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Talking with Pamela Henn

Kid Reporter interviews Nick and Slim author

By Samantha Roberts | January 29 , 2007

Author's picture
Nick and Slim: The Legend of the Falcon Mine is Pamela Henn's first book for kids.

January 30, 2007

I recently had the chance to talk with author Pamela Henn, author of Nick and Slim: The Legend of the Falcon Mine. The book tells the story of a young boy named Nick, who meets a ghost from the Old West (Slim). Together, they travel through time on a mysterious adventure. It’s definitely a must-read!

During the interview, Henn told me all about the book, her life, and her work. Check out what she had to say:

Scholastic News Online: Do you have children or young family members who have read your book?
Pamela Henn: I don’t have kids, but I do have a niece and two nephews, who are very deeply a part of my life. They’re my inspiration.

SN Online: How long did it take you to write Nick and Slim: The Legend of the Falcon Mine?
Pamela: Two years.

SN Online: Why did you name the town Silverado?
Pamela: There is an actual ghost town by the name of Silverton, which is located in Colorado, and it is an active tourist ghost town. I decided to change the name to Silverado because I didn’t want to offend Silverton at all in case they didn’t like it.

SN Online: Do you believe in ghosts?
Pamela:
I believe everybody has a spirit, and I believe that spirit lives on after our bodies go.

SN Online:
Who was your favorite childhood author?
Pamela:
I liked the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys series. I think I would have to say I liked them the best.

SN Online:
Who is your favorite author as an adult, and what book or books did they write?
Pamela:
The author that I read is Cornwell. She does FBI-type of mysteries. I like Dan Brown. He does some really good stuff.

A picture of the book cover.
Nick travels with Slim back in time to the Old West town of Silverado.

SN Online: What do you do when you get writer’s block? What suggestions do you have for young writers who’re trying to get started?
Pamela:
I think the most important thing is to believe in yourself. If you can dream it, you can do it. That was a really big quote that Walt [Disney] used to say, and it’s true. I tell people to have fun with writing because if it becomes work then you inhibit your creativity.

SN Online:
How were you able to make each chapter end in suspense?
Pamela:
At one point, the book kind of took on a life of its own and drove itself. They [the characters] were all in my head, so to speak, in my imagination. I pretty much knew where they were going. I just basically followed behind them.

SN Online:
Did the end of the story come early or did you change it as you wrote?
Pamela:
It was fun because I didn’t know who the villain was until the last couple chapters revealed who made the most sense to be the villain. That was kind of the fun part of this whole project.

SN Online:
Were any of the characters based on people you know?
Pamela:
Yes, all of them are.

SN Online:
What plans, if any, do you have about making your book into a movie?
Pamela:
I would love to see it go to a live action film. I would like to follow in the footsteps of Harry Potter and get some really good young actors and do something really fun. But, I don’t have a say in it, it really depends on the studios and if they like it and what we’re able to negotiate.

SN Online:
It was really cool to read. Which characters will return in the sequel?
Pamela:
Nick and Slim, Michael, Keenan, Christopher, and Nick’s dad. All the main characters will return. In the sequel, we’re picking up a new character by the name of Reese Matthews, who is a member of Her Majesty’s Royal Navy.

SN Online:
I just can’t wait until that comes out.
Pamela:
It’s Nick and Slim: The Secret of the Smuggler’s Cove. I’m really excited about it. I love history, and I use history as the template, or the background that we can lay the characters on. Slim is a ghost or a spirit. He can go anywhere, and he can take Nick anywhere or any time, so we can explore really neat countries, cultures, and times.

Read Samantha's book review of Nick and Slim: The Legend of the Falcon Mine.

About the Author

Samantha Roberts is a member of the Scholastic Kids Press Corps.

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