BAD DAD by Derek Munson - Giveaway!
Following the tradition he started with ENEMY PIE, Derek Munson has once again come up with a sweet story many of us can relate to (illustrated by Melody Wang, Cannonball Books). It's called BAD DAD and it's about an imperfect fellow who adores his kids, who adore him right back. It definitely has the "Awwwww!" ending we love so much. Derek dropped by to answer some questions...
Q. Derek, after ENEMY PIE won so many awards, was it hard to write another story?
A. Horribly hard. Miserably difficult! Because Enemy Pie was pretty much effortless. I was out picking blackberries and the next thing I knew, this story was pouring itself through me. 4 hours later it was finished. Wild stuff! But I had no idea how to recreate that experience. For years, every story that I wrote completely sucked. I was thinking way too hard about it. One of Ray Bradbury's rules of writing was "Don't think. Write." It took me way too long to trust that approach, and to understand that ideas, like everything else in nature, want to take the path of least resistance to express themselves. These days, I am perpetually learning how to let ideas flow through me organically, without tampering with them and choking the life out of them. When I do that, good stuff happens, and Bad Dad is a product of that process.
Q. This is only your second book, but like ENEMY PIE it hits that perfect note. How long did you work on it, and how did the idea first come to you?
A. Thanks! I can't remember if it came to me when the kids were jumping on the bed, or if it came to me while I was drawing. It was a relatively quick process. It took a few days to write, followed by a few weeks of tinkering with the details. I kept coming back to a couple issues. One, I needed to add some variety to the settings and get the characters out of the house. Another concern was making sure the mom didn't come across as a nagging squelcher of dreams.
Q. Are you a Bad Dad?
A. Yes. Don't judge me.
Q. So many dads (and moms) will relate to this story. What do you hope they'll take away from it?
A. I have been fascinated by the early feedback I've received. So many moms, kids, and dads find the main character to be oddly familiar. I used to think there weren't many of us bad dads out there. Now I'm thinking we need to organize a lobby or something.
And for the takeaway? Love! This dad is full-on engaged in his kids' lives. And the kids love him right back, faults and all. That's a biggie for me- modeling vibrant relationships between dads and their kids.
Q. And what do you hope kids will take away from it?
A. I want them to laugh, and to have fun reading. And for boys, a lot of them are going to be dads themselves someday. The ultimate hope would be to plant a seed that positively impacts the relationship they will someday have with their own kids.
Q. You stay busy with school visits. Do you have special plans for BAD DAD?
A. I have a couple new presentations I am working on that will incorporate this book. The working title of the first one is Fun 101 (shhh! It's covertly educational!). The second one is a nighttime gig- Mom's Night Out. Dads spend an evening with the kids and play crazy games (hint- velcro suits are involved). I'm really excited about this one! It has the added benefit of being a potential fundraiser for the school.
Q. I always ask this question: What was your path to publication (for your first book and this book)?
A. Again, Enemy Pie was a dream. The day after I wrote it, I went to the local book store and bought the Writer's Market Guide. It lists all the publishers and shows you how to write a query letter and all that. I picked out about 30 publishers that I thought would be a good match, and I got 29 rejection letters back. But one publisher, Chronicle Books, called and said they wanted to turn Enemy Pie into a book. Woohoo! They've been awesome to work with, and we continue to have a great relationship to this day. As for Bad Dad- A lot has changed in the publishing world since Enemy Pie came out. And after doing a bit of research, it really didn't make much sense for me to work with a traditional publisher anymore. So I started my own publishing company, Cannonball Books. This allowed me to retain all the rights to my story and artwork, increase my profits, and do things like print with child-safe soy based inks, at a factory that pays its employees prevailing wages and guarantees safe working conditions. Recently, Cannonball books was incredibly fortunate to be picked up by IPG, a major book distributor. Their sales force has made Bad Dad available wherever books are sold. For both books, the whole author experience has been an absolute blast!
Q. Thanks so much for stopping by!
A. Thanks again Elizabeth, for inviting me to appear on your blog. Keep up the great things you are doing!
For other stops on the Bad Dad Tour please check www.provatoevents.com
Derek has kindly agreed to give a free signed and dedicated copy of BAD DAD to one of my lucky commenters! (Must live in the continental US to win.) Enter below!
a Rafflecopter giveaway