Who is 'Katie Pye?'
I am a New Zealand-based author with a daft sense of humor. I have an uncanny ability to make anything rhyme, probably because my mother is also a children’s book author and rhymed me through my childhood!
I sometimes call myself a ‘super-sleuth’, instead of a writer, because my Fairytale Fraud series exposes the 'truth' about traditional fairy tales.
I love that my books provide families great memory hooks into resilient thinking, including my own young family
Q & A with Katie Pye
How did you first get started writing children's books?
It all started with a crazy turnip, actually. My small son was upset under his bed. I climbed under with a piece of paper and a pen and no idea what to say or do. I did the first thing that I thought of – I drew a crazy turnip. Next minute I was explaining his situation through the journey of a turnip, and he stopped crying and listened wide-eyed.
That instance with my son morphed into a cartoon series to help us chat through healthy thinking. From there, I did a bit of hobby writing for my kids, all with themes to help them have helpful thinking. It wasn’t until I had the best-idea-ever for teaching wise trust that I started writing properly. I enjoyed writing my ‘Three Little Pigs’ retelling so much that I launched headlong into the next fairy tale retelling, then the next, and the next… 12 fairy tales later!
Why do you write?
With an author mother, I lived and breathed reading and writing when I grew up. Writing is my relaxation, it is my expression of creativity, it is my voice and it is my legacy. But most importantly, writing is my platform to reach into people’s lives. I’m really driven by the idea of creating ‘moments’ for parents and their kids. I find moments of laughter, moments of connection, or moments of learning to be the ‘gold’ of parenting.
I write to help create those special moments for families and to provide a fun memory hook into an important concept, that will hopefully serve the whole family.
Katie Pye is a pen name. Why 'Katie Pye'?
Katie Pye is a play on the words ‘ke tei pai’, meaning ‘I feel great’ in the indigenous language of New Zealand, Te Reo. Because my actual name is Katy, 'Katy-Pie' was a childhood nickname from my six siblings!
I love that my pen name links me with my family and the country I love so much. It is also a special something that only my New Zealand fans will appreciate. In fact, I have a few of those scattered through my books as I wrote some of my series when I was an expat and dreadfully homesick!
Who is your favourite children's book author?
Undoubtedly my mother, Janet Wallis, most known for her title 'The Big Block of Chocolate'. But that is because she is one of my favourite people!
Enid Blyton created a world for me when I was a child. I lived up in the Faraway Tree with Silky, Moon Face, the Angry Pixie, and the Saucepan Man in my imagination. I read and re-read the book and will forever be thankful to her for creating that wonderful world.
I love encouraging kids to read. I believe it was my ability to completely enter the world Enid Blyton created for me that helped me create my own worlds for kids to enter. Get reading kids!