Q&A: Evangeline Denmark (The Dragon and the Turtle Go on Safari)
Author Evangeline Denmark connected with FamilyFiction to tell us all about the sequel to The Dragon and the Turtle, which leads the duo on a new adventure!
Q: How did The Dragon and the Turtle Go on Safari come about?
A: In doing a sequel to The Dragon and the Turtle we wanted to continue building our theme of friendship and offer a book that mimics pretend play with clues on each page that feed the reader’s imagination.
In The Dragon and the Turtle Go on Safari Roger the Turtle and Padraig the Dragon’s friendship is tested when they decide to camp out. The boys are really sleeping in their backyard, but thanks to overactive imaginations they find themselves on safari and manage to scare each other silly.
Q: The Dragon and the Turtle books are co-written by you and your mother, Donita K. Paul. How did you two collaborate on these stories?
A: One of us comes up with a plot idea and shares it with the other. We brainstorm for a while then one of us writes the first draft. The story then bounces back and forth between our laptops as we tweak things. When we’ve got it in good shape we read it aloud to each other several times and continue to polish it.
Q: What do you think kids will enjoy most about the book?
A: Seeing ordinary neighborhood animals transform into mutant half-safari beasts thanks to Roger and Padraig’s imaginations and Vincent Nguyen’s amazing illustrations.
Q: Speaking of artwork, can you tell us anything about the process of choosing an artist?
A: A lot of people think that the author plays a big role in finding an artist, but that usually isn’t the case. The publisher finds the artist. We were fortunate to be able to voice our preferences. Our editor loaned us a sample book filled with different artists’ work. Talk about talent! We had so much fun thumbing through those illustrations. We marked a few that we felt matched our concept of how we wanted the books to look, then the publisher went about finding artists who fit the bill. Those artists submitted sketches, and again we were lucky to be able to weigh in on the final choice.
Q: What is your favorite thing about writing children’s books?
A: Talking over ideas with my kids. There’s no better testing ground.
Q: Do you write in other genres?
A: Yes, I’ve written supernatural romance novels, but recently I followed in my mother’s steps and wrote a Young Adult fantasy. I fell in love with writing YA so I plan to stay in that category for a while.
Q: Where can we find out more about The Dragon and the Turtle Go on Safari?31 Author Scavenger Hunt and looking for the next clue or perhaps your first clue, here it is: “Christmas.” Be sure to continue on to Evangeline Denmark's blog for your next interview and clue click HERE. Of course if you’re lost or if you’ve finished collecting all the clues you can go HERE to enter the full mystery phrase and bring your scavenger hunt to a close.