Monday, June 5, 2017

Interview with Tom Watson, author of Stick Cat: Cats in the City

Please welcome author Tom Watson.  His latest book, Stick Cat: Cats in the City is out now.  We are excited to share his interview with you.

Author: Tom Watson
Publisher: HarperCollins Children
Date of publication: April 2017

Stick Cat and his incomparable sidekick Edith are on another dangerous, epic, and hilarious rescue mission in Tom Watson’s Stick Cat: Cats in the City (Harper Collins; On-sale: 4/25/2017; 9780062411020; $12.99; Ages 8 – 12), the second title in this popular, outrageous feline caper. With over-the-top fun and humor, this scrumptious story features Tom Watson’s trademark laughs, adventure, and hilarious stick-figure drawings, perfect for fans of the Stick Dog, Big Nate, andDiary of a Wimpy Kid books.

Stick Cat is going somewhere he’s never been before—his best friend Edith’s apartment. It’s got everything: donut crumbs in the sink, a fire escape, and a window with a great view of the big city. While admiring the view, Stick Cat sees trouble. Hazel, the bagel maker, is in serious danger in the building across the alley. Stick Cat will use his smarts—and Edith’s appetite—to devise a rescue plan. But can Hazel hang on long enough for this dynamic duo to save her?

 Welcome Tom!

Kari & Autumn:  What inspired you to become a writer?

Tom: I was really just trying to make my kids laugh.  I had always told them stories at the dinner table or at bed time.  And one evening, Lizzy and Jake had looked at a little dog that I had sketched on a piece of scrap paper.  They totally made fun of my drawing and said it looked like a stick dog - like a stick figure drawing.  So they named him.  And then they wanted to hear a story about him.  that's how Stick Dog started - by me wanting to make my kids laugh and by them making fun of my artistic abilities. :)

Kari & Autumn:   Where do you come up with the ideas for your books?

Tom: With the Stick Dog books, I start with the food.  I ask myself, What kind of food would a dog like to eat?  Then I think how would they discover a taste of that food - and how could they find a lot more.  Then I just let the dogs' personalities take over and let them start running across the page.  With Stick Cat, the ideas start with the humans in the stories.  How will a human get in danger, get in trouble or get hurt or something?  And how can the cats help them?

Kari & Autumn:  What exciting projects are waiting in the wings?

Tom: I have a few things cooking that I like a lot.  The next Stick Dog story comes out in late July.  It's called Stick Dog Craves Candy.  I think it's a really fun adventure with loads of laughs.  The next Stick Cat book comes out in early October.  In that one, the cats need to catch a dangerous thief.  I love the role that Edith, Stick Cat's best friend, plays in that story.  And there will be fifteen total books - ten dogs and five cats.  So, lots of fun still to come.

Kari & Autumn:  Who is your favorite literary character and why?

Tom: Calvin, from the Calvin and Hobbes comic strips by Bill Watterson.  I think the humor in Calvin and Hobbes is classic.

Kari & Autumn:  Just for fun, if you could be any animal, what would it be and why?

Tom: I would be my own dog, Shadow.  And here's why.  Shadow is one of the dumbest dogs on the planet.  I would just like to get inside his head and figure out why he does the things he does.  Let me give you an example of just how not-so-bright Shadow is.  When we're driving in the car, Shadow likes to lean forward from the backseat and look out the windshield.  He likes to see where we are going.  And whenever we go under a bridge, Shadow ducks his head.  He thinks the bridge is going to hit him.  I mean, I would like to understand how his brain works.  He's crazy.

About the author:

Tom Watson lives in Chicago with his wife, daughter and son. He also has a dog, as you could probably guess. The dog is a Labrador-Newfoundland mix. Tom says he looks like a Labrador with a bad perm. He wanted to name the dog ‘Put Your Shirt On’ (please don’t ask why), but he was out-voted by his family. The dog’s name is Shadow. Early in his career Tom worked in politics, including a stint as the Chief Speechwriter for the Governor of Ohio. This experience helped him develop the unique, story-telling narrative style of the Stick Dog books. More important, Tom’s time in politics made him realize a very important thing: Kids are way smarter than adults. And it’s a lot more fun and rewarding to write stories for them than to write speeches for grown-ups.

No comments: