Continuing the series about JP Coman, we asked for a little more background on Winnie and the Mystery of the Missing Moonstones.
What can you tell us about Winnie and the Mystery of the Missing Moonstones? The book is designed for people ages 8 and up. It is a chapter book, with 26 chapters. The main characters are Winnie and Jerry Carver, brother and sister, and Oola and Humphrey, trolls who live in the Pine Forest. The four become friends and go on a quest to find the Missing Moonstones. Other characters are Dad, Asa the wise old troll, and Merkle, the talkative troll who thinks humans might be real after all.
What was your inspiration for this story? The genesis of the book was my daughter, Julie. She was playing with her troll dolls in the van while we were on a trip. I heard her say, “Oh, I don’t believe in humans. Humans aren’t real.” I realized what a fun, different, interesting point of view that was. I told my wife to write that down. And, since trolls live under bridges, I made sure to include a bridge in the story.
Is this your first book? This was my first novel. We’re working on books 3 and 4 of the series,now.
What makes your book stand out from the crowd? The characters are interesting. The humans are very much like kids you know… brother and sister who don’t get along with each other (at first). The Dad is a goofy kind of fun-loving dad who doesn’t get to spend as much time with his children as he wishes, thus the camping weekend.
What was the hardest part of writing this book? Making sure that the motivations and purpose of the ‘quest’ was sufficient and understandable to the reader to make it worth going through.
What did you enjoy most about writing this book? Creating characters with funny quirks and insecurities and the fun mis-adventures that the family experiences.
Are there misconceptions that people have about your book? People think that the Dad is unbelievable. I don’t know what it is about him that makes people say that. I am pretty believable, and I based some of his goofiness on my own personality.
What question do you wish that someone would ask about your book, but nobody has? No one asks about the artist, Maïlys Pitcher. Or if they do ask, it is only in passing. It was a fantastic experience working with a talented artist on 25 illustrations for a book. She understood our concept and requirements almost telepathically, and developed scenes and images that we are completely satisfied with. We did all this over email, across the Atlantic Ocean because she lives in France and is a student.