Monday, March 21, 2011

Interview with Author Anne Bradshaw

Anne Bradshaw was born in Caernarvon, Wales, and grew up in England. She has lived in the United States for thirteen years, and is the author of six published books—Terracotta Summer, Chamomile Winter; Please, No Zits! (YA short stories); Famous Family Nights; DINGO (a teen YA mystery adventure); and True Miracles with Genealogy~Help from Beyond the Veil. Anne has also written countless articles in magazines and on the Internet, and co-authored an award-winning screenplay, and two non-fiction books on writing: Writing Secrets, and Publishing Secrets.

Hello Anne. I’m so glad to have you on my blog again. Dingo is a teen mystery/adventure/fantasy novel. Please tell us about your new book.

The title, DINGO, is actually an acronym for Delivers Information, Navigates, Goes Overseas, which is the name given to a perky little gizmo that works in combination with a black box known as Kahuna Black, to accomplish some pretty amazing stunts.

Fifteen-year-old Zack Novak and three friends, Joel, Erin, and Libby, are introduced to Dingo by a strange English inventor, Hunter MacMurray. The whacky gadget transports them from Connecticut, USA to Cornwall, England, with only a few hours to prevent a bomb attack on Yankee Stadium. The question is—can Zack unravel a mystifying clue fast enough? Or will the impossible task end in disaster? Many lives depend on the toughest decisions Zack and his friends will ever make.

You say that Dingo is a gizmo that transports them from the USA to England. How does it work?

Ah! I'm glad you asked me that question. I wish I knew the whole answer. If I did, I could make a fortune selling Dingos. All I know is that the mechanism Hunter employs to work his Dingo gizmo has something to do with a condition called Carotenemia (a skin problem that comes from eating too many carrots). Dingo has sensors that react to the Carotenemia. It's called the carrot skin factor. Carotene in carrots is a lipochrome that adds yellow color to the skin, but those with dark pigmentation hide it well, as readers will find out when they read the book. The yellow coloring in certain people's skin triggers Dingo sensors into action, allowing them to receive signals from Kahuna Black, which in turn bring about strange and powerful illusions, such as Dingograms, and more.

Wow! Now that’s quite a description. Emma Parker from Ireland, said, "From the very first page Dingo had my attention. It is a cleverly written novel that will captivate all ages. The creativity and the idea behind the book are so unusual and new that I found myself excited about what was coming next.” In other words, this book is a “page turner.” Is it very difficult to come up with new ideas to keep the story moving? Do you lie awake at nights, trying to figure out what the characters are going to do next?

If I do wake up in the night with an idea, I immediately reach out for pen and paper and scribble notes in the dark. It's sometimes difficult to read what I've written in the morning, but I can usually make enough sense out of it to remember. I usually find that ideas for new situations bounce into my head from each previous dilemma faced by my characters. It's almost as if they write the story in some parts. Other times, I struggle to find a way for them to dig themselves out of an impossible situation. 

I understand completely. When I was writing my mystery series, sometimes I wondered how my characters were going to get out of a dangerous situation. Where did you get your inspiration for this novel? Do you get any ideas from real life?

All the ideas came from my imagination, although some of the settings are fictitious versions of places I knew in Connecticut and England. Our family loved to visit a place called Bigbury Island, and Bantham Bay in Devon, England. In the book, those places combine and become Goodrich Island and Livingston Bay, Cornwall.

The weird and puzzling clue, Crying the Neck, that Zack and his friends have to decipher, comes from an ancient Cornish tradition, but I can't tell any more about that without giving too much away.

A little secret makes me grin whenever I remember it. Whenever I could fit them in throughout the book, I used surnames of people I know, not necessarily for person names, but towns, and roads, and other such things. Some of my former Sunday School class in Spanish Fork ward are in there, as are many of our grand-children. Names such as Bryce Woods, and Livingston Bay for example. Those who read can discover the rest. 

I love the idea of taking names of people you know and give them to streets and towns. That is so clever. What kind of research did you do for this book?

I Googled plenty of information about Connecticut and England—things I'd half forgotten and wanted to make sure were accurate. I did a lot of research about Cornish traditions, and contacted a member of a society in Cornwall who kindly agreed to letting me use one of her photographs in the book trailer. I'm not saying which photo. Readers should be able to work it out after reading the book. If not, let me know and I'll whisper the answer. 

Thank you, Anne. It was fun learning about your new book.

For those interested, you can buy a paperback on Amazon - $8.49, shipping $3.99 and Kindle - $1.99.


Kate Foote said...

Fun interview! Now I have a new "factoid" (real or not) to bamboozle my son when he tells me I should eat more carrots! Thank you.. I think my grandson would enjoy this immensely.

Gayle said...

This sounds like a fun book that my son (and I) would enjoy. We will add it to our "to read" list!

LouisePledge said...

Forget teens--this is something *I* want to read! And I'll be looking for Utah names :D

LouisePledge at

Diana said...

This sounds like a very interesting and original book! I am very curious to discover what the Cornish tradition is.

Tom Maloney said...

Great interview and sounds like a great book from an awesome author! From Tom Maloney:

Aurora said...

Sounds like a fun book that I would want to read!

Cassandra said...

pounds like such an awesome book!

Katrina said...

I love books that take me somewhere I haven't been and make me feel like I have really been there. From the interview, it sounds like the author did some interesting research in addition to actually having been there. I have teenage boys who love books exactly like this one with science fiction gadgets, mystery, and action. It sound like a good read for us!

My Hyer Space said...

Would like to read your book. Enjoy reading and am a follower of yours. thanks agent3547ataoldotcom

karenk said...

a great posting/interview...thanks for the opportunity to read this novel :)

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Linda Weaver Clarke said...

Congratulation, Katrina! You're the winner of this wonderful book. I know you and your boys will enjoy it very much. Thanks, everyone, for stopping by. Don't forget that I have a book giveaway every week.