KZ: Hi Nat! What inspired you to write a story about kids using pranks for good?
N: I have always loved a good prank. There’s always been a cheeky streak in me, ever since I was a wee toddler, and it’s still there. As well as loving pranks, I also love the idea that everyone has their own sort of superpower; something they are REALLY good at and that can use to change the world. I like the idea of the grey area between right and wrong and I wanted to write a story about kids who do things that some people may consider wrong, but for ALL the right reasons. It’s definitely a theme in my books!
KZ: How long did it take to go from the idea to having a finished book?
N: This book was a super speedy one. Because of some unforeseen circumstances, I ended up writing this book in only three months, which essentially proves that I have a superpower of my very own – super speedy type-y fingers!
KZ: In the book, Casey clearly loves words and is always trying to collect new ones. What is your favourite word?
N: Rambunctious! It just sounds like what it is AND it sort of suits me. It’s always been a fave of mine.
KZ: If you could only pull one prank from the book, what would it be and why?
N: The guinea pig stampede for sure! I would love to see an entire petting zoo full of guinea pigs... and then watch them swarm someone who is terrified of the fluffy little things.
KZ: LOL! Have you ever been able to use your own unusual skills in pranks?
N: I think my trapeze and tree-climbing skills have definitely helped me. Often pranks require you to climb up on things and have good balance to set things up. For example, in The Power of Positive Pranking, there’s a prank where Zeke puts confetti on top of the arms of a ceiling fan so when the fan is turned on, the office turns into an instant party. I’ve done that one before and it takes some high-level climbing and balance skills to pull it off.
KZ: Name three classic pranks that all K-Zoners have to try!
N: Some classic ones that I love and are super easy to pull off are:
1) Putting a bit of tape over the little light on the bottom of someone’s mouse or over the TV remote. It’s simple, doesn’t take any crazy props and will drive the person trying to use it CRAZY!
2) A drop of food colouring on a toothbrush is a classic. Make sure you get it right down in the bristles so your victim can’t see. When they brush their teeth, their mouth will change colour.
3) I’m totally obsessed with googly eyes! I love just going around and sticking googly eyes onto random objects in the house or office. It cracks me up when my partner grabs a new roll of toilet paper and it just stares back at him!
KZ: What is the best prank that has been pulled on you?
N: A friend I had pranked got me back by sneaking into my room and filling the whole room up with balloons. I was like ‘Ah nice one, the classic room full of balloons prank’ and grabbed a pin to start popping all the balloons. As I did, I realised that the balloons were filled with glitter and I ended up with glitter ALL OVER MY ROOM! Anyone that has ever encountered glitter knows that it NEVER goes away. Every day, for the rest of the year that I lived in that room, I woke up with glitter on me somewhere.
KZ: What is the key to plotting a positive prank?
N: The best pranks are clever pranks. In fact, the cleverer they are, the better. Anyone can put fake dog poop in someone’s bed but the best pranks have a point. They convince people of something. A positive prank brings about some real contemplation. For example, if you change the language on someone’s mobile phone to Hungarian and they can’t change it back, it might make them think ‘Maybe it’s time to start learning Hungarian?’ and then you have motivated them to increase their skill set.
KZ: What would you say to K-Zoners who want to support a cause, but don’t think their voice matters?
N: First of all, EVERY voice matters. Yours especially! Just because some kids aren’t as loud as others, doesn’t make what they have to say worth any less. Just because you’re a kid, doesn’t make your voice any less important than adults. Let’s be honest, some adults say the most RIDICULOUS things! I think what I would say is find your own way to make a difference. Sometimes it can seem very overwhelming and you might feel like just one person can’t changes things, but you can. Even if it’s just helping your neighbour or being nice to the new kid at school or making sure your family recycles, every bit counts!
KZ: What advice would you give K-Zoners who want to write a book?
N: Just DO IT! Don’t be freaked out by spelling and grammar, or where all those pesky commas are supposed to go. There are people to help you with that kind of stuff. The MOST important thing is having an idea and giving it a go. Every idea is a good idea, you just have to grow it. I’ve written four books so far and I STILL don’t know where to put all those commas! Should they go here,,,,,,,, or maybe here,,, aaarrrgg,,hhhh!!!!!
Want to read more of our interview with Nat and get her expert pranking tips? You don't want to miss her story about a trapeze show prank! Grab the July isue of K-Zone, on sale now!
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