teashop. But the neat part is, sometimes I get to meet readers in person when I do events at bookstores and libraries or give talks at schools. Hopefully I will do an event in New York City in the future.
10. Which do you yourself like better tea or coffee?
I do drink both tea and coffee. I guess I really like hot beverages! It's tough to pick just one...I love them both. :)