Inside the Author’s Studio: Kathryn and Ross Petras

Welcome to Inside the Author’s Studio, where we give you a peek into the minds of your favorite Workman authors.

Today we hang out with Kathryn and Ross Petras, the hilarious sister-and-brother team behind tons of calendars and books, including The 365 Stupidest Things Ever Said Calendar.

Recent book you loved/learned from:
Ross: Tintin au Tibet, etc.—I’m enjoying rereading all my childhood books in French, and am learning how to  sound like a boy reporter in French.
Kathryn: I’m rereading John D. MacDonald’s (slightly cheesy!) Travis McGee corpus.  Have learned how to be a good beach bum circa the early ’60s.

Favorite bookstore:
Strand Bookstore—mounds of cheap books!
None.  Although I am often dragged to Strand by Ross.

Hidden talent:
We’re going to say each others hidden talents: Kathy is an amazing baker—her low-sugar fruit pies are truly unbelievable and should be declared national treasures.  Ross has an enviable knack for making up hysterical yet childish limericks–let’s just say Mozart comes to mind.  Why?  Don’t ask.

Bookmark, dog-ear, or virtuality?:
Ross: Dog-ear
Bookmark (always a free Strand bookmark!)

Book you are most ashamed never to have read:
Ross: I love the classics but have never finished the Odyssey. I’m not really ashamed of that, though—it’s just that I want it to be alive; the  parts I read are my favorites in literature, and somehow I feel if I finish it won’t be alive.  (I’ve seen the end in film, though.)
Kathryn: So many including a lot of Shakespeare, a smattering of Dickens, Jane Austen, etc.  And I have a horrible talent for sounding like I’ve read all the biggies, even though I haven’t.  (Don’t tell anyone.)

Most frequent form of writerly procrastination:
Ross: Go to a book store to buy a book, or look online to buy a book.
Kathryn: Anything and everything.  I’ll be at the computer and suddenly have a burning desire, nay, a NEED to prune my herbs.  Or cut my fingernails.  Or dust something.  Anything to get away from writing.

Favorite childhood book:
We’re ashamed to admit it but it would have to be British children’s author Enid Blyton’s books—including all of the Five Find-Outers series, the Adventure series (we especially loved River of Adventure),  the Adventurous Four, the ones with Prince Paul and Nora… etc.

Alternate ambition (i.e. If you weren’t a writer, you’d be…):
Ross: An expert philologist of ancient papyri  who gets to go on archeological digs to translate new documents as they’re discovered.
Kathryn: The second banana (the funny friend of the cute leading lady) on a sitcom.

Your perfect meal:
Ross: Oysters at this great French bistro.
Kathryn: Lamb in some form.

Big dream:
Winning Megamillions.   But recently we’ve been debating if it actually would be easier to win, say, 10 million instead of 100 million—avoiding the problems of whom to donate to, etc.  It is a dilemma.

Super power of choice:
Ross: Super Mind like Doctor Strange.
Kathryn: Flying.

You have a rawther unique working process. Please describe.
We’re like twins; usually we finish each other’s thoughts; so when we talk it sounds like code; we either sit next to each other on the computer or sit and talk via Skype; we have childish brother and sister arguments that ultimately end up with each of us switching to the other side (which, of course, spawns yet another debate…). We have a lot of fun!

Who’s funnier, Kathryn or Ross?
Take the fifth.


Dance First, Think Later by Kathryn and Ross PetrasKathryn and Ross Petras are the authors of numerous books, including, most recently, Dance First, Think Later, a book of inspirational (and not stupid!) quotes. You can follow them on Twitter @TeamStupidest, and visit their website

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