Tell us about Nimpentoad
The furry bright-eyed little Nimpentoad is tired of being picked on by the bigger creatures of the ancient forest. He convinces his fellow Niblings to make the perilous journey to a castle where they hope to find refuge. Along the way, they are confronted by ravenous goblins, trolls, rhinotaurs, and other perils. But with teamwork, perseverance and Nimpentoad’s leadership, the Niblings outwit these menaces and learn important lessons. Nimpentoad was co-written by sons Josh (13) and Harrison (11) Herz.
Who are the Niblings?
Niblings are small, gremlin-like creatures. They are the smallest denizens of the mythical Grunwald Forest. Our story’s protagonist Nimpentoad is a Nibling. The Niblings are always being picked on by the larger and meaner creatures, and our book is the story of a journey they take to find refuge.
What genre is it?
High fantasy (children’s)
What kind of readers will it appeal to?
Nimpentoad is an early chapter book for kids who like an illustrated, faster read than a regular chapter book. Kids 5-9 enjoy the creatures, fantasy adventure and stunning illustrations, while parents appreciate a story that discourages bullying, and emphasizes teamwork, creativity, perseverance, and leadership.
The book’s got great illustrations. But would some kids find it scary?
We hope not. There is no bloodshed, or even violence, in the story. Although there is the threat of violence to motivate the Niblings’ trek.
How long did it take to write?
Nimpentoad took about six months to write, but it took three years to get the illustrations completed.
Wow, that long? What was the most challenging part of your creative process?
Finding the right artist who could effectively represent the fantastic creatures of Grunwald Forest was the most challenging part of the creative process.
How do you, Josh and Harrison work together?
Regarding the manuscript, I do the initial draft and then review with them to get their input and feedback. On the promotional side, I arrange for our attendance at events, and then the boys do all the book selling. They are hard to resist.
Tell us about yourselves.
Henry: My love of the fantasy genre began in elementary school with “Where the Wild Things Are” and “The Lord of the Rings,” continued through high school with Dungeons & Dragons, and into adulthood Warhammer. Struck by inspiration one day, I decided to share my love of the fantasy genre with my two young sons by writing a story for them. That was the beginning of our journey.
Josh: I love building with LEGOs, painting Warhammer miniatures, and doing parkour (urban gymnastics). I’m a big fan of The Lord of the Rings movie, and can’t wait for The Hobbit movie to come out.
Harrison: I love to play basketball. I also enjoy watching WWE wrestling, and playing games on our XBOX. I like going each year to the San Diego Comic-Con convention.
Have you got a blog where readers can keep up with your work? Do you use social media?
Our website is at www.nimpentoad.com. Readers can also Follow us at @nimpentoad, and Like us atwww.facebook.com/nimpentoad.
We are currently working on an easy reader with a sloth protagonist who travels around the world to help his animal friends protect their environments.