Describe how the idea for your book first came to you. Where were you? Who was the first person you told? How did they respond?
Goodness, the idea for my first book (the one I wrote and illustrated when I was 6 or so) must have come from a frank discussion about the “birds and the bees” that my mother had with me. I must have asked a ton of questions, because I filled out an entire notebook with what I had learned. I often joke, with a sense of seriousness, that my friends were very lucky having me be the one telling them about the “facts of life” in that proverbial gutter of education of all matters taboo.
In all seriousness though, the story that is still working itself out of me came after telling a friend a story, about how I grew up, when I was in high school. I don’t recall the story but I do recall their reaction. My friend looked at me and asked if I realized how un-real my life was. This had never ever occurred to me. My father is a bull-fighter, my mother an adventurer. The life I have is the one I know. It is familiar, and knows of no other alternatives of how it is to be lived. The country that I was born in and the other one nearby that raised me are magic… with ghosts and magic and mysteries that one just has to accept. The terrain of these places are story book, with fences that grow, and many snow-capped active volcanoes, with ties to islands that inspired many where birds are born with bright blue feet or magnetic magenta ones, where other birds puff out a chest so bright red and large that it seems impossible to be real. I grew up talking to jungle shaman, Amazonian head-shriknkers, writers, poets, artists, musicians, and bullfighters.
I realize how precious that was, to grow up in such a complex environment.
And so it was that one conversation that pinpointed just how unusual it was that prompted me to write something semi-autobiographical about the magical world I grew up in, and it is because of that started me on that journey.
Several attempts have been made, many scrapped because I allowed others to come in and direct the tale to the extent it became theirs and was not mine any more.
I am working on making it mine, one step at a time.
Today, my hat tip goes to Ashley Howland because her tale about how her book Ghostnapped came to be made me smile, and I love that she had her husband redo the cover when it was re-published.