Welcome, readers, writers, and werepenguins, too! We have the amazing Scott Brown on the blog today sharing his and Allan Woodrow's HILARIOUS series, The Curse of the Werepenguin. When Bolt, an orphan who longs for a true family, is called by a Baron he wonders if he's close to finding his true family. Instead, he gets unexpectedly bitten and turns into a ... werepenguin! Now, Bolt's on a quest to reverse his werepenguin curse, return to human form, and stop the Baron if he can. Want to know more about Scott, his teeth-chattering books, PLUS want an extra-special treat that's perfect for the season? Read on...
Q: Thanks so much for joining #SeasonsOfKidLit! We’re thrilled to have you Trick or Treat with us and hear all about your book Curse of the Werepenguin. Please share a little about this book’s journey. What made you decide to illustrate this book? How did you come up with the idea of how to draw WerePenguins? Bolt Wattle?
A: I was approached by Viking in the spring of ‘18, shortly after I signed to The Bright Agency, to illustrate Allan Woodrow’s ‘Curse’. I received a brief on character descriptions to start with, with the completed manuscript following soon after. Allan’s descriptions were pretty loose, making the design process feel like a true collaboration. I was allowed to have fun and be absurd-can’t be all that serious with a vampiric penguin- while making sure to give them enough creepiness.
Q: These characters are spooky with a bit of humor. How would you describe your process in telling the story through the art?
A: The book is very funny and satirical, playing with horror tropes in a very Mel Brooks type of way, along with being spooky. It also has these lovely emotional heartfelt moments. It was important to me to bring a sense of balance. To really amplify whatever is going with the illustrations while not being static at all times. Sometimes I would tilt the illo for effect, or play with perspective. As long as what I did served the scene, then fantastic.
Q: What is your favorite spread and why?
A: My favorite spread/drawing from the book would have to be this one. I just really like the drawing. A very silly scene with a very silly character that I got to have fun with, in both design and “acting”. This character manically waving around a loaf of bread while delivering a very impassioned, very darkly silly speech made me laugh and inspired this drawing.
Q: We must know, where did your inspiration from when deciding to become an illustrator? Who or what lit the spark in you?
A: I grew up on a steady diet of Looney Tunes animation, comic strips and Mad Magazine so the earliest sparks of inspiration came from folks like Chuck Jones, Charles Schulz, Hank Ketcham, Mort Drucker, Jack Davis, Sergio Aragones... A few years later Berkeley Breathed came along with "Bloom County" and simply changed everything. And he's created some wonderful picture books as well. "Pete and Pickles" in particular is absolutely glorious. I've been influenced by so many amazing artists, writers, and directors over the years, but when it comes to my personal Mount Rushmore of greatest influences, Breathed's face looms the largest.
Q: What is one of your favorite things about Halloween?
A: I grew up on the north shores of Massachusetts where autumn is a glorious thing. My absolute favorite season. The colors, the way that crisp air feels, smells. I now live in Florida so I miss it. And Halloween in that type of autumn, with the nights feeling especially dark, almost inky, and the sound of leaves tumbling along the streets. Chef’s kiss perfection.
Q: BONUS QUESTION: What’s your favorite Halloween Candy? OR What candy pairs the best with your book?
A: Red Swedish fish is my favorite candy of all time. I would double- and triple-back to houses that handed out those glorious little red fish, haha!
Thanks again for joining us, Scott! We can't wait to check out your hilarious books!
Q: Would you like to leave a Trick or a Treat for the readers?
A: A Treat! I'd like to offer everyone a coloring sheet for the season.
Thanks for such a COOL treat!
Everyone, want to have some fun coloring this spooky season? Click on the below to download Scott's custom drawing, and make sure to thank him for stopping by.
Note: Those who leave a comment on all posts will be eligible to win one (1) of ten (10) Rate Your Story Speed Passes, perfect for quick MS feedback, provided by Agent Mentee Lynne Marie & Author Heather Macht.
About Scott Brown:
It was a simple sketch of Superman drawn by his father that first inspired Scott to begin drawing as a child.
A healthy diet of Mad Magazine, newspaper comic strips, and Chuck Jones animation throughout his childhood not only strengthened his love of art, but also storytelling. Scott has published books with Penguin, World Book and Little Tiger Group, World Wide, Abdo, and Viking. He has also produced work for television, comic books, and games. Originally from the seaport of Gloucester, Massachusetts, Scott currently resides on the south-left gulf coast of Florida with his wife, two daughters, and a diabolical pug named Duncan. When he is not drawing, you can find Scott writing, drumming, reading the literary works of Neil Gaiman, Ronald Dahl & Berkeley Breathed, and consuming large quantities of bread and cheese…preferably in the form of pizza.
For more about Scott Brown, check out the below links:
Portfolio: Bright Agency Portfolio
For More about Allan Woodrow, see the below links:
To purchase Scott's books on Amazon, or to leave a review for them, click here.
A special thanks to David Rodriguez Lorenzo for the amazing custom-signatures!