MoAA Interview #20: Nicholas Beatty

This is a Goop. DON'T BE A GOOP. Today, MoAA is proud to present Nicholas Beatty!

Nicholas and I have one very important thing in common: THE GOOPS.

Not too many people these days are familiar with the creeptastical work of the esteemed Gelett Burgess, but his books were my bread & butter growing up as a kid. I knew about Goops before I read Dr. Seuss or any of those guys. My Nana could recite the poem in the fronticepiece (and still can). The Goops they lick their fingers / The Goops they lick their knives / They spill their broth on the tablecloth / Oh, they lead disgusting lives!

I first “met” Nicholas when he contacted me through my website last year to inform me that Enchanted had just been named among the 40 Gelett Burgess Children’s Book Award Winners for 2012. At that moment I was thinking: 1.) OMG I WON AN AWARD! 2.) OMG GELETT BURGESS HAS AN AWARD! 3.) OMG I WON *THE* GELETT BURGESS AWARD! 3.) OMG OTHER PEOPLE KNOW AND LOVE THE GOOPS JUST AS MUCH AS ME??

Needless to say, Nicholas and I hit it off pretty well. And when I found out about his multicultural kids cookbook project The Cultured Chef, I got all kinds of excited. Be sure to pop by and throw a few bucks into the Kickstarter campaign when you’re done here. Thanks!

And now…take it away, Nicholas!


Alethea Kontis: What’s the best thing about writing?

Nicholas BeattyNicholas Beatty: The research is what does it for me. I love going to research libraries and wearing white gloves as I search through the stacks. Searching for obscure facts thrills me, and I can’t wait to weave them into my stories.

AK: What’s the worst thing about writing?

NB: I am the poster child for Attention Deficit Disorder. Scheduled writing doesn’t work for me because there are 10,000 more important things I can imagine myself doing instead. Therefore, when inspiration strikes I better pay attention even if it comes at 2 or 3 in the morning.

AK: Finish this sentence: “Writing is like…

NB: … your pesky six-year-old neighbor who won’t stop begging you to come outside to play.

AK: If you could write anywhere in the world, where would it be?

NB: #1 Under a beach umbrella in Monterosso al Mare, Cinque Terre, Italy

#2 On a long train ride somewhere in Europe

AK: Pick five words to describe your latest work.

NB: Multicultural, Delicious, Inspiring, Unique, Colorful

AK: Pick five words to describe you.

NB: Late, Overly-ambitious, Creative, Night-owl, Generous

The Cultured ChefAK: What’s your favorite type of tree?

NB: Without a doubt my favorite tree is the Monkey Puzzle Tree (Araucaria Araucana)

AK: What were you like in high school?

NB: Even though I was very shy in high school, I was able to overcome my shyness by organizing events and campaigns and various projects. I was always organizing one thing or another. If you took me out of my element I would become a total wallflower because I didn’t know what role I was supposed to play.

AK: If you could give one piece of advice (writing or otherwise), what would it be?

NB: Know your subject before you begin writing. If you can do copious amounts of research before you sit down to write, the information is right there with you steeped in your recent memory. I can always tell when a writer is uncomfortable with their subject.

AK: What are 3 things you’d like to do before you die?

NB: Learn how to illustrate my own books. Visit Machu Picchu. Eat dairy products without regret.


As a children’s book writer, Nicholas Beatty’s projects explore multicultural themes allowing children to discover the world through folktales, recipes and activities. His website can be viewed at

Nicholas Beatty is the author of The Cultured Chef: An International Cookbook for Kids, a not-so-ordinary children’s cookbook filled with unique recipes, whimsical illustrations and stories about fascinating people & places.

The Cultured Chef is currently seeking funding through a month-long Kickstarter campaign ending July 21st. The book is set to release late October through Goops Children’s Books, 978-0-9834865-5-8