Monday, May 2, 2011


To celebrate this week's release of Horton Halfpott: Or, The Fiendish Mystery of Smugwick Manor; or, The Loosening of M'Lady Luggertuck's Corset (Amulet 2011) - a book I have been dying to get my hands on - I caught up with the amazingly talented creator of the book, Tom Angleberger, author extraordinaire and uber wonderful person. As many of you know, Tom has written some fantastic books - The Strange Case of Origami Yoda and The Qwikpick Adventure Society

I love the title of your upcoming release, Horton Halfpott... Can you tell us a bit about the book?

Tom Angleberger: It's a loving spoof of Victorian novels with a side-order of The Three Investigators. I wanted to write a book that I would have flipped for in the 6th grade, so I tried to put in everything I love in a book: secret passage, crazy map, hidden jokes, a little bit of love and pirates. Since the book is set in the middle of England, the pirates had to be Shipless Pirates.

Since the release of the awesome Origami Yoda (OY), you have been busy working on the second book and the illustrations. When did you have time to write Horton?

TA: Actually, Horton was already written. It was the first book I ever finished writing. And it was the book that really made me determined to be a kids' author.

However, the many of the illustrations were done in the midst of all this OY craziness. It's about 75 pen and ink drawings in all. That was much, much harder than writing the book.

Was there anything that you learned from the OY experience that you took with you when writing Horton and the sequel to OY? If so, what?

TA: One thing I have finally learned, is that skipping around in time can be a real problem. Unless there's a really good reason for it, it is confusing/annoying to the reader AND my editor is probably going to make me change it anyway.

What is the biggest challenge for you writing multiple books? What advice can give to those of us who may be faced with that challenge someday?

TA: Quite simply, it can be hard to find the time/peace-of-mind to sit down and write a book when you are running all over the place promoting the last book.

Many authors today are expected to promote their own work because of shrinking marketing divisions or budgets. How much time do you spend doing this every week? What has worked the best for you?

TA: First of all, Amulet's Marketing team is incredible! They have done an amazing amount of work for my books. But yes, I do a whole lot myself. Sometimes I feel like all of my time goes to promoting. I'm finishing up folding 200 Darth Papers which will be given away with the ARCs. I'm running various contests on my various blogs. I'm about to go to a conference to do a panel with Michael Buckley. (He's a riot!) There are Skype visits, book signings, blog comments to moderate, e-mails and real mail to answer, events to schedule (and re-schedule due to broken leg), book trailers to film, etc.., etc... The easiest thing to put off is writing.

Once we gobble up Horton, what release is coming up next for you?

TA: Darth Paper Strikes Back is coming in August: "It is a dark time at McQuarrie Middle School..."

If you only knew the power of Origami.
I LOVE that Tom stays busy because I always have a book to look forward too. Now that you are done reading this post, RUN don't walk to the bookstore and get a copy of HORTON (did I mention that the cover glows in the dark!). What are you waiting for... GO!

1 comment:

  1. Secret passages, crazy maps, and PIRATES! That totally ROCKS! :D I'll have to check this book out! As well as Origami Yoda and Darth Paper! Thanks, D.M.! Thanks, Tom!