In my past interviews, at People & Books #3 and #9, I interviewed author Val Karren and his wife, Christine, who publishes Val's books at Fly-By-Night Press. Now there's a new addition to the family's creative activities. Daughter Lucy has written and illustrated her first book. Here she explains how it came about and what inspired this first creative venture.
Which authors do you admire?
My Dad. I think it’s so cool that he took his own experience and added fiction into it to write his first thriller, The Deceit of Riches.
Were you influenced by any particular books you read when you created Leo & Leo?
There’s a children’s book about Leonardo da Vinci that I drew inspiration from, called Leonardo and the Flying Boy by Laurence Anholt.
Who/What inspired you to write Leo & Leo?
It was actually a school assignment for my art class. I researched Leonardo da Vinci and his life.
What did you enjoy most about writing Leo & Leo?
I enjoyed that I could be as unrealistic and imaginative as I wanted because it’s a children’s book. You also don’t have to use any big/hard words.
And what did you learn from your Leo & Leo experience, that might be useful for your future projects?
To work on it regularly because I only barely made the deadline, trying to finish the illustrations.
Have you written any other fiction or non-fiction?
I’ve always liked coming up with stories. But since my Dad became an author, he encouraged me to come up with stories and publish a book. I have unfinished ideas somewhere in the back of my notes app but none that I plan on publishing.
Have you explored – or would you like to explore - various formats e.g. poetry, short stories, graphic novels?
I’ve tried writing songs, which is like poetry in a way. But it isn’t anything I’ve thought about publishing at all. I might think about it more in the future.
Why did you decide to self-publish?
At first I wasn’t planning to publish Leo & Leo, but
my Mom is a publisher* and she offered to publish my book. It seemed like a pretty cool idea.
My teachers also really liked that my assignment was a published book as well. It worked out really well that way.
*at Fly-By-Night Press.
What are you working on at the moment?
Lately I haven’t been thinking about it very much because i’ve just graduated school and everything, but I’m thinking about starting a Leo & Leo series. No promises, though.
What are your future plans, writing or otherwise?
I’m starting college in the fall where I’ll be studying illustration. The goal is to become a freelance illustrator and hopefully also continue illustrating my own books.
Do you have any particular writing habits or routines?
Not at the moment. Writing is kind of at the back of my mind at the moment but someday i would like to develop some writing habits.
Do you have any tips for any other young people who might be thinking about writing a book?
Do the research if you’re writing about a real person, even if it’s a fiction book. You do not want to get the facts wrong. And - check for typo’s before you publish!
Leo & Leo is available at Amazon. Find out more about Fly By Night Press at: https://flybynightpress.com/