Q&A with Author of Tomas and the Galapagos Adventure, Carolyn Lunn!
With the release of Tomas and the Galapagos Adventure coming up in just over a month, we thought it was time for another author Q&A, this time with children’s book author, Carolyn Lunn. Carolyn Lunn is a Colorado author of seven children’s books, who is inspired to write by her two children and her world travels. She has taught English in Tokyo, was a nanny in Germany, and lived in England for nine years. When Carolyn is not writing, she is gardening, running, watching sports, making home-made pasta, or dog-sitting her children’s pups: Boursin, the puggle, and shelter dog, Osita.
AJ: What was your inspiration for Tomas and the Galapagos Adventure?
CL: My inspiration for Tomas and the Galapagos Adventure comes from publishers telling me they
liked my style, and wondering if I had any adventure stories for children. I talked to the children’s librarian at my local library who showed me the adventure books children checked out most frequently. I was disappointed that most were super-hero books with unimaginative writing. This made me determined to write some adventures that would be creative and educational at the same time.
AJ: Was little Tomas based on someone in your life?
CL: Tomas isn’t based on anyone in my life, but all the characters in other stories I’ve written are purposely not perfect. I like characters who are real and fun and shine by being a little different.
Hopefully my characters are relatable to young readers because they aren’t perfect. Hence the little gap in Tomas’ teeth!
AJ: When did you begin writing children’s books? CL: I began writing children’s books before my children were born. I had worked with children in a day-care setting, and was also a nanny in Germany for a year. That gave me many ideas for books!
AJ: What inspires you to write children’s literature?
CL: My father first inspired me to write professionally when he gave me a Writer’s Market book for my birthday as a teenager. In middle school I had written an assignment about summer where I wrote: “The sprinklers soggy the lawns.” My teacher graded my paper down and inked on my paper, “Soggy is NOT a verb.” This upset me. I told my Dad that I knew soggy wasn’t a verb, but that I liked how it sounded. He agreed with me and later inside the Writer’s Market he gave me wrote : “You are a talented writer. Don’t let any fuddy-duddies discourage you. Love, Your Fuddy-Duddy Daddy.”
AJ: What do you hope Tomas and the Galapagos Adventure will teach today’s children?
CL: I hope Tomas and the Galapagos Adventure will firstly be a joy to read again and again.
Reading should be fun. I also hope my books make children curious about other cultures and countries. I love the illustrations in the book because the artist does a fantastic job of showing an affinity Tomas has with nature (Tomas riding the Sea Turtle, sharks that don’t instill fear, creatures that live in harmony). Even the sweet illustration of Bonito the horse standing over Tomas, worried after Tomas falls. I have traveled to many countries, and hope my book makes children want to travel to other countries. If the reader can’t travel to Ecuador, they can know Ecuador through Tomas’ eyes.
I think most importantly, I hope my book teaches children that all over the world, children are very much the same. They are curious and want to be happy and safe. We all wish on the same stars!
AJ: Why did you decide to write about an Ecuadorian boy? Have you traveled to Ecuador before?
CL: I have never been to Ecuador, but wanted to write a South American adventure. My son spent
a year in South America, and loved the people, food and experience there. Hopefully I can travel to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands one day!
AJ: Do you plan to write more children’s books? If so, what ideas do you have for them?
CL: I am always working on other children’s stories. Currently I’m writing a girl’s adventure titled
“Anaya and the Elephant Chase” which is about a girl in India who loves to run. She has an adventure chasing an escaped elephant. This story features peacocks and exotic flowers, a tiger, a cobra, and the Taj Mahal. I am really excited about this adventure book.
AJ: What’s your all-time favorite children’s book?
CL: What is my all-time favorite children’s book? This is a difficult question!
I love Blueberries for Sal, The Story about Ping, The Story of Ferdinand, but probably my very favorite is Charlotte’s Web because it about real life with real feelings.
Well, there you have it folks! Be sure to pre-order your copy of Tomas and the Galapagos Adventure today so you can receive it as soon as it comes out, June 7th, 2016!