Sunday, July 14, 2013

The Next Big Thing blog tour

My thanks to Alex Clark for tagging me in The Next Big Thing blog tour! This blog tour began in Australia and features authors' and illustrators' current book projects. Here we go.

1) What is the working title of your next book?
My current book project is a historical fiction picture book titled Bent Tree and the Serpent of Earth. It is a story about the building of the premiere effigy mound in North America, Serpent Mound, in Peebles, Ohio.

2) Where did the idea come from for the book?
Growing up in Ohio, I've known about the prehistoric Native American mound builders most of my life. I took a trip to see this mound many years ago and was amazed to learn that it was not just a ceremonial mound as I had always thought, but that it is actually a solar calendar, much like Stone Henge. As a teacher, this is my kind of thing, and I wanted to share that information with kids. In order to hook my readers, I decided to put a human story behind the mound.

3) What genre does your book fall under? 
Historical fiction picture book.

4) What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
Goodness! I'm so much more a book person than a movie person, I couldn't answer that. That question would be much better answered by my son Elliott Stanek who has worked on the production end of films.

5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? 
Bent Tree, a differently-abled boy, prevails in his struggle to find a way to make a meaningful contribution to his tribe's building of Serpent Mound.

6) Who is publishing your book?
I am in talks with a regional publisher, but don't have a contract on it yet.

7) How long did it take you to create the illustrations?
I have not yet begun the illustrations for this, but expect it to take several months. Once school begins again, my school visits will dramatically slow me down!

8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
It has been compared, by one reviewer, to The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush.

9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?
Seeing the mound could be inspiration enough, but learning that it was a solar calendar, and understanding its importance for these early agriculturalists topped that off!

10) What else about the book might pique the reader's interest?
It might interest readers to know that, tragically, these prehistoric Americans all died off, presumably from diseases that were introduced by early explorers from Europe.

Thanks again, Alex, for tagging me! Up next, Agy Wilson at her blog:

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