Monday, March 21, 2011
Interview with Author Anne Bradshaw
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.
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.