N. E. Castle, local author of the Worcester-based thriller, Serial, and the recently released children’s book, Loogie the Booger Genie, will be visiting Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester for a signing and reading on Saturday, December 15, 2012 from 2PM-5PM.
Thank you very much, Nancy, for taking some time to give us a preview of what to expect at your event at Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester!
Congratulations on your new children’s book! A booger genie is unlike anything I’ve read in a children’s book before; it sounds wicked cool! Where did you get that idea?
I once had a very bad cold, so bad that I suffered the displeasure of blowing a snot bubble (fortunately no one saw that). Later, waking up one morning with the sniffles, I recalled how bad that cold had been and how that bubble was big enough to have held a small genie. The thought made me laugh out loud, so I had to share it with my partner which got him laughing out loud. The first draft of Loogie was written in a week.
How would you describe your writing process?
For me, writing is like transcribing a movie that is playing in my head. The rest of the world around me just disappears and I become fully involved with my characters.
What is your favorite part – and what do you find the hardest?
My favorite part is when my characters just become themselves. They take on their own directions and they tell me what I need to write. The hardest part is when my characters lose their energy, and I have to kick them along. That’s when I have to force the story line. It’s only when I go back to edit those sections that the characters seem to find their voice again.
And what differences did you find in transitioning from writing for adults to writing for children?
The biggest difference is trying to think like a child. Children see the world differently and notice things that we as adults miss; likewise some of the things that adults find important would just cloud the story for a child. Also, children are still learning about sentence structure and building their vocabulary, so the rule of thumb is to keep sentences simple and use words that they will be familiar with. This was the biggest challenge since it is difficult to make a story sparkle using only short sentences and a limited vocabulary, but I believe I succeeded with Loogie. His story is quite fun, and he definitely sparkles.
What has been the best piece of advice you received to help you on your path of being an author? What piece of advice would you pass on to newer authors?
Just write what you feel like writing. If you’re really not in the mood to work on the middle of the story and the ending seems more clear to you, then write that. The computer is by far the best writing tool ever created because you can store each segment of your story in a separate file then pull them all together later during the editing process. Editing is really where all the work is, so just enjoy the drafting process for what it is and give in to your imagination.
For Loogie the Booger Genie, you did some art and you worked with local artist Bret Herholz for the cover and other interior art. How was it to have art as part of the book?
It’s definitely different to have artwork. It nice to provide an actual visual image rather than having to create that image from words.
What was your experience in working with an artist and in making the right pictures to match your words?
Working with Bret has been great. He has a wonderful gift for bringing characters to life and making them so expressive. Certain sections of the story just beg to be illustrated because they create such a visual in your mind, but Bret taught me that there is room for interpretation also. In some cases, the images actually embellish the scene and I like that.
The full title, Loogie the Booger Genie: Prince of Prank (Volume 1) suggests we can look forward to more adventures! What do you have in the works?
Loogie’s second book, Loogie the Booger Genie and the Very Nasty Cold is out to the editor at the moment, and Bret and I are working on the illustrations. This is a fun adventure where Charlie and Loogie share a nasty cold that wreaks all sorts of havoc. I think my favorite part is where Charlie manages to end up inside his own nose. Volume 2 should be out very early in 2013. The third book, Loogie the Booger Genie and the Big, Bad Bully, is also written and ready for the editor and illustrations. This is the story where Tildor (the evil genie) really comes to life and brings some new challenges.
Where else can we find your writing?
Loogie is currently available on Amazon. The Kindle version will be available through Amazon mid-December but currently there is an eBook for the Nook through Barnes and Noble. I’m also working on an audio book with a local reader. My crime thriller, Serial, is available through Barnes and Noble and at the publisher’s site, publishamerica.com.
How can people find out more about you?
Visit my website at necastlebooks.com
Once again, thank you very much for the interview, and we look forward to hosting you at Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester!