Author Interview with M. M. Allen, Author of Wishapick: Tickety Boo and the Black Trunk
- What inspired you to write Wishapick?
My dreams always seem to be so vivid, wondrous and magical. From a dream I was inspired to write Wishapick. In my dream a little being of light was standing outside my front door. The being bent down, cupped its tiny hands and blew its breath through my keyhole. The breath filled my home with an extraordinary, beautiful light. Out of my dream was born Tickety Boo and the Black Trunk; into the land of Wishapick. I shared my dream with composer Deborah Wynne and the first song, Tickety Boo, came to her as if it was just waiting to be born. The land of Wishapick was not planned it was given to me in a dream for everyone to enjoy.
- Will this be a series or a stand alone?
The ‘Breath of All Good Things’ is whispering new marvelous ideas and I write them all down. Wishapick might be a series but, that remains to be seen.
- Is there anything about writing that you find particularly challenging?
The editing process is particularly challenging. I am always wondering – can it be better? Edit – Edit – Edit – I do it with chocolate.
- Which character was your favorite to write?
This is a difficult question – I love all my characters and I love the characters in all good books. I always hate to finish writing because these wonderful characters are like my family and friends. Leaving my characters when I am done, alone on the page – they must feel abandoned. But after thinking about your question and going through all my characters, the one that made me smile and the one that made me cry, was Winston. Winston you are an irascible tease, of stalwart character, and a loyal friend.
- If you could be any of the animals in your book, which one would you be?
There are several characters I saw myself being, but the one animal that I would like to be is an eagle named Clyde. He is the leader of the Victory Eagles Attack Squadron. Clyde has so much freedom flying. He has the ability to visit the heavenly realm through the great sacred entrance and return to earth. Clyde also has ‘special eyes.’ To have special eyes and to see through darkness – amazing, I’d like that.
- Other than your own, what is your favorite middle grade book of 2015?
A Handful of Stars: by Cynthia Lord. I love her characters, and her descriptions are luscious. I could picture myself painting bee boxes – how fun – can I pick my own colors? The blueberries on her book pages look delicious, immediately I coveted a blueberry muffin. I fell in love with Lucky. If you love dogs, blueberries and want to paint bee boxes, read this story. But if you cherish friendships this is a must read.
- Do you have advice for aspiring authors?
While writing, once you experience the moment when you are living your characters and the real world around you has disappeared you will understand why you have to write. Everything becomes so clear, so sharp, and so present, that’s when you’re in the zone. My advice, always get to the computer or if you write long –hand (which I used to do), grab some paper and write. I met a wonderful artist who always told her students; “you have to get to the canvas and paint.” As an aspiring writer, make time to get to the computer and write. You will not always think your writing is great, but always continue to write.
About Wishapick: Tickety Boo and the Black Trunk
Darkness. Utter blackness. Was this why his mother had refused to let Jack unlock his father’s old trunk? It had been two years since his dad had died, and all Jack could think about was examining whatever treasures were stored inside the beloved trunk. But when he finally lifted the lid, he didn’t just fall in—he fell through it into a pit of rattlesnakes!
Trying to recall his mother’s stories about “the Breath of All Good Things”—anything to shed light on his current situation—Jack wishes he’d paid better attention rather than mock the tales as childish myths…and that he’d waited to enter the trunk with his sister, Lilly, so they could at least face this together.
Like L. Frank Baum’s Oz and C. S. Lewis’s Narnia, M. M. Allen brings to life the fantastical world of Wishapick—a land of courageous animals ruled by a cruel rattlesnake king who has condemned the villagers to live without light. Chosen as the reluctant hero to save the villagers, Jack must face terrifying creatures and overwhelming odds if he wants to help his new friends—and return home himself.
“… a breathy and fantastical storytelling style, imaginations will flourish and the tale will be enjoyed by kids ages 8-12 who enjoy the genre of fantasy.”—The Children’s Book Review
Wishapick: Tickety Boo and the Black Trunk is available on Amazon.
Be sure to check out the companion music CD, Wishapick, for purchase or download from DeborahWynne.com
Book Club Questions
Get to the heart of Wishapick by downloading this set of book club questions: Wishapick by M. M. Allen: Book Club Questions
About M. M. Allen
M. M. Allen, author of the acclaimed children’s picture book Let’s Play Ball, is the mother of two adult children and aunt to twenty-three nieces and nephews, including ten great-nieces and great-nephews. MM is a former teacher and university lecturer. She has also worked extensively in marketing and communications with varied businesses and non-profits. MM lives in a picturesque northern California town where she enjoys writing, tending to her rose garden, and caring for her West Highland terrier, Pip.
About Deborah Wynne
Composer and lyricist Deborah Wynne created a companion CD of songs to accompany Wishapick: Tickety Boo and the Black Trunk. Wynne’s primary talents lie in choral singing, stage musicals, and composing. Her musical projects include the 2013 album Strands of Gold and 2007 musical Moment of Truth. She is an active singer and composer in Santa Barbara, California, where she lives with her husband and their two shelties, Sparkle and Gracie.
Wishapick and iPod Nano Giveaway
Enter to win an autographed copy of Wishapick: Tickety Boo and the Black Trunk written by acclaimed author M. M. Allen; plus an Apple iPod Nano to listen to your downloaded copy of the Wishapick: Tickety Boo and the Black Trunk soundtrack composed by the talented Deborah Wynne!
Giveaway begins November 5, 2015, at 12:01 A.M. PST and ends December 31, 2015, at 11:59 P.M. PST.
Wishapick Tour Dates
Thursday November 5 2015 The Children’s Book Review Tour Kick-Off & Giveaway Friday November 6 2015 The Review Wire Book Excerpt & Soundtrack Clip Tuesday November 17 2015 Suz Reviews Creating Mood in a Story with Music Monday November 23 2015 On Starships & Dragonwings 5 Things About the World of Wishapick Tuesday November 24 2015 Valerie’s Reviews Book Excerpt & Soundtrack Clip Tuesday November 27 2015 Batch of Books Author Interview with M. M. Allen Saturday December 5 2015 The Fairview Review Wishapick Book Review Thursday December 10 2015 Inspired by Savannah Wishapick Book Review Tuesday December 15 2015 Just Another Mom Wishapick Book Review Wednesday December 23 2015 Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers Author Interview with M. M. Allen Sunday December 27 2015 Little Miss History Author Interview with M. M. Allen