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Analysis

Hatchet Trivia

Brain Snacks: Tasty Tidbits of Knowledge

Paulsen wrote Hatchet when he was training for his first Iditarod race. He wrote the book longhand in spiral-bound notebooks, with his sled dogs curled around him for warmth. (So cozy.) (Source, 1-2.)

When Hatchet first came out, a reporter for National Geographic Magazine called Paulsen to find out the name and address of the boy the book was based on so they could write a feature story about him. Paulsen had written such a believable story that the magazine didn't realize it was fictional. Now that's what we call writerly awesomeness. (Source.)

The manuscript for Hatchet was turned down by three publishers before it was finally accepted for publication in 1987. Bet those first three are sorry now. (Source.)

Paulsen gets up every morning at 4:30 (!), gets himself a cup of tea, and sits down to write. That's what they call dedication, folks. He follows this routine no matter where he is: "I've written whole books in my office," he says, "in a dog kennel with a headlamp, on more airplanes than I can remember, on the trampoline of my catamaran off the shores of Fiji—it never matters where I write, just where the writing takes me." (Source.)

Paulsen receives as many as 200 letters a day from kids with questions and comments about his books. So if you write to him, you may be waiting a while to hear back. (Source.)

In 1965, during a brief stint in Hollywood, Paulsen wrote dialogue for the TV series "Mission: Impossible." Unfortunately, he can't take credit for the theme song. In an interview, he said this of television: "Intellectual carbon monoxide, but hey, TVs are fun to shoot!" (Source.)

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