My Work is Inspired By My Love of Animals

Author Interview
Author Interview Anil

Silly Animal Rhymes and Stories: Zoo Two is a book of not just poetry but fascinating facts about animals. What was the inspiration for this children’s book?

It’s my second book of Silly Animal Rhymes and Stories. Both were inspired by my love of animals, being a retired zoologist, coupled with my love of word play and constrained writing. The restraint here is the use of terse single rhymes per poem, which I call universes. I then enjoy adding silly stories and nonsense, plus some biology, to the poems.

I don’t specialise in children’s books. My other three books are not for kids, too difficult or too ‘adult’.

The art in this book is fantastic. What was the art collaboration process like with illustrator Kalpart?

Kalpa Joshi, the head artist for Kalpart, lives in Mumbai. All the artwork was provided by email, in response to my written descriptions of the ideas I visualized. She was very cooperative and allowed me to seek revisions of her initial sketches, which she then had her team convert to the final coloured images, again generously allowing me revisions. Although mostly all my own ideas, she often made good suggestions.

I really liked the poems Racial Harmony and Wake up, Sleepyhead. What is your favorite poem in this collection?

My favourite is Ape and Wolf in Concert. That’s not for literary reason but because I’m an avid supporter of Friends of Bonobos, the orphan bonobo sanctuary and rehabilitation and release sites in DRCongo.

Their social media sites presented a longer version of this poem a few years ago. It’s also my favourite illustration in the book.

Judged purely on literary grounds I don’t really have a favourite but am especially pleased with ANOLE, BORZOI, CANARY, MONKEYS and the 1st PLOVER.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I have another book of silly animal rhymes (without added stories) in production at Olympia Publishers (UK), my first book to be accepted by a traditional publisher. It’s entitled 101 Animal Universes and includes 25 repeats from the two kids’ book. It also contains a few adult rhymes so is not a kids’ book except with parental discretion. It should be out later this year, I’d guess within three months.

The next book I am working on (basically finished and awaiting some b&w illustrations from Kalpart) is another exercise in constrained writing. This time it uses Spoonerisms around which to weave silly to serious stories and essays, many for adults only. It’s entitled Haywire Way Higher: Spoonerism Couplets, Stories, Essays. If I cannot find a traditional publisher I’ll again self-publish with SBPRA, the publishers of my other four recent books. I hope to see it published later this year or in 2023.

Author Links: GoodReads | Website

Here are just a few of the Animal Rhyme stories inside:
ANOLE LIZARD becomes a Pig.
BORZOI Puppy is a riot.
CHINCHILLA has a Pet GORILLA.
GNUS steal shoes!
MOA didn’t make it to Noah’s Ark.
TORTOISE dreams of being a Ninja athlete.
WHALE ‘drops out’ and regrets it.
ZINGEL FISH meets Santa in my dreams.

Posted on April 18, 2022, in Interviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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