The Three Silly Chicks are very pleased to have Erica Perl in the coop with us today, on the last day of her intrepid Chicken Butt! journey through the wild and wooly blogiverse. To celebrate her safe arrival back home, she will be giving away a signed copy of Chicken Butt! and other treats to one lucky winner. That winner could be you, dear friend! All you have to do is go to Erica's blog, Chicken Feed, and leave a comment today. Easy-peasy! Erica will then pick a random commenter to win the goods. So what are you waiting for? Go go go! Scoot on over there right now and leave a comment! Then come back here, put your feet up, and enjoy our talk with Erica...
How do you know when what you write is funny?
I don't. I just cross my fingers and hope it is. Actually, I read everything I write aloud and I test it on real kids - my own, plus some that are not related to me. If they don't laugh, I know something's up.
Do you have any tips for writing funny books?
Don't write what you think kids WILL find funny, or what you think kids SHOULD find funny. Spend time with kids so you discover what they DO find funny. And also so you remember what YOU found funny at their age. That's how Chicken Butt! came about. I know both perspectives - kid and parent - in that particular goofy face-off intimately!
Has being funny ever gotten you into or out of trouble?
Growing up, I would have gotten into a lot more trouble had my mother not been funny, too (note: I did not realize this until much later). In fact, my mother has requested that when she dies, we have her gravestone engraved to say: "SHE WAS FUNNY." Seriously.
What are some of your favorite funny books?
I love James Marshall's books, especially The Stupids Step Out. I also love M.T. Anderson's Whales on Stilts and Daniel Pinkwater's The Hoboken Chicken Emergency. In fact, I think The Hoboken Chicken Emergency is perhaps the funniest chicken book ever written.
If you could live in one of your books, which one would you choose?
I wrote Ninety-Three In My Family because when I was a kid, I always wanted more pets than my parents would allow. So I decided to write a book about a family with all the pets I could possibly want. As zany as it looks (thanks to Mike Lester's fabulous illustrations), it's clear that this family has a lot of fun together.
Who do you like more, The Marx Bros or Three Stooges?
Marx Brothers, hands down.
What was your best Halloween costume?
I once insisted on dressing up as the school lunch menu. I wore a sandwich board with the week's menu written on it, plus a paper plate hat with plastic food. I like to think that I'm the only person who has ever trick-or-treated in this particular costume… not because it is so funny, but because it makes absolutely no sense.
What is your Dream Job for a Day?
Woozler. It's my invented Dream Job. It involves spending the day at the zoo, cuddling and woozling all the animals.
Clown V. Mime Deathmatch. Pick your winner.
It's a draw. Both are extremely scary.
Funniest dead person you’d like to meet?
Roald Dahl, who was apparently not funny (as in ha-ha funny) in real life. But I would still love to have met him.
Is there anything funnier than a chicken butt?
You know what's more?
Two chicken butts! No -- FOUR!