“Lost Kitties” is a new line of books by Hasbro and Readerlink imprint Studio Fun International. The books are aimed at young fans of the toy line and will premiere with three titles this summer, all penned by author Maggie Fischer.
Maggie Fischer grew up in Oregon and now resides in San Diego, California. The daughter of a children’s librarian, Maggie earned her B.A. in English and loves her job writing books for children. Maggie recently granted an exclusive interview where she discussed her career and more.
Meagan Meehan (MM): How did you initially get interested in children’s books and how did that lead you to the “Lost Kitties” series?
Maggie Fischer (MF): My mom is a children’s librarian, and my hometown library in Salem, Oregon, was my second home growing up. I’ve always loved to write, but I had no idea that a job opening in San Diego, California, would lead me to writing and editing children’s books. For “Lost Kitties,” Studio Fun International was asked by Hasbro to capture the desired tone for these mischievous felines: snarky, silly, and sarcastic. This so accurately described my own sense of humor that I eagerly threw my cat-hair-covered hat into the ring.
MM: How do you think up the ideas for all the characters and what inspires the plots?
MF: Using the memes that Hasbro created, I tried to round out each kitty’s personality: their hopes, dislikes, motivations, and desires. At first glance the characters may seem one-dimensional, but the Lost Kitties play hard, nap hard, and eat hard! Nothing they do is half-measure, unless they’re feeling really lazy—and even that has a certain feline finesse. So, I wanted to make sure that readers could experience the full picture—something that memes as a genre don’t always portray.
MM: Have you a favorite “Lost Kitties” character and story?
MF: It’s hard to choose! Offhand, I’d say Specks. He’s a wide-eyed kitty from the #SCAREDYCATS squad. He’s secretly an alien, but you didn’t hear that from me.
MM: What are some important things that you think kids can learn from reading the books in this series?
MF: I think kids can learn my favorite lesson of all time: be who you are, and be unapologetic about it. If there’s one thing the kitties can teach kids, it’s that who you are is already totally cat-tastic, and if anyone disagrees, they can get stuck in a tree.
MM: People who have pet cats know that each one has an individual personality, so do any of the characters share traits with actual cats you’ve known?
MF: Definitely! There is something I adore about the haughtiness of cats, and my own cat is no different. I have an enormous, Norwegian Forest Cat rescue named Finch. She is the queen of the castle (any castle, any kingdom), but all that attitude is wrapped up in a loving little kitty who would rather be with me than without me (although she’d never admit it!). I wrote the character Sketch based on her food-thieving antics and her tendency to lovingly stalk me throughout the house.
MM: How many books have you written for this series and are you planning to write more?
MF: So far, I have written three published books for the Lost Kitties series: “The Lost Kitties Collector’s Guide,” “Lost Kitties Squad Goals: #ADORBS” (Level 3 Reader), and “Lost Kitties Squad Goals: #NOMZ” (Level 3 Reader). I have written a few more that haven’t been published yet, but I have endless ideas for the Lost Kitties. They are so fun to write about, and there’s a lot more trouble for them to get into—so I don’t think our fur-riendship is over just yet.
MM: What other books have you written and what inspired them?
MF: I have written a variety of licensed and non-licensed children’s books! Content is usually driven by a customer or licensor’s request—anything from sweet baby books to joke books to nonfiction with hefty amounts of text (a full list can be found on my Amazon author page). Regardless, with all of my books, even if they’re just a retelling of an episode or movie, or a simple alphabet book—I try to tell a story worth reading. To me, a great story is a great story, no matter what age it is geared toward. And books mean so much to so many people, but especially to children. So, they should accomplish their intended purpose (to inform, to teach, to enthrall) in an entertaining and lasting way.
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Meagan J. Meehan is a published author, poet, cartoonist, and produced playwright. She pens columns for the Great South Bay Magazine, Blasting News, and Entertainment Vine. She is also a stop-motion animator and an award-winning abstract artist. Meagan holds a BA in English Literature and a MA in Communication. She is also an animal advocate and a fledging toy and game designer.
Meagan is a contributing editor to Kidskintha writing on Toys, Games, Entertainment, and other topics that are happy and fun!