Review and Author Interview: Deductive Detective, by Brian Rock and Sherry Rogers (Illustrations)

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Deductive Detective, by Brian Rock and Sherry Rogers (Illustrations)
Someone stole a cake from the cake contest–who could it be? Twelve animal bakers are potential suspects but Detective Duck uses his deductive reasoning skills to “quack” the case. After all, the thief left hairs behind so the thief wasn’t a bird. Follow along as he subtracts each suspect one at a time to reveal just who the culprit was. This clever story will have children of all ages giggling at the puns and the play on words.

Paperback: 32 pages
Publisher: Sylvan Dell Publishing (March 5, 2013)


About the Author:

Brian Rock received a master’s degree in Children’s Literature and Creative Writing from Hollins University. Brian’s short stories for children appear regularly in the regional magazine Kid’s World and his poems for children have appeared in Highlights for Children, Poetry Train, and various regional publications. His short story, The Frog Dad, was selected as one of the inaugural titles for iPulpFiction s Don’t Read This in the Dark series. For six years Brian worked in the Chesterfield County public school system teaching at-risk students.
Website | Blog

Interview with Brian:
If you could visit any time or place, when and where would you go?
Other than travelling back to share some investing advice with a younger me, I’d like to go back to the very edge of human pre-history. There’s so much that we don’t know (or think we know that might not necessarily be so) about the pyramids, Stonehenge, Machu Pichu, the temple at Ballbeck, etc. There’s much more to the “stone age” people that built these temples (which have lasted thousands of years) than what we learned in history class.

If you could only read 3 books for the rest of your life, what would they be?
Wow, that sounds like a horrible life sentence for a book lover! But if that were my fate, I would choose The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff to help me keep things in perspective, The Holy Man by Susan Trott to help me see the good in others (and to help bring out the good in me!) and of course, The Hitchkikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglass Adams to help me keep my sense of humor (and my sense of direction if I ever travel beyond earth!) Of course, everyone else’s three books should be The Deductive Detective by Brian Rock, With All My Heart by Brian Rock and Don’t Play With Your Food! by Brian Rock!

Do you have a favorite TV show?
For adults, I like Modern Family. Christopher Lloyd is a genius at finding the humor in our human condition. For kids, I love Phineas and Ferb. Dr Doofenschmertz is one of the all time great characters (When it comes to havok, nobody reeks like me!)

What is your favorite season and why?
I love autumn. I love the colors, the respite from summer’s brutal heat, pumpkin pie, Christmas lights, and of course FOOTBALL!

Where do you get your inspiration from?
From God. All the arts flow directly from the Creative Source. When you look at a blank sheet of paper and contemplate putting a story down on it, there’s really no 1,2,3… process for creating. It all starts with an idea. But where does that idea come from? As Winnie the Pooh (and A.A. Milne) describes it, ““Poetry and Hums aren’t things which you get, they’re things which get you. And all you can do is go where they can find you.”

Why did you decide to write children’s fiction?
It’s who I am. My inner child is still alive and well and very much puzzled why people my age would rather talk about mortgages and politics when there are thousands more books to be read and whole universes to explore!

What is your favorite thing about writing for children?
I have two favorite things actually. I love that “aha!” moment when a story idea strikes you from the blue and you suddenly have to stop everything and start getting it down on paper. I also love reading to kids. I love their enthusiasm and their willingness to explore new possibilities. To be in a room full of kids who are all engaged, excited and focused on pushing their creative boundaries is an amazing experience. At that point, my writing becomes secondary. It’s as if the whole point of my story is to get them excited about telling their stories.

Is there anything about writing that you find particularly challenging?
The business side can be frustrating. When you submit your stories to publishers it’s somewhat of a lottery. You never know if a particular editor despises rhyming stories, or if they’re only looking for dinosaur stories this season, or if they had a bad experience with a bunny when they were a child and therefore will never publish a story that features a bunny. It’s all so subjective. The best you can do is keep writing what you enjoy and have faith that one day your story will find an editor that loves it as much as you do.

When did you know that you wanted to be a writer?
From the time I was in second or third grade I used to write my own little comic books and poems and riddles. (old curmudgeon voice: “In my day, we didn’t have all these fancy arcade in a phone gadgets to keep us occupied twenty four hours a day, we had to make our own fun!”)

What is the one book that everyone should read?
The Holy Man by Susan Trott. Life is essentially a spiritual journey more than a physical one and this book helps us recognize the spiritual reality of others, despite outward appearances.

What do you like to do in your free time?
What is this “free time” of which you speak?

What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?
Mint Chocolate Chip, double scoop please!

Favorite movie?
The Princess and the Frog. In addition to the brilliant animation and songs, the story and dialogue are brilliant. It is a wonderful parable on the redemptive power of love. Dig a little deeper and you’ll find what you need!

Any hidden talents?
I write songs. My friends in the Country band Family Reunion recorded several of my songs on their debut album, Family Album (which won the 2012 ICMA Award for Album of the Year!) I also enjoy cooking and playing football (occasionally I don’t even look like the oldest guy out on the field!)

What do you love the most about children’s books?
I love that children’s books are filled with hope. I took a bunch of writing classes in college and the professors seemed to think that only tragedy and despair counted as great literature. The more dismal, the greater the story. I didn’t believe that then and I still don’t believe it now. I think people of all ages would have a greater chance of feeling joy and experiencing their highest potential if they read more children’s books and less “adult” books.

Pet peeves?
No, none of my pets are named Peeve.

Is there anything that your audience should know about you?
I love talking about writing, children’s literature and life in general. If anyone has a question for me, they can email me at BrianRock@brianrock.us or check out my posts on my website, BrianRock.net.

What are your current projects?
Whatever strikes me between now and the next time I have a chance to sit down and write. I don’t know what it is yet, but I know it’ll be fun!

What did you want to be when you grew up?
The earliest job I can remember being excited about was an archeologist. Of course that was probably just because I liked to play in the dirt. But I still love an Indiana Jones type adventure and I love to read about real world discoveries from the ancient past.

If you had any superpower, what would it be?
Other than the superpower to read an editor’s mind, I think I would choose the power to heal. Flying and laser vision and all that other stuff is cool, but to be able to totally and permanently end another person’s suffering, that would be the best! (Well that AND having a best selling children’s book!)

***

My Thoughts:
Your child’s first foray into the world of sleuthing begins here.  Detective Duck cleverly uses deductive reasoning to uncover the identity of a cake thief. I really love the way Duck uses his thinking skills to work through the mystery.  The writing is clean and simple, with a touch of humor.  It’s perfect for the intended audience.

The visual side to the book is pretty good, too.  The illustrations are well planned and executed.  Bright colors and personified animals are always a crowd pleaser when it comes to children’s books.  All in all, this is a pretty good picture book that is fun to read out loud.

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4 Comments

  • Reply
    DMS
    March 27, 2013 at 12:17 am

    This book looks so cute and sounds fun! I especially enjoyed the interview. I would love to read editors' minds, too! I have read 1/3 books he would want to read forever- so I added the others to my TBR list.

    Thanks for sharing!
    ~Jess

  • Reply
    Gina R
    March 27, 2013 at 3:08 pm

    Agreed on the season, LOL on the recommended books to read forever, and adore the reason for writing children's fiction. Great post guys! Thanks for sharing… ^_^

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