The Birds of Paradise (Author Interview)

The Birds of Paradise looks like a fun children’s book.  What age group is it for?
ANS: Originally intended for ages 5 to 10, I’ve found out that kids from two years on up enjoy the story by looking at the art will the story is read to them.

How did you come up with the story in The Birds of Paradise?
ANS:  My three-year-old grandson and I were taking a fairly typical Saturday morning hike along the trail from Ventura, Ca. Ojai.  Along the way, my grandson began stopping to look at the many springtime flowers in bloom.  When he came across the bird-of-Paradise he was infatuated and asked about it.
I began by telling him that at one time that flower was once the most beautiful bird in the sky and proceeded to tell the story of what is now The Birds of Paradise – The Favor children’s book.           

What will readers get out of your book?
ANS:  This is a story about finding the good in everyone; or that there is good in everyone and it only takes encouragement and opportunity to bring out the best in someone.

What inspired you when writing The Birds of Paradise?   
ANS:  As mentioned above, my grandson inspired the telling of The Birds of Paradise, but what inspired me while on that Southern California walk was his (Dylan’s) reaction as I made up each part of the story.  His excitement and his contributions for example.  It was he who introduced the idea of the witch as we passed a darkened hole in a stone cliff.  And the further I took my story, the greater his contributions.  It took me at least a year after our walk to sit down one afternoon, and the entire story just unfolded within a matter of hours.

When writing The Birds of Paradise did anything stand out as particularly challenging?  
ANS:  While writing, I ran into problems with my metering, and my writing creativity took me into an unconventional style.  I had my story professionally edited and my reviewer pointed out some of my unconventional style.  She likened me to trying to be a Dr. Seuss! While such a great writer never crossed my mind while writing, I did see some similarities, and brought my story back into the more conventional style of poetic writing.

What do you like to do when not writing?
ANS:  When I am not writing I am constantly thinking about my next story to write.  When doing neither I work on genealogy, video transfers and musical editing, and good ole fashion home remodeling projects.  Generally, every other weekend I make a trip from Los Angeles to the San Francisco Bay Area to see my daughter, son and their families.

Where can readers find out more about your work?
ANS: I am developing a website, where I provide a bit more detail about the characters in BOP, and some insight into the sequel to The Birds of Paradise; The Birds of Paradise – The Wisdom Tree.  Currently my artist is preparing my art for an interim story, Trees Must Be Smart, to be published in July or August.