It’s Friday and time for my Guest Writer Spot. This week, I have something very special for you. The very talented Darlene Foster has interviewed her lead character, Amanda Ross, from her books, the Amanda Travels Series.
Interview with Amanda Ross
DF: Hello, Amanda. Thanks for agreeing to be interviewed as your readers are eager to learn more about you and your travels.
AR: Thank you, Mrs. Foster. I´m so excited to be interviewed. Where should we start?
DF: How about we start with you telling us a little about yourself?
AR: Yes, thanks. I can do that. (Clears her throat) My name is Amanda Jane Ross and I live in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. I am in grade six and attend Guy Weadick Elementary. It’s named after a cowboy who started the Calgary Stampede, you know. I live with my mom and dad, Evelyn and Don Ross. They’re both accountants and work long hours. I enjoy cooking and trying new recipes. I love to read and I do some writing. But what I really love the most is travelling to other countries.
DF: Do you have any brothers and sisters?
AR: No, I don’t. I often wish I had a brother or sister. That would be so great. But I have lots of cousins.
DF: Who’s your best friend?
AR: I have some good friends from school but my best friend in the world is Leah Anderson who lives in London, England. I first met her when I was in the United Arab Emirates. Then we met in Spain and I visited her in England. She even came to visit me in Alberta and I was able to show her around. We enjoy travelling together and sometimes get into a pickle, but we always have tons of fun.
DF: Why do you like her so much?
AR: Well, she is totally different than me. I mean, she is tall and thin and has gorgeous blond hair and doesn’t wear glasses. She is so pretty and has this cool British accent, like Hermione in Harry Potter. She has lived in many places because of her dad’s job. So she knows a lot more about travelling than I do and seems a bit older, although we are the same age. She is just super cool. We are kindred spirits, just like Anne Shirley and Diana Barry in my favourite book, Anne of Green Gables.
DF: So what made you want to travel?
AR: I read so many stories that take place in other countries and I just wanted so much to actually go to some of those places. My life was boring as nothing interesting ever happened to me. My parents are always too busy to go on holidays. So, when I turned twelve I made a wish for travel and adventure before blowing out the candles on my cake. The very next day, airplane tickets to visit my aunt and uncle in the United Arab Emirates came in the mail. I couldn’t believe it! The trip was awesome and I met Leah there. We had a super adventure together. I got to ride a camel and help out a princess and I even got stuck in a sand storm, can you believe it! So when Leah invited me to spend a week in Spain with her and her parents, I just had to go. I guess you can say I have the travel bug.
DF: What do you like so much about travelling?
AR: Lots of things. I love seeing the sights, the old buildings and stuff. It sometimes feels like I’m in a storybook when I visit another country. I like meeting interesting people and trying new food. I know it sounds strange, but I enjoy visiting graveyards and there are some awesome ones around.
DF: You mentioned you sometimes get into a pickle? I haven´t heard that saying for a long time. What do you mean by that?
AR: My great-aunt Mary says that all the time. I´m curious and like to help people and sometimes that gets me into trouble, which is kind of what getting in a pickle means. In The UAE I helped a runaway princess and got chased by bounty hunters across the desert. In Spain, I tried to help a young girl get her pony back from horse thieves and kidnappers. In Germany, a young, homeless musician gave me a valuable violin to keep safe for him, which wasn´t easy. Sometimes Leah gets annoyed at me for sticking my nose in other people´s business, but that´s just how I am.
DF: Where have you been so far?
AR: Let’s see. Besides the UAE, Spain, and England, I’ve also been to Germany, Austria and Hungary. I went on a class trip to New Mexico in the United States. That was interesting and a bit spooky, but also fun! I went to Holland to see the tulips with Leah which was awesome. I also recently went to Malta to help Leah out.
DF: Tell me more about your trip to Malta.
AR: I didn’t plan this trip. But I got a strange post card from Leah, who was in Malta, which made me think she was in trouble. At the same time, I was asked to go along with my friend Caleb and his parents to Malta, so it all worked out. Malta is incredible with an interesting history, great beaches and amazing old churches. I loved it but had trouble finding Leah at first and then when I did she acted very strangely. Protected birds were being shot which was awful and then an ancient artefact, The Sleeping Lady, got stolen from the museum. I was worried Leah and her aunt were involved. It was tense.
DF: Sounds like quite the trip. Do you know where you will go to next?
AR: Leah and her aunt invited me to go to France with them. We’ll mostly be in Paris. I can’t wait to see the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre and Notre Dame Cathedral. I will get to work as a volunteer and stay in a famous bookstore called Shakespeare and Company. How cool is that? I can’t wait. There are so many other places I would like to visit. I’m a lucky kid to get to travel to all these wonderful places. Now I just need to stay out of trouble.
DF: How are you able to visit all these places and get time off school?
AR: My teacher is OK with it as long as I write reports on what I’ve seen and learned. I sometimes do presentations at school and share my pictures with my classmates. My teacher says I can learn more by travelling than she can teach me in class. I make sure I do my homework while I’m away so I don’t get behind.
DF: Travelling can get expensive, how do you pay for these trips?
AR: I save up my Christmas and birthday money, I do some babysitting and my great aunt Mary pays me to clean her house. Mom and dad don’t mind helping out as they are too busy to take me on holidays.
DF: Anything you want to share with your readers?
AR: If you aren´t able to travel, you can always come with me by reading my books. I guarantee you will have an exciting time and maybe even learn something new.
Thanks for the interview. Maybe you should interview Leah next time.
You can find out more about Darlene and her books here: