An Interview with Kathleen Benner Duble

Kathleen Benner Duble is the acclaimed author of nine books for children, including her most recent Young Adult page turner, Madame Tussaud’s Apprentice, which imagines what life was like for a teenage girl during the upheavals of the French Revolution. We talk to Kathleen about her life and work, and discover what inspires her as a writer and as a lover of books.

10 Questions

1) What led you into writing?

I’ve always loved reading and books.  So when I was in the third grade and wrote this really terrible little story about a piece of paper, and my teacher leaned down and told me that I should be a writer, that was it!  I wanted to be an author from that day forward.

2) What was your earliest career aspiration?

Being a writer of a real published book has always been my number one goal in life – since age 9.  However, I did once toy with being a professional violinist. Unfortunately, I’m just not any good.

3) Can you describe your latest book Madame Tussaud’s Apprentice and its inspiration in thirty words?

Madame Tussaud’s is about making choices when revolution may be the result. There are winners and losers in every battle, but sadly, every side suffers losses no matter the outcome.

4) Do you have any plans for your next book?

I am working now on a book set during the Gilded age and I just finished two other books – one a book about the expulsion of the Acadians from Nova Scotia and a middle grade novel about a girl who comes into contact with a creepy little town on her way back from a hockey tournament and discovers amazing things.

5) What has been the most exciting moment in your career?

My first sale was so thrilling. I couldn’t believe I was actually going to see my words in print.  But Madame is my first overseas book so that was quite amazing also.

6) What are you reading right now?

I just finished reading Euphoria by Lily King and will be starting Picture Me Gone by Meg Rosoff next.

7) If you could have dinner with any three people, past or present, who would they be?

Bruce Springsteen, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Marie Antoinette.  If you are going to have a dinner party, have a fun one.

8) Which period in history would you most like to have lived through?

The roaring twenties.  I think seeing the era where women began to break out and declare their independence would have been fabulous.

9) If your house was on fire, which three books would you save from the flames?

Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt, Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner and Katherine by Anya Seton.

10) What do you do to relax?

I read – duh.  I also needlepoint a bunch of things my kids don’t want. But most importantly, I spend time with my girls and my husband.  They are the glue that keeps me from coming undone!

You can purchase Madame Tussaud’s Apprentice for a 20% discount here