I was able to interview Eric D. Goodman, author of Flightless Goose who is doing a virtual book tour stop here at Raising (& Teaching) Little Saints. What does this mean? You will be able to post questions in the comment section for Eric to answer. Here is my interview of this author.:
1. What made you select animal characters for your book? Why a Goose?
Most of my stories are not based on real characters. Believe it or not, Flightless Goose is based on a real goose! My wife and I used to live on a pond and geese made it their home. There really was a goose who was hit by a car and rendered unable to fly. The geese teased it, flying back and forth and making the goose swim after. And they left the goose behind for the winter. But when they returned, the flightless goose was accepted back into the flock. When I witnessed this, I thought it would make a great story, and perhaps be a good opportunity to teach a lesson about coping with disability, focusing on strengths in order to survive, and accepting others who are different.
2. I noticed that the illustrator shares your same last name, is Nataliya, your sister or your wife? Either case, how hard or easy was it to work with family on this project?
Nataliya and I have been married for 16 years. I think when two people who love one another share a passion about something, it makes it easy to work together. It was easy for us. Nataliya loves her art, I love my writing, and we both wanted to tell the story of this flightless goose. We didn't always agree on everything, but we certainly both agreed with the final product.
3. Do you think there will be a sequel for Flightless Goose? Another adventure?
I hope so! Before we work on a sequel, we're working on another children's book with a completely different set of characters. Then, we'd like to come back and give Gilbert a new adventure. I think Gilbert's friends may find a way to let him go south for the winter even though he can't fly. At a lot of school events, kids have said they think Gilbert should go to school with Johnny. Who knows, it could be a trilogy!
4. What made you decide a children's book over an adult book?
I actually do write adult fiction. In fact, I have a novel in stories being published this month: Tracks. Tracks is a collection of linked stories that takes place on a train. Each story is that of a passenger on the train, but they link together to form a novel. You can learn more about it at www.TracksNovel.com.
At one point, I did think Flightless Goose would make a good short story or a chapter book for young children. But the more I thought about it, it seemed to lend itself to the picture book format.
5. What was the main message you wanted to portray with this book?
First and foremost, I want readers to enjoy the story -- it's meant to be a fun book. But there are a number of lessons I hope will seep in. Everyone is different. Children should treat one another with respect and kindness. You should never bully another person for any reason. And no matter what difficulty you may face, focus on the positive and don't dwell on the negative. Everyone makes a difference.
6. My kids liked the word art in the book, was that your idea or the illustrators?
Actually, neither. That was the work of the designer hired by the publisher. We submitted the page-by-page text and matching illustrations as original paintings. The publisher took care of laying it all out and designing the book.
7. Do you have kids of your own?
We do. We have a daughter who is 13 and a son who is 6. I think reading childrens' books to them helped us to reconnect to storybooks and inspired us to write and illustrate Flightless Goose. We dedicated the book to them.
Again, thank you!
Tomorrow I will be posting my review of the book and one lucky winner will get a chance to have a copy of the book for themselves. :) In the meantime, please check out Flightless Goose on Facebook and meet Gilbert the Goose or if you are ready to own a copy of this great children's book, you can order it here.