Third-grade questions



Fablehaven author answers to his biggest fan

By Jeanette W. Bennett

Please don’t turn me in for violating child labor laws, but I had my daughter interview Brandon Mull for me.

As a “Fablehaven” aficionado, Hailey was brimming with questions. In fact, she had her third-grade class brainstorm topics, which they wrote on an oversized white paper with an orange Sharpie.

After we took the cover photo, Brandon and Hailey plopped down on the couch. Hailey unfolded the giant paper titled “Questions for Brandon Mull” and began popping questions quickly.

“What’s your favorite word to put in stories?”

“Do you believe in magic?”

“What’s your favorite color?”

Brandon became as alive as the satyrs (part-goat, part-human) in his stories as he answered:

“‘Awesome’ — that word just totally works. You can use it when something is cool or when it’s ridiculous.”

“I want my readers to believe my stories, but deep down I know I’m kiddin’ around.”

“I’ll go with blue. I did graduate from BYU.”

Hailey also wanted to know what Brandon wanted to be when he grew up.

“Either a writer or an astronaut,” he grinned. “Wouldn’t it be cool to have zero gravity?”

Hailey lit up. “That would be awesome!”

Obviously Brandon and Hailey had the same taste in words as they do literature.

The two chatted about how Hailey’s class listened to the audiobook of “Fablehaven.”

That’s when Brandon began interviewing Hailey.

“Did it go over OK? Was anybody bored?”

Hailey laughed.

“Everyone loved it. One time we even skipped recess to listen to it!”

Hailey asked him what he was like in elementary school.

“I’m the same way I am now,” he says. “A massive daydreamer. I can’t turn it off.”

Then the two chatted about the book Hailey’s writing called “The Adventures of the Four Friends.”

After speaking at hundreds of school assemblies around the country, Brandon knows what to say to aspiring writers.

“Just have fun with it!” he says. “Be creative!”

And that’s awesome advice worth “mull”-ing over.


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