It’s a book birthday today for WOLFBOY by Andy Harkness, and I’m thrilled Andy has stopped by to answer a few questions! Andy’s answers are in italics.
Hello! Thanks for stopping by my blog! Tell us a little bit about your new book, Wolfboy.
Wolfboy is based on an interesting phenomenon we’ve witnessed in our house. When our kids are hungry, they change. They become, well, little monster versions of their normally sweet selves. The rabbits represent a parent, teacher or friend who is able to see through the surface temper tantrum and help in a loving way (moonberry pie).
I also love werewolf movies. I remember as a kid, my dad took my sister and I to a scary werewolf movie. On our walk home there was a full moon. I did my best werewolf impression the entire way back. My sister was not impressed. But I’ve always wanted to create a children’s book about a little werewolf. It wasn’t until I had kids of my own that the idea began to take shape.
Tell us a little bit about your illustration process for this book.
I start with a loose sketch that I place under a sheet of glass. I sculpt with clay overtop using my hands for everything except the smallest details. When the sculpt is done it is photographed and the color is added in layer in photoshop.
Have you always been into writing/illustrating books?
Really from day one. I remember in first grade, getting my first library card. I was in love with “Where the Wild Things Are”. I checked it out every weekend and when it wasn’t available I was very sad. I’ll always remember how I felt reading it…getting lost in that world along with Max. My goal was and is to have kids feel the same way about a book I make. So fingers crossed!
What’s the most exciting part of your job?
The creating. I truly feel ageless when I am drawing or sculpting. When an illustration is done I disconnect from it fairly quickly. I just love the process and with sculpting I get to be a part of every little bit of every page. I love the tangibility of the clay process.
What inspires your creativity?
Long walks in nature and reading. Having a little time to sit without my cell phone or a tv on in pure quiet.
What is one thing that readers don’t know about you, that only you could tell us?
I love butterflies. I’ve collected them since I was a child and know an annoyingly large amount of info about them.
If you weren’t writing/illustrating books, what do you think you’d be doing?
That is so hard to say….But probably doing a lot more hiking, camping and fishing.
What can readers expect from you in the future?
Another Wolfboy book (fingers crossed) and many other children’s book ideas that are brewing.
Anything else you’d like to share with readers of this blog?
I’m just so happy that throughout this crazy year we’ve all had, children’s books and reading are alive and well. We need them more than ever!