Today we have an interview with Brian Rock, author of The Deductive Detective, just out from Sylvan Dell!
1. How did you come up with the idea for a Deductive Detective?
My daughter’s favorite stuffed animal (and constant sidekick) is a duck named Quacky. I wanted to write a story for them, but I wanted it to stand out from some of the other great duck books like Make Way For Ducklings and Little Quack. So I started doing free word associations with the word duck. Duck…Ducky…Deduct…Deductive. Then I thought a deductive duck might be a fun story. And from there, I just “followed the clues” to the Deductive Detective!”
2. Please describe your writing process as you developed The Deductive Detective.
Since this is a whodunit story, I actually had to start with the end and work backwards. Once I had my idea for the detective, I had to create a crime for him to solve – someone stole a cake. Then I had to create the culprit, then I had to create other possible suspects and create the trail of clues that would eliminate each one as the perpetrator.
3. Were you allowed to contribute to the decision regarding the selection of an illustrator?
No. But that’s the norm for authors who don’t illustrate their own titles.
4. Are you happy with the illustrations for The Deductive Detective?
Yes, Sherry did a great job of bringing my story to life. I especially like the way she decorated each of the cakes in the story to correspond with its baker. Very clever!
5. Do you have any specific advice for writers of picture books? Comments?
Keep writing! Thinking about writing, talking about writing, even going to writer’s conferences is not writing. The more you actually put words on paper, the better you will get. Secondly, join a critique group with other children’s writers.
No matter how great I think one of my stories is, I always get good suggestions to make it better from my critique group; and I never send anything to editors until I’ve revised it with input from my group. And as an added bonus, I get to read some really great mss. from some very talented children’s authors – for free!