Author Q&A: Eric Bower - The Splendid Baron Submarine
Waldo “W.B.” Baron is back with another amazing adventure in another incredible invention! Pirate treasure? A clandestine meeting? A terribly rude monkey with personal boundary and hygiene issues? Two of those things sound like a dream come true to W.B, whose clever inventor parents are hired—by the Vice President!—to go on a super secret and intensely important treasure hunt to repay a national debt. If only it weren’t for that lousy, rude monkey, it would be the beginning of a perfect adventure. But at least it isn’t squirrels…
The treasure hunt gives the Baron family the opportunity to use their exceptional steam-powered submarine, freshly biggened and ready for adventure! But things are seldom straightforward for the eccentric Baron family, and this treasure hunt is no exception. W.B.’s trademark bad luck has him suffering monstrous marine misfortune and marauding monkey misery.
Can the Baron family embark on their newest adventure without the eggy and depressing Aunt Dorcas? Will the Barons find the treasure they seek? Will they save the country from financial ruin? Where does the monkey fit in, anyway? Do we like asking questions? Not really, but inside you’ll meet someone who likes asking questions and then answering them (despite his claims to the contrary, he really does like it).
Oh, did we mention the pirate’s curse?
Catch up with W.B. and his family in The Splendid Baron Submarine, the second installment in Eric Bower‘s The Bizzare Baron Inventions series! We chatted with Eric about W.B.'s new adventures under the sea, abounding clumsiness, and what's in store for the next Baron family adventure!
AJ: Your second book, The Splendid Baron Submarine, is almost out and readers are so excited! Can you tell us how you came up with the idea to take the Baron family underwater? What was your inspiration? EB: I love the sea, and I’ve always loved the idea of submarine travel; 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne was one of my favorite books growing up. But aside from the old Submarine Voyage ride at Disneyland, I’ve never actually been in a submarine before. And since I’m mildly claustrophobic (my brain tells me not to fear small, enclosed spaces, though my racing heart and crumpling lungs tend to respectfully disagree), it’s probably never going to happen. If I can’t do it, I figure I might as well write about it. Or maybe I’ll just go back to Disneyland.
AJ: So the wild west wasn’t enough, you had to add pirates! In a fight between cowboys and pirates, who do you think would win? EB: On land? The cowboys. At sea? The pirates. In space? The ninjas—no one ever expects the ninjas
AJ: Did you decide to give W.B.’s clumsiness a break by putting him in water so he couldn’t fall down? What is your favorite W.B. fall? EB: A true klutz can still manage to hurt themselves at any time, and at any place. I once injured myself in the lobby of a hospital, slipping on a puddle of spilled hand sanitizer. My favorite W.B. fall actually happens in book four. I can’t really tell you what happens yet, but it manages to defy both space and time.
AJ: What was your favorite moment with the Baron family in their underwater adventure? EB: W.B.’s confusion regarding the definition of hyperventilation is probably my favorite moment. And it’s always fun to see a monkey in a story, particularly a sassy monkey with a fondness for hats. I was about to go into further detail, but I think those two sentences speak for themselves.
AJ: Can you give us a teaser for what W.B. will face in the next adventure, The Wonderful Baron Doppelgänger Device? EB: In book three, W.B. meets a new best friend, makes a new worst enemy, rides a cross-country train with a pair of tone-deaf hobos, eats six pies at the county fair, battles some very silly inventions, cleverly solves a mystery, and at the end he learns a huge secret about someone living in the Baron Estate.