KIDLIT, FANTASY & SCI-FI –> Feed Your Head!

By Henry, Josh & Harrison Herz

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Interview with picture book author/illustrator Emma Yarlett

Emma Yarlett is an author and illustrator based in Cornwall in the UK. She loves to paint, draw, scribble, collage, design, write, doodle, construct, invent, imagine, splatter and sketch, and particularly loves illustrating children’s books. Her second picture book ‘Orion and the Dark’ will be published in the fall of 2014.


For what age audience do you write?

I generally write for the older end of the picture book market (around ages 4-7), as I really love to add interesting detail and sub plots into my books. I enjoy writing all types of genres, but seem to always lean towards magical and whimsical adventures – taking a common theme or item, and giving the storyline a twist.

Tell us about your latest book.

My latest book is my second authored and illustrated picture book, it’s called ‘Orion and the Dar’k, and will be published by Candlewick Press towards the end of 2014. I’ve just received my advanced copies of the finished book, and am so excited about it! It’s about a little boy called Orion who is scared of an awful lot of things, but one thing scare him more than anything else… The dark! One night he gets so fed up, he has an outburst of anger, resulting in a rather mysterious dark figure popping in for an adventure.

Henry: Orion is also a constellation. Hmmm… ☺

What do you hope readers will get from reading that book?

I wrote this book as a way to help children combat their fear of the dark – but I also wrote it as a compelling and magical adventure for children to go on, and hopefully read over and over again.

What aspect of writing do you find most challenging?

The concept of less is more! I often have to really cut down and simplify what I have written as I lean towards adding a lot of narrative detail – which when combined with the visuals is needlessly surplus.

Henry: And superfluously gratuitous.

What is a powerful lesson you’ve learned from being a writer?

Imagine, imagine, imagine! It’s so important to sit and think and let your mind float around in the unreal and the extraordinary!

Henry: How do you feel about recreational use of hallucinogens?

What has been a memorable experience that you never would have had if you had not been a writer?

I was recently longlisted for the Carnegie Kate Greenaway medal, and I must say it was such an incredible mind blowing moment.

Henry: Very nice.

What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

It’s really important to seek opinions from both people you trust and admire, but also industry insiders who really know what they’re talking about. It can truly make your work so much better once your ideas have been bounced around other people’s brains too!

Henry: So true. I find critique groups invaluable.

Do you have any favorite quotes?

“Everything you can imagine is real” by Pablo Picasso. I love this quote so much, the book I’ve just begun writing is based on it!

Henry: Spoiler alert!

Do you have any strange rituals that you observe when you write?

Not particularly, I tend to look a little bit bonkers though, as I will scribble tiny narratives endlessly on reams and reams of paper in the smallest handwriting you have ever seen!

If you could have one superpower, what would it be?

Flying! Since I was a child I have always had wonderful nighttime dreams of flying, and it would be so incredible to actually do it!

Henry: Flying is the most popular answer to that question.

If you could have three authors over for dinner, who would it be?

Roald Dahl – he is such a wonderfully quirky and creative man, and his stories are so timeless. I imagine he would be an absolutely charming dinner guest!

C.S.Lewis – I am a massive fan of the Narnia series, and it would be so interesting to quiz him on all the in’s and out’s of his wonderful mind and his wonderful books.

Suzanne Collins – Another series of books that I love to read are the Hunger Games… They are such a force of the imagination, and I would love to know more about how her books came to fruition and where her ideas appeared from or are based on!

Henry: That sounds like a great ensemble, as long as Suzanne doesn’t take all the food…

What is your favorite creature that exists only in literature?

I love Greek Mythology, and I also love horses, so for me it would have to be Pegasus. That way I could achieve my dream of flying for sure!

Henry: Well played, sir.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing? 

My husband is a youth worker and the director of a youth charity, and so I love to help him out! I also really enjoy sport, reading, baking, and seeing my wonderful friends and family.

Where can readers find your work?

In all the best bookstores, all the best online retailers and on my website (, blog, Twitter, and Facebook page!

This interview is also posted on the San Diego Children’s Books Examiner.

Click to Tweet: Interview with picture book author/illustrator @EmmaYarlett at via @Nimpentoad

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Archers of Legend

With San Diego Comic-Con going on right now, it seems only fitting to take a look at some of the great archers of legend from novels, comics, manga, movies and video games.

Bard the Bowman (The Hobbit)


Per wikipedia: “Later known as Bard I, he appears in The Hobbit. Bard of Esgaroth was a skilled archer and the heir of Girion, the last king of old Dale. He was described as “grim faced” and while a guardsman of Esgaroth he was often predicting floods and poisoned fish. He rallied the guards to defend the town when the dragon came. Bard was able to slay the dragon Smaug with the Black Arrow after a tip from the old thrush (who had overheard Bilbo Baggins’ description of Smaug) had revealed an unarmoured spot on the dragon’s underside. Bard claimed a twelfth of the treasure amassed by the dragon, which he subsequently shared with the Master of Esgaroth to rebuild the town, but the Master stole the money and ran off into the wild where he died. After its rebuilding, Bard was the first king (Bard I) of restored Dale, followed by his son Bain, grandson Brand, and great-grandson Bard II. In Peter Jackson’s three-part adaptation of The Hobbit, Bard is played by Welsh actor Luke Evans.”


Cupid (mythology)


Per wikipedia: “In classical mythology, Cupid (Latin Cupido, meaning “desire”) is the god of desire, erotic love, attraction and affection. He is often portrayed as the son of the love goddess Venus, and is known in Latin also as Amor (“Love”). His Greek counterpart is Eros.”

“Although Eros appears in Classical Greek art as a slender winged youth, during the Hellenistic period, he was increasingly portrayed as a chubby boy. During this time, his iconography acquired the bow and arrow that represent his source of power: a person, or even a deity, who is shot by Cupid’s arrow is filled with uncontrollable desire. In myths, Cupid is a minor character who serves mostly to set the plot in motion.”


Daryl Dixon (The Walking Dead)


Per wikipedia: “Daryl Dixon is a fictional character from the horror drama television series The Walking Dead, which airs on AMC in the United States and is based on the comic book series of the same name. He was created by writers Frank Darabont, Charles H. Eglee and Jack LoGiudice and is portrayed by Norman Reedus. The character was introduced in the first season as a Southern expert tracker who constantly lives in the shadow of his brother, Merle. Despite his ill temper and volatility, he is tolerated by the core group of survivors due to his skills in hunting animals and fearless efficiency in killing zombies (dubbed “walkers” in the series).”


Green Arrow (DC Comics)


Per wikipedia: “Green Arrow is a fictional superhero who appears in comic books published by DC Comics. Created by Morton Weisinger and designed by George Papp, he first appeared in More Fun Comics #73 in November 1941. His real name is Oliver Queen, a billionaire businessman and owner of Queen Industries, as well as a well-known celebrity in his locale of Star City. Sometimes shown dressed like Robin Hood, Green Arrow is an archer who invents trick arrows with various special functions, such as glue arrows, diversions (smoke), net, explosive, time bomb, grappling, fire extinguishing, flash, boomerang, tear gas arrows, cryonic arrows and even a kryptonite arrow. At the time of his debut, Green Arrow functioned in many ways as an archery-themed analogue of the very popular Batman character, but writers at DC subsequently developed him into a voice of progressivism very much distinct in character from Batman, with his own supporting cast.”


Hawkeye (Marvel Comics)

Per wikipedia: “Hawkeye (Clint Barton; also known as Goliath and Ronin) is a fictional character, a comic book superhero that appears in comic books published by Marvel Comics. Created by writer Stan Lee and artist Don Heck, the character first appeared as a villain in Tales of Suspense #57 (Sept. 1964) and later joined the Avengers in Avengers #16 (May 1965). He has been a prominent member of the team ever since. He was also ranked at #44 on IGN’s Top 100 Comic Book Heroes list.”

“Hawkeye is portrayed by Jeremy Renner in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, a shared fictional universe that is the setting of films produced by Marvel Studios. Renner first made an uncredited cameo appearance as Hawkeye in Thor (2011) and later reprised the role in The Avengers (2012); he is set to return to the role a third time in Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015).”


Katniss Everdeen (The Hunger Games)


Per wikipedia: “Katniss Everdeen is a fictional character and the protagonist of The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins. Her name comes from an edible plant called katniss. Academy Award-winning actress Jennifer Lawrence portrayed Katniss in The Hunger Games films.”

“Katniss and her family come from District 12, a coal-mining district that is the poorest and least populated district in the dystopian fictional autocratic nation of Panem. In the course of the first book, The Hunger Games, Katniss volunteers to replace her sister, Primrose “Prim” Everdeen, after she is called forth during Reaping Day, a day in which, annually, one male and one female tribute between the ages of 12 to 18 are called forth from each district to fight to the death in an arena and only one person can come out alive from all 24 people in what are known as the Hunger Games.”


Legolas (The Lord of the Rings)


Per wikipedia: “Legolas was the son of Thranduil, King of the Woodland Realm of Northern Mirkwood, who appears as “the Elvenking” in The Hobbit. Thranduil ruled over the Silvan Elves or “Wood-elves” of Mirkwood.”

“Although he lived among the Silvan Elves, Legolas was not one himself. His father Thranduil had originally come from Lindon; he and his son were actually Sindar, or ‘Grey Elves’.”

“Legolas was introduced in The Fellowship of the Ring, at the council of Elrond of Rivendell, where he came as a messenger from his father to discuss Gollum’s escape from their guard. Legolas was chosen to be a member of the Fellowship that intended to destroy the One Ring. He accompanied the other members in their travels from Rivendell to Amon Hen, serving as the group’s archer.”


Link (Legend of Zelda)


Per wikipedia: “Link refers to several different incarnations of the same fictional character and the protagonist of Nintendo’s The Legend of Zelda series. Link has been featured in other media from Nintendo, including its merchandising, comic books, and a cartoon series.”

“Link is depicted as a child, teenager, or adult of the Hylian race, originating from the fictional land of Hyrule. Link often travels through Hyrule, defeating creatures, evil forces, and the series’ primary antagonist, Ganon, while attempting to save Princess Zelda and Hyrule. To defeat him, Link usually requires the mystic Master Sword and Light Arrows, or a similar legendary weapon, obtained after many trials and battles, and magical objects or using other items such as musical instruments and weaponry.”


Merida (Brave)


Per wikipedia: “Princess Merida (Scottish Gaelic: Mèrida) is the main character from the 2012 Disney Pixar film Brave. Merida was added to the Disney Princess line-up as the 11th Princess and the first Pixar character in 2013.”

“Princess Merida is the 16-year old daughter of King Fergus and Queen Elinor, who rule their Scottish kingdom. Queen Elinor’s traditional expectations that Merida take a husband and become a proper royal lady come into conflict with the single-minded and impetuous Merida’s insistence that she control her own destiny. Merida has greatly perfected her skill in archery, and is one of the most skilled archers in the kingdom.”


Neytiri (Avatar)


Per wikipedia: “To explore Pandora’s biosphere, scientists use Na’vi-human hybrids called “avatars”, operated by genetically matched humans; Jake Sully, a paraplegic former marine, replaces his deceased twin brother as an operator of one. Dr. Grace Augustine, head of the Avatar Program, considers Sully an inadequate replacement but accepts his assignment as a bodyguard. While protecting the avatars of Grace and scientist Norm Spellman as they collect biological data, Jake’s avatar is attacked by a thanator and flees into the forest, where he is rescued by Neytiri, a female Na’vi. Witnessing an auspicious sign, she takes him to her clan, whereupon Neytiri’s mother Mo’at, the clan’s spiritual leader, orders her daughter to initiate Jake into their society.”

“Colonel Miles Quaritch, head of RDA’s private security force, promises Jake that the company will restore his legs if he gathers intelligence about the Na’vi and the clan’s gathering place, a giant arboreal called Hometree, on grounds that it stands above the richest deposit of unobtanium in the area. When Grace learns of this, she transfers herself, Jake, and Norm to an outpost. Over three months, Jake grows to sympathize with the natives. After Jake is initiated into the tribe, he and Neytiri choose each other as mates, and soon afterward, Jake reveals his change of allegiance when he attempts to disable a bulldozer that threatens to destroy a sacred Na’vi site. When Quaritch shows a video recording of Jake’s attack on the bulldozer to Administrator Parker Selfridge, and another in which Jake admits that the Na’vi will never abandon Hometree, Selfridge orders Hometree destroyed.”


Robin Hood (mythology)


Per wikipedia: “Robin Hood (spelled Robyn Hode in older sources) is a heroic outlaw in English folklore, and, according to legend, was also a highly skilled archer and swordsman. Although such behaviour was not part of his original character, since the beginning of the 19th century he has become known for “robbing from the rich and giving to the poor”, assisted by a group of fellow outlaws known as his “Merry Men”. Traditionally, Robin Hood and his men are depicted wearing Lincoln green clothes. According to some accounts, the legend has its roots in the activities of actual medieval outlaws, or the ballads or tales that circulated about them.”


Sailor Mars (Sailor Moon)


Per wikipedia: “Sailor Mars is a fictional lead character in the Sailor Moon manga series written by Naoko Takeuchi. The alternate identity of Rei Hino (or Raye Hino in the English adaptations), a teenage Japanese schoolgirl and Shinto priestess, she belongs to the Sailor Soldiers, female supernatural fighters who the franchise’s main girl characters transform into to fulfill their duty of protecting the Solar System and the franchise’s eponymous protagonist from evil.”

“Sailor Mars is the second Sailor Soldier to be discovered by Sailor Moon and the secondary leader of the Sailor Soldiers after Sailor Venus. She possesses powers associated with fire, as well as psychic and spiritual ones.”


Susan Pevensie (The Chronicles of Narnia)


Per wikipedia: “Susan Pevensie is a fictional character in C. S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia series. Susan is the elder sister and the second eldest Pevensie child. She appears in three of the seven books—as a child in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and Prince Caspian, and as an adult in The Horse and His Boy. She is also mentioned in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader and The Last Battle. During her reign at the Narnian capital of Cair Paravel, she is known as Queen Susan the Gentle or Queen Susan of the Horn. She was the only Pevensie that survived the train wreck (because she was not on the train or at the station) on Earth which sent the others to Narnia after The Last Battle.”


William Tell (mythology)


Per wikipedia: “William Tell (in the four languages of Switzerland: German: Wilhelm Tell; French: Guillaume Tell; Italian: Guglielmo Tell; Romansh: Guglielm Tell) is a folk hero of Switzerland. His legend is recorded in a late 15th-century Swiss chronicle.”

“It is set in the period of the original foundation of the Old Swiss Confederacy in the early 14th century. According to the legend, Tell—an expert marksman with the crossbow—assassinated Gessler, a tyrannical reeve of Habsburg Austria positioned in Altdorf, Uri.”

“Along with Arnold Winkelried, Tell is a central figure in Swiss patriotism as it was constructed during the Restoration of the Confederacy after the Napoleonic era.”

Click to Retweet: Archers of Legend at via @Nimpentoad



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Interview with ‘Tin Star’ YA & picture book author Cecil Castellucci

Cecil Castellucci is the author of books and graphic novels for young adults including ‘Boy Proof’, ‘The Plain Janes’, ‘First Day on Earth’, ‘Odd Duck’ and ‘Tin Star’.  Her picture book, ‘Grandma’s Gloves’, won the California Book Award Gold Medal and ‘The Year of the Beasts’ was a PEN USA finalist.. Her short stories have been widely published in literary magazines and anthologies. She is the YA editor of the Los Angeles Review of Books, Children’s Correspondence Coordinator for The Rumpus and a two-time MacDowell Fellow. She lives in Los Angeles.


For what age audience do you write?

I write for ages 6 – 106.

Henry: Way to focus on a niche audience. ☺

Tell us about your latest book.

My latest book is a young adult novel called ‘Tin Star’.  It’s about a girl named Tula Bane who is abandoned on an alien space station at the brink of a galactic war.  She’s the only human on the station and the aliens don’t like humans.

Henry: Sounds like her romantic prospects are somewhat limited…

What do you hope readers will get from reading that book?

It’s about a girl who has to shed her humanness to survive, but then has to find it again when three humans crash land on the space station.  It’s about survival and finding yourself again after a long absence from your heart.

What aspect of writing do you find most challenging?

I don’t like the blank page.  That’s challenging. I’d rather write a million wrong words and revise then face the blank page. So, I find writing the first draft very hard.  It’s easy to write the first few pages of a story because that’s when you are in love with it. It’s a honeymoon between you and the words.  It’s all potential. But once you are really in the thick of it, it can be daunting.  I just try to get a skinny skeleton down so that I have something to play around with.

Henry: I agree. The first draft is always the hardest.

What is a powerful lesson you’ve learned from being a writer?

You have to put on your best ears so that you can listen to the heart of the story and help it beat the strongest.  You have to also be able to listen to critique and get rid of anything that is taking away from the real story.  I always try to remember that anything I throw out I can put into another story another time.

Henry: That is a great tip for writing. Not such a great tip for cooking…

What has been a memorable experience that you never would have had if you had not been a writer?

I went to a workshop for sci-fi writers that was a seven-day crash course in space science.  That was super fun.

Henry: And because you were travelling near the speed of light, time dilation meant that what was seven days for you was actually 38 years for the rest of us.

What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

See above. Get good ears. Also, thick skin.

Henry: Good ears, check. Thick skin, check. And a comfortable chair.

Do you have any favorite quotes?

“The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.” — Jane Austen

“non est ad astra mollis e terris via” (There is no easy way from the earth to the stars) – Seneca

Henry: I wonder if Seneca overlooked sci-fi writing as a path to the stars…

Do you have any strange rituals that you observe when you write

I like to sit in the sun

Henry: So you are both photogenic and phototropic. What about computer screen glare? Do you write by hand?

If you could have one superpower, what would it be?

I’d like to move my molecules so I can either pass through things or nothing can pass through me. So no mass or much mass.

Henry: A unique request.

If you could have three authors over for dinner, who would it be?

I’ll go with dead people. Jane Austen, Walter Tevis and Mary Shelly

Henry: Excellent choices. Plus they aren’t picky eaters. Wikipedia helpfully offers

“Walter Stone Tevis was an American novelist and short story writer. Three of his six novels were adapted into major films: The Hustler, The Color of Money and The Man Who Fell to Earth.”

What is your favorite creature that exists only in literature?

I’ll say Medusa because I wrote one in ‘Year of the Beasts’ and I think that Medusa is very misunderstood. She kind of personifies female rage and the result of being horribly betrayed. We don’t like to see someone who has been driven mad by that.

Henry: I always figured Medusa’s rage stemmed from having a bad hair day…

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Read, See, Do, Enjoy other people’s art, music, dance, books, plays, etc

What would you like it to say on your tombstone?

All Art All the Time

Henry: Readers may be interested to learn that Cecil is also a musician.

Where can readers find your work?

Bookstores and online.

This interview is also posted at the San Diego Children’s Books Examiner.

Click to Tweet: Interview with TIN STAR author @MissCecil at by @Nimpentoad

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Interview with THE STORY OF FISH & SNAIL author/illustrator Deborah Freedman

Deborah Freedman was an architect once, but now prefers building worlds in picture books. She is the author and illustrator of THE STORY OF FISH & SNAIL, BLUE CHICKEN, SCRIBBLE, and to-be-published (Viking, April 2015) BY MOUSE & FROG. Deborah lives in a colorful house in southern Connecticut, where she is busy at work on her next books. You can learn more about her at


For what age audience do you write?

I write and illustrate picture books, and honestly believe that no one is too old to read picture books!

Henry: So true! A well-written picture book like Where the Wild Things Are or Journey appeals to kids of all ages.

Tell us about your latest book.

My latest book is The Story of Fish & Snail, published by Viking last year. It’s about a Fish and Snail who live in a book together, and how their friendship is tested when Fish encourages Snail to explore another book.

Henry: It’s always a delicate situation when you ask your roommate to move out… :)

What do you hope readers will get from reading that book?

I hope The Story of Fish & Snail will encourage children to jump into new books, or even to write their own — perhaps new adventures for Fish and Snail!

Henry: Well, you’re preaching to the choir. My young sons helped coauthor my books Nimpentoad and Monster Goose Nursery Rhymes (Pelican, 2015).

What aspect of writing do you find most challenging?

Sometimes, when I’ve been working on a project for a long time, it can stop feeling fresh after a while — which can make it challenging to revise effectively.

Henry: Agreed. I like to work on multiple manuscripts, so when I’m struggling with one, I can switch to another.

What is a powerful lesson you’ve learned from being a writer?

Keep going anyway!

Henry: The power of BIC!

What has been a memorable experience that you never would have had if you had not been a writer?

Connecting with readers through my books never stops being wonderful, even profoundly moving at times.

Henry: Plus, being hounded by paparazzi never loses its thrill… :)

What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

Oh, I don’t know… I certainly don’t have this writing life all figured out! So how about this: never assume you have it all figured out.

Henry: After multiple traditionally published books, it’s not figured out!? Yikes!

Where can readers find your work?

Hopefully at all the usual places, but I especially encourage readers to shop at independent bookstores, and I try to keep my website updated with a list of stores that have signed copies.

Henry: Go indies!

This article can also be read at Henry’s blog on KidLit, fantasy & science fiction.

This interview is also posted at the San Diego Children’s Books Examiner.

Click to Tweet: Interview with THE STORY OF FISH & SNAIL author/illustrator @DeborahFreedman at via @Nimpentoad

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BEYOND THE PALE giveaway on Goodreads

Beyond the Pale  is a dark fantasy anthology featuring eleven short stories by award-winning and New York Times bestselling authors Saladin Ahmed, Peter S. Beagle, Heather Brewer, Jim Butcher, Kami Garcia, Nancy Holder, Gillian Philip & Jane Yolen!
There is currently a free Goodreads Giveaway you can enter. SPECIAL BONUS: The copies being given away are signed by Peter S. Beagle, Jim Butcher, Kami Garcia, and Nancy Holder!

Praise for Beyond the Pale:

“Beyond the Pale features a stellar, diverse line-up, brimming with talent and imagination.”
–   New York Times bestseller Jason Hough, author of The Darwin Elevator

“From the hovel of a Middle Eastern hermit, to remote islands of Scotland, to a moss-dripping bayou road of the American South, and into lands uncharted, there is a singular truth: no matter where you go, you’re never far from the darkness, the unknown … the Pale. Beyond the Pale is a rich, diverse collection of tales that will haunt and inspire in equal measure.”
–   New York Times bestseller Rachel Caine, author of The Weather Watchers

“Beyond the edge of fear and dread, shadows tell each other beautiful and frightening stories. Crack open this book and listen to the voices.”
–   New York Times bestseller Richard Kadrey, author of Sandman Slim

“Beyond the Pale is the kind of thing to keep loaded on your reader in case you need a quick fix of fine fantasy by one of the field’s finest fantasy writers.”
–   Nebula Award-nominated Greg van Eekhout, author of California Bones

“Light a black candle and crack open this collection of short stories from writers who are more than mere wordsmiths. A thrill runs up my spine as I wonder, could these scribes be messengers from in-between worlds sent here to prepare us for our own crossings? The veil thins and the candle flickers. Fiction? I’m not so sure.”
–   New York Times bestseller Frank Beddor, author of The Looking Glass Wars

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Interview with Timothy Power, author of THE BOY WHO HOWLED

Timothy Power has written THE BOY WHO HOWLED, a middle-grade novel recommended for ages 8 and above. It is a humorous, contemporary story dealing with family and fitting in.


Tell us about your latest book.

In THE BOY WHO HOWLED, a little boy named Callum is accidentally left in the woods after a family camping trip. (His parents are extremely upset by it.) He is adopted by a pack of Timber wolves and raised by the rules of the Wild, but when he grows large enough to threaten the Alpha male, the pack kicks him out and he must travel to the city in search of his true family. It is a fantastical, funny, and occasionally touching tale. Not for the serious-minded! The book was published by Bloomsbury USA in hardback in 2010 and came out in paperback in 2013.

Henry: Not for the serious-minded? I’m your man! Kind of like a mash-up of Home Alone and The Grey?

What do you hope readers will get from reading that book?

I hope readers enjoy many laughs and experience some excitement and suspense as Callum, the “wolf boy,” faces unexpected challenges along the way to rediscovering his human pack in THE BOY WHO HOWLED.

Henry: It is also to be hoped that parents will learn to be more careful when taking their kids camping. Always do a head count before leaving. Always.

What aspect of writing do you find most challenging?

For me, writing is mainly problem solving, trying to make sense of a jumble of words by setting them in the proper order without using too many or too few. It is most challenging when the proper order is not readily apparent, which happens all too often!

Henry: I’m reminded of the scene in Amadeus when the Emperor critizes Mozart’s piece as having “too many notes”.

What is a powerful lesson you’ve learned from being a writer?

The most powerful lesson I’ve learned from being a writer is patience. For me, nothing good comes from rushing to make sentences, paragraphs, and chapters. Perhaps I am a little dense, for I have to sit with them awhile, long enough for light to dawn and the meaning to come through.

What has been a memorable experience that you never would have had if you had not been a writer?

Receiving fan letters from young (and old!) readers who have come across THE BOY WHO HOWLED in libraries around the world has been my most memorable experience as a published author.

Henry: What about the paparazzi crashing your nights on the town?

What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

My advice to aspiring authors would be to remember that the writing process—and the publishing one—is more akin to a marathon than a sprint. You mustn’t expend too much energy at the start, because the course is long.

Henry: So true. For more on this, read Einstein’s theory on time dilation.

Do you have any favorite quotes?

I can’t remember the actual quotes, but my favorite observation about writing comes from author Gertrude Stein, who said something about avoiding sentences that “leak.” She was an obscure writer at the best of times, but I think she meant a writer should strive to keep the energy in her writing by cutting out extraneous words. Verbosity tends to be leaky, and you really want the sense of the writing to stay afloat.

Henry: Ah, a nautical metaphor. This from a women who said, “Rose is a rose is a rose is a rose.” Leaky!

Do you have any strange rituals that you observe when you write?

I tend to seek out every distraction possible when writing. Surfing the Internet is not a strange ritual per se, but it brings surprises sometimes!

If you could have one superpower, what would it be?

If I could have one superpower, I would choose to fly, in order to soar above the troubles of the world.

Henry: Flying would also save you fighting airport congestion 

If you could have three authors over for dinner, who would it be?

If I could have three authors over for dinner, I would invite Mark Twain, E. M. Forster, and Louise Fitzhugh. If all went well, Mark Twain would make me laugh, E. M. Forster—author of A ROOM WITH A VIEW, whose motto was “only connect”—would offer me writerly advice, and Louise Fitzhugh would tell me about the inspiration behind Harriet the Spy, one of my all-time favorite kids’-book characters.

Henry: Wikipedia helpfully offers:

“Edward Morgan Forster was an English novelist, short story writer, essayist and librettist. He is known best for his ironic and well-plotted novels examining class difference and hypocrisy in early 20th-century British society. Forster’s humanistic impulse toward understanding and sympathy may be aptly summed up in the epigraph to his 1910 novel Howards End: “Only connect … “. His 1908 novel, A Room with a View, is his most optimistic work, while A Passage to India (1924) brought him his greatest success.

Louise Fitzhugh was an American author and illustrator of young adult and children’s literature. Her work includes Harriet the Spy, its sequels The Long Secret and Sport, and Nobody’s Family is Going to Change.” 

What is your favorite creature that exists only in literature?

My favorite mythological creature would have to be a centaur, because I’m a Sagittarius. I also think knowing Pegasus the flying horse would be a wonderful thing.

Henry: I’m sensing a flying theme going on here. 

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I am an aspiring hermit, so what I like to do when I’m not writing is simply hanging out at my apartment in a friendly neighborhood in Los Angeles.

Henry: Will you be attending the SCBWI conference in Los Angeles in August? If so, look for me in the hotel lobby with a drink in hand.

What would you like it to say on your tombstone?

I think I would choose as my epitaph to use the immortal words of Snagglepuss, the animated mountain lion: “Exit, stage left!”

Henry: Heavens to Murgatroyd!


Where can readers find your work?

THE BOY WHO HOWLED can be ordered from any brick-and-mortar bookstore, and is available online at all book-selling sites. It is usually discounted on The paperback is easier to find than the hardback, but the amazing jacket illustration on the hardback, by Spanish artist Victor Rivas, is worth the hunt. Also see Tim’s blog at

This article is also posted on the San Diego Children’s Books Examiner.

Click to Tweet: Interview with Timothy Power, author of THE BOY WHO HOWLED at via @Nimpentoad

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San Diego Comic-Con Panel: Science Fiction & Fantasy Literature


I’m excited to announce that I’ll be moderating a panel “Science Fiction and Fantasy Literature” at San Diego Comic-Con. The panel will be held on Thursday, July 24 from 11-noon in room 5AB. This panel will comprise the award-winning and New York Times bestselling authors shown below. After the panel, from 12:30 – 1:30 pm, the authors will do a book signing in room AA09. Which authors, you ask? These award-winning and New York Times bestselling authors!

The panel will also feature a sneak preview of the upcoming fantasy anthology, Beyond the Pale, with stories from Saladin Ahmed, Peter S. Beagle, Heather Brewer, Jim Butcher, Kami Garcia, Nancy Holder, Gillian Philip, and Jane Yolen!

BrinDavid BrinExistence BrinPostman
Dr. David Brin

Dr. Brin has won the Hugo, Nebula, Campbell, and Locus awards. His book, The Postman, was made into a major motion picture.

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Jim Butcher

The Dresden Files series is required reading for urban fantasy aficionados. It is a perennial New York  Times bestseller. The latest in the series is Skin Game.

author Roxanne Carson at home CaineGlassHouses CaineIllWind

Rachel Caine

Rachel Caine is also a New York  Times bestselling author of the Weather Warden series and the Morganville Vampire series. She’s authored over 40 novels.

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Jason Hough

Jason Hough is the New York Times bestselling author of the Darwin Elevator series.

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Marie Lu

Marie Lu is the New York Times bestselling author of the Legend series.

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Jonathan Maberry

Jonathan Maberry is the Bram Stoker award winning and New York Times bestselling author of the Rot & Ruin series and the Joe Ledger series.

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Henry Herz

Henry Herz writes children’s books, and has edited a YA fantasy anthology, Beyond the Pale.

Click to Tweet: San Diego Comic-Con Panel: Sci-Fi & Fantasy Literature at via @Nimpentoad


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