Ben Clanton, in addition to being the nicest guy, also has a talent to envy. Ben was kind enough to tag me for a game of blog “it” for authors and illustrators with new books coming out. Here are the questions and my answers.
1) What is the working title of your next book?
Oliver and his alligator.
2) Where did the idea come from for the book?
My own first day in kindergarten. The teacher was sweet, but I didn’t know why the other kids had to be there.
3) What genre does your book fall under?
4) What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
How I wish Fred Gwynne were still around to play the alligator!
5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
On his first day of school, an anxious boy decides it would be prudent to bring an alligator along, just in case things at school get rough.
6) Who is publishing your book?
Disney-Hyperion on June 25th.
7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
It’s not the first draft you have to worry about, it’s the next two or three dozen versions of it. I re-wrote the first sentence over 40 times!
8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
None can compare.
9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?
Maurice Sendak spoke often about children needing to explore their own fear. To protect them from this urge is merely self-indulgent on the part of adults. This quote from Maurice is especially relevant to what I wanted to address: “Children are tough, though we tend to think of them as fragile. They have to be tough. Childhood is not easy. We sentimentalize children, but they know what’s real and what’s not. They understand metaphor and symbol. If children are different from us, they are more spontaneous.”
10) What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?
My daughter has told me kids like any book where things get eaten. Just about everything gets eaten in this book.
Next up is the delightful and delightfully talented Jaime Temairik. You’re it!