By ELISE McKEOWN SKOLNICK
Children whispered excitedly and many clutched Bad Kitty books as they waited for the author of those books to speak. Nick Bruel, or, as he said he’s often called, “The Bad Kitty guy,” made an appearance at the Austintown library July 30.
He loves that name, Bruel said. And he enjoys speaking to groups of children.
“I don’t take this for granted,” he said.
Bruel began by reading his first book, “Bad Kitty.” Then he led the group of children through a series of questions meant to help them write their own story. By the end of the questions, he was able to tell the tale of “The Sad Capybara.”
“That was wonderful,” Bruel told the children. “You guys made up that awesome story all by yourselves.”
That brought him to what he said was his most important point.
“This is the secret to writing stories,” he told the audience. “This is the secret to what I do.”
Always ask yourself questions, Bruel said.
“The more questions you ask yourself, the more interesting your story is going to be,” he added.
Bruel also answered questions from the audience, including which Bad Kitty book is his favorite (he can’t choose), is the puppy character a boy or girl (boy – he told the children to think of Bad Kitty and Puppy as big sister and little brother), and will he write more than the nine Bad Kitty books he’s already written (yes – the next book, “Drawn to Trouble,” is due out in January 2014).
The event ended with Bruel signing books.
“It was awesome,” said Jonathan Winston.
It was the first time Winston heard an author speak. He read all of the Bad Kitty chapter books. His favorite is “Bad Kitty Gets a Bath.”
Kimberly Clark said “Bad Kitty Gets a Bath” is her favorite, also. She enjoyed the event.
Her mom, Marcy Clark, said the event was interesting.
“I like that there’s an opportunity like this in the Youngstown area for the kids,” she said.