So Sean at the Intergalactic Academy is still doing his cracking Animorphs re-read series, and I've been catching up from them. In one of his posts he mentions something that I can't believe I missed out on - last April, Applegate posted an Ask Me Anything thread on Reddit - check it out. Ms. Applegate being something of a childhood hero of mine, this is an absolutely fascinating read.
It turns out Ms. Applegate's son is a Reddit user. The author answers many questions on a variety of topics relating to the Animorphs series, from pronouncing alien names ("Hork Buh-jeer") to the topic of ghostwriting (books 25-52 were all ghostwritten, but not the last two of the series nor any of the long 'Chronicles' companion books). There's also a flood of stories and thank-yous, from people my age just like me who became Readers (not just people who read, but people who love to read, 'Readers' with a capital 'R') because of the Animorphs. I have to say, reading these made me quite emotional, because I feel the exact same way. When I went into the bookstore and picked up the book with the funny cover because it looked cool, I had not the slightest idea what I was getting into, that I would be able to watch movies in my head with real, living characters, and soon enough I caught up with the series and dutifully went to the bookstore to pick up the new adventure each month, as if I were buying comic books.
It feels good to read that the influence that Katherine Applegate had on my life is similar to that of many other people, and it's also so nice to know that she treasures us, still to this day. I can remember when she would how Q&As on the Scholastic website while the series was still running, people would ask her about plot points and she would give answers -- 'What happens if a nothlit used the blue box a second time?' 'If you use the blue box a second time, you turn into Velveeta'. It's so lovely when an author is willing to interact with fans in that way.
Anyway, if you were ever into that series, or Applegate's other books (including Remnants and Everworld), the thread is well well worth a look.