In this weeks author spotlight, I catch up with, Carmen Quirk, and we discuss her children's fiction novel, New Duck City: The Great Bread Caper
What is your book about? Joe Mallard returns to Long's Park Lake for the summer and falls in love with his friend Julienne. Snubbed by the other birds on the pond, Joe is convinced by his friend Eddie that any duck can become something in New Duck City. Joe flies to New Duck City in pursuit of bread and crackers, in the hope of returning to Long's Park Lake and proving that he's worthy of Julienne's love.
What inspired you to write this book? I was inspired by my daily walks around Long's Park Lake. I observed the swans, ducks, and geese on the pond, and thought to myself that there must be some sort of hierarchy to it all. I also had an experience many years ago in California, walking around a different pond with a vicious Canadian goose that attacked me and hooked me on the jaw with the corner of her wing. That's where the idea for a goose villain originated. I was further inspired to use New York City as a setting because of the time that I spent in Manhattan in my twenties. The most common animal in Manhattan was the pigeon, and they were real pests. People I knew called them 'rats with wings'.
Who is your favourite, and least favourite, character in the book? My most and least favorite character is Jimmy Goose Down. He is a larger than life character who is also a wicked and temperamental goose. He's a charismatic villain with a manipulative charm. I think he is also one of the funniest characters.
What draws you to this genre? Do you write in any other genre? I like slapstick humor, and that is what draw me to writing fiction for children. You can really use your imagination and come up with some silly scenarios when you are writing for children. This is the first book I have written. I am hoping to publish fiction for adults in the future.
Is this a standalone book, or can we expect more? Although I have ideas for a sequel for New Duck City, I really want to see how well the book does before I invest any more time or energy in a sequel.
Tell me about you and what drew you to writing? Are there any authors who inspired you to become a writer yourself? I have always wanted to write, as long as I can remember. I would say JK Rowling's story is a real inspiration to me. The conventional wisdom in the publishing world at the time, was that children's books don't sell, and JK Rowling proved them all wrong.
Other than your own book, what is your favourite novel? The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis.
Have you written other books we should know about? Not yet.
If you could advise aspiring writers on only one aspect of authordom, what would your advice be? Don't let other people tell you what you can and can't do with your life, especially if they don't know you, and have never read your work. I spent many years hiding my gift because I was waiting for validation from other people that never came. Sometimes you just have to trust your inner guidance and do it anyways.
Where can we find your book?
Where can we find out more about you?