Friday is here and it feels a little like Christmas morning!
We have special results to share today after a week of celebrating our guest artist Nina Laden and her books on my FB page. If you are just tuning in, Nina is a children's book author/illustrator based in Washington, whose first story THE NIGHT I FOLLOWED THE DOG was published in 1994 by Chronicle Books. She has since launched more delightful books into the world including, DADDY WRONG LEGS, PEEK A WHO? board books, ROBERTO THE INSECT ARCHITECT, WHEN PIGASSO MET MOOTISSE, and the recent Crystal Kite award winning picture book, ONCE UPON A MEMORY .
Nina generously donated her time to BLOBBING this week and it has been tough waiting for the unveiling today! An interview about characters follows, so keep scrolling to enjoy her visit.
Who was your favorite book character as a child and why?
I had many favorites. I loved Madeline. I still have my book, "Madeline and the Gypsies" from childhood. I also loved Claudia in "From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler." I think I wanted to be like them because they both ran away...I had a "not-very-nice" childhood in some ways - and I wanted to be independent like Madeline and Claudia.
Which character in your books was the most fun bringing to life and why?
Another tough question...the most fun? I was thrilled to bring "The Dog" in "The Night I Followed the Dog" to life. I had based him on Humphrey Bogart in "Casablanca." "The Dog" was this "under the radar," but "oh-so-suave" and smart character that I think represented the male figure that I never had in my own life- nor did my mom, and she had a crush on Humphrey Bogart and made me watch his films with her when I was in high school. Of course I also love Pigasso and Mootisse...and Roberto the Insect Architect...This is like asking a mom "who is her favorite child." I love them all.
Where do you find the most inspiration for your characters?
In my imagination. Where else?
Which one of your book characters is most like you and why?
None of them are like me. At least not yet. I'm working on a middle grade novel and the main character will probably be the most like me of anything I've done so far. I'm not Pigasso or Mootise. I'm not The Dog or Private I. Guana. I'm not Roberto the Insect Architect, or Romeow and Drooliet. My soul is probably the closest to the poem I wrote that became "Once Upon A Memory."
Which BLOB inspired you the most and why?
I don't know if "Inspired" is the word. I knew right away that the shape that became the "Hip Snake" was going to be that - same thing with the "Shocked Moon". The "Little Hedgehog" seemed almost too obvious to me, and I was not sure if I should do it- it's more realistic than the others...I guess I really like the Seagull because I forced the shape to work...or not work...depending on how you see it.
Thank you Nina for being a guest Blobbist and answering questions! I certainly enjoyed hearing more about your process and the thinking behind memorable characters. We'll look forward to seeing more of your work in the future, especially that middle grade novel. Have a lovely weekend everyone and thanks for stopping by...