1. What is the title of your work-in-progress?
2. Where did the idea come from?
I've wanted to do an anti-smoking story for a long time.
3. What genre does your book come under?
It will be a picture book app.
4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie?
Justin Bieber as Bo the Warthog and Selena Gomez as the mouse named Bijou. I'm going for box office here!
5. One sentence synopsis for your book?
While out looking for butterflies, Bo the warthog finds a pack of cigarettes and decides to try smoking.
6. Is your book self-published, published by an independent publisher, or represented by an agency?
I'm working on "The Warthog Smoked" with my son Alex, a software engineer and we are creating it for Liddery, my new app enterprise. If all goes well, it will be appearing in the App Store this summer.
7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Weeks. The initial writing of a picture book manuscript may just take a day, but the rewriting can be over a period of weeks or months.
8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
It is a patterned story so I could compare it to my own book, The Cow Buzzed, illustrated by Paul Meisel, because in that book one farm animal after another catches a cold. In this story, one wild animal after another tries smoking.
9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?
As my own children grew up I saw some of their young friends turn into smokers. I think more can be done to put anti-smoking ideas in the minds of very young children. As a picture book creator, I wanted to do something about that.
10.What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
There is almost nothing out there in the way of books for the very young with an anti-smoking theme. It is a big challenge to teach without being didactic and preachy. I'm making the story fun as well as leaving kids thinking that smoking is a lousy idea!