Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Inteview with Dan Gutman author of Flashback Four #2: The Titanic Mission

Today, we are extremely excited to feature an interview with best selling author, Dan Gutman.  He is currently promoting his latest book from the Flashback Four series, The Titanic Mission.  Make sure to pick up a copy today.  Welcome Dan!

Author: Dan Gutman
Publisher: HarperCollins
Date of publication: April 2017

In the second adventure in New York Times bestselling author Dan Gutman’s latest middle-grade series, Flashback Four #2: The Titanic Mission (Harper Collins; On-sale: 4/4/2017; 9780062236357; $16.99; Ages 8 – 12), four kids are sent back in time to acquire a new photo for the billionaire Miss Z’s photography collection—a shot of the sinking Titanic!

The eccentric billionaire Miss Zandergoth is very disappointed with the Flashback Four. Luke, Isabel, David, and Julia did not come back from their first time-travelling adventure with a photograph of Abe Lincoln delivering the famous Gettysburg Address for Miss Z’s rare photography collection. But she’s willing to give the Flashback Four another chance, by sending them on their most dangerous trip yet—to the deck of the doomed Titanic, for a shot of the sinking ship. In this latest installment, Luke, Julia, David, and Isabel embark on a journey to capture one of the most exciting and tragic moments in history. Along the way they will meet and learn about some of the most famous real-life passengers aboard the ship, including millionaire John Jacob Astor and captain Edward John Smith. Historical photographs, combined with Dan’s signature mix of hilarity and action, make this a time-travelling adventure of titanic proportions! Racing against time and rising waters, the four kids must work together to get the perfect shot—and most important—to get back home!

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

Dan: I started writing when I was about 25 years old, after I finished college.  I had studied psychology and even went to graduate school for two years.  But I didn't enjoy it and I knew I didn't want to become a psychologist.  I didn’t know what to do with myself.  But I always enjoyed writing letters to my friends, so I just decided to start writing.  In the beginning, I wrote for grownups (quite unsuccessfully).  After my son Sam was born in 1990, I decided to try writing for kids, and as soon as I did I realized THIS is what I'm good at!  THIS  is what I should have been doing all along.   So I switched to writing for kids, and I've been doing it ever since.

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

Dan: I get my ideas from all different places: reading newspapers, watching TV, listening to the radio, listening to my own kids talk, and my own childhood.  Sometimes I just make crazy stuff up.  I try to come up with a "big idea."  Like, I try to take an ordinary kid and put that kid into an extraordinary situation.  A kid runs for president of the United States ("The Kid Who Ran For President").  A kid gets the chance to take one foul shot for a million dollars ("The Million Dollar Shot").  A kid finds the most valuable baseball card in the world and discovers he has the power to travel through time with it ("Honus & Me").  Two kids take a cross-country trip with their parents over summer vacation while some bad guys are trying to kill them the whole time ("The Genius Files").  These are the kinds of stories I think kids can fantasize about.   

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

Dan: I'm deep into my new series "Flashback Four," which is about a group of kids who travel through time in an attempt to take photographs of things that were never photographed before.  The first two books are out.  In #1, they try to take a picture of Lincoln delivering The Gettysburg Address.  In #2, they try to take a picture of the Titanic as it is sinking.  I already finished #3, but it won't come out until next April.  They go back to the year 79 and try to take a picture of Mt. Vesuvius as it is erupting.  And now I'm working on #4, in which they will try to shoot a video of the Alexander Hamilton-Aaron Burr duel.

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

Dan: I like bad guys.  They are much more fun to write than good guys.  If all stories were about good people who did good things all the time, nobody would ever read another book.  But bad guys are interesting.  James Bond villians.  Dr. Evil.  People who want to take over the world.  In my books, Dr. Herman Warsaw in "The Genius Files" and Mr. Finkle in "The Million Dollar Shot."

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

Dan: A bird!  Because, duh, THEY CAN FLY!  Anytime somebody asks me which superpower I would choose if I could have one, I always say the power to fly.  That would be cool to just swoop around looking at stuff, dive bombing small rodents, and scaring pedestrians.  

About the author:

Dan Gutman is the New York Times bestselling author of the Genius Files series. He is also the author of the Baseball Card Adventure series, which has sold nearly 2 million copies around the world, and the My Weird School series, which has sold more than 11 million copies. Thanks to his many fans who voted in their classrooms, Dan has received nineteen state book awards and ninety-two state book award nominations. He lives in New York City with his wife, Nina. You can visit him online at

1 comment:

Gina said...

Great post! Gotta love an author who writes about the good guys, but loves the bad guys...guess that's how he achieves the character balance in his works. Thanks for sharing!