For today’s interview we have the three authors, two young and one young at heart, of Nimpentoad, a chapter book fantasy.
Henry Herz’s love of the fantasy genre began in elementary school with Where the Wild Things Are and The Lord of the Rings, and continued with playing Dungeons & Dragons and Warhammer. Struck by inspiration one day, Henry began a fun project with his two bright young sons, who share his joy of entering the magical realms of fantasy. Together, they wrote this tale. By day, Henry is a management consultant who also teaches after school enrichment for elementary school children.
Josh and Harrison Herz are elementary school students who enjoy fantasy stories. Josh’s hobbies include parkour, building with LEGOs, and painting Warhammer miniatures. Harrison plays basketball, and collects Yu-gi-oh cards and KidRobot vinyl figures. Both are big fans of The Lord of the Rings, the annual Comic-Con convention, and have an entrepreneurial bent. With design help from their dad, they started three web-based businesses selling LEGO party favors, custom cast bases for Warhammer, and painted concrete yard sculptures.
Welcome to We Do Write, guys. How long have you been writing?
Nimpentoad was several years in development. Our second book, Twignibble, is due out in the early fall of this year. And we have a few projects lined up after that. Once we started writing, the flood gates really opened!
I know that feeling. Writing is addictive! Tell us about NIMPENTOAD. What’s the story about?
Our unlikely hero is the bright-eyed Nimpentoad, a furry little creature who’s been victimized by the bigger creatures of the ancient forest one too many times. Nimpentoad convinces his fellow niblings to make a perilous journey to a castle where they hope to find refuge—if they can just evade and outwit the ravenous goblins, trolls, rhinotaurs, and other perils that stand in their way. With teamwork, perseverance, and Nimpentoad’s leadership, the niblings overcome these menaces and learn important lessons.
I love a book set in a new, interesting world, chock full of fun creatures. How did the idea of the story come about?
When my sons were five and seven years old, I wanted to share my love of fantasy with them. Struck by inspiration one day, I came up with a way to share the joy of entering the magical realms of fantasy. I would write a fantasy book for them.
What I did not anticipate was that my boys would give me feedback on the story. They devised some of the character (“Nimpentoad”) and creature (“Neebel”) names, and made plot line suggestions. And who better to help make the story appealing to kids than other kids? My sons also helped with the art direction. Our artist would give us a rough sketch, and we would provide feedback on details and color palette. My goal of interesting my sons in fantasy transformed into also encouraging them to participate in the creative process.
What a great way to get your kids thinking creatively! What’s the hardest part of writing for you?
Writing is fun. It is the promotion of the book that is most challenging for us.
What do you absolutely have to have nearby when writing?
A computer with an internet connection for easy access to dictionary,
thesaurus, rhyming dictionary, and Google images.
If you could have any super power, what would it be?
The ability to pick a new super power at will. Like a super power chameleon. The first power I’d pick is mind control. That way, I could end war and global hunger. Plus I could sign a really good publishing deal! 🙂 Clearly, absolute power corrupts absolutely.
Ha! Yes, that might be a problem… As Uncle Ben says, with great power comes great responsibility.
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve googled?
Sorry, but my policy is to neither confirm nor deny the conduct of weird googling.
Quick writing test! Use the following words in a sentence: toad, nimble,
The nimble toad could not help but snicker at his bumbling skink companion.
Finish this sentence: If I’m not writing, I’m probably …
Working at my day job (but thinking about the next book concept).
Who would you like to thank for supporting you and your writing?
There are too many to list individually, but thank you to all our supportive readers, reviewers, fellow authors, particularly those who provided us with blurbs, and bookstores that have carried our book (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Mysterious Galaxy, Warwick’s, Readers, and Vroman’s).
And finally, where can people find you and your book online?
Nimpentoad’s official website is at www.nimpentoad.com, where you can order signed copies of the book. Nimpentoad is also available (without author signature) atAmazon and Barnes & Noble. Our blog, where you can learn about our other book projects as they progress, is at www.henryherz.wordpress.com. You can Follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/nimpentoad, and Like us on Facebook atwww.facebook.com/nimpentoad.
Thanks for joining us, Henry, Josh and Harrison. Your story sounds like a lot of fun.