Believe in Fairies is an enchanting children’s picture book that gives readers a reason to appreciate wildflowers. How did you come about this theme for the book?
This book was Sherrie’s idea; she’s a keen gardener who loves fairies. My series of children’s books tackle the topic of conservation, and Sherrie shares my concern regarding the loss of wildflower species, here in the UK. The fairies help educate children and their parents about the various types of wildflowers, and their enemies such as snails and mice. The book encourages children and their parents to grow wildflowers and to appreciate them in the meadows and other open spaces.
You wrote this book with Sherrie Trotman. What was the collaboration like between you?
The collaboration was easy and enjoyable. Sherrie wrote the first draft of the poem, and I edited and added to it. I hired and worked closely with the illustrator, communicating Sherrie’s original ideas and those of my own. Once we approved the artwork, I designed the finished book.
I loved the little cute snail that makes an appearance in this book. Do you have any favorite scenes from the book?
Our favourite illustration is titled ‘Their will-o’-the-wisp may give you a fright’. It features three fairies with ghoulish-blue glows. In the foreground, we see two terrified mice fleeing from them. The cute snail was originally a mouse. However, because we have two mice in ‘Their will-o’-the-wisp may give you a fright’, I asked the illustrator to change the other mouse into a snail. I’m glad you like it.
Do you have any future collaborative books that you’re working on?
We have several ideas for collaborative books. However, at the moment, I’m working on the final two books of the Wayne Gerard Trotman’s Rhyming Stories series.
Posted in Interviews
Tags: author, author interview, Believe in Fairies, book, book review, bookblogger, children, childrens book, ebook, fairies, fairy, fairy tale, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, kids, kids book, kindle, kobo, literature, nook, parent, picture book, read, reader, reading, story, teacher, Wayne Gerard Trotman, writer, writing
Mattie Boombalatty is a rhyming story following Mattie as she starts a new school and has to deal with bullies. What was the inspiration behind this book?
The playground taunt, Fatty Boombalatty, inspired the name Mattie Boombalatty. In general terms, bullying at school and cyberbullying seem to be increasing and leading to more tragic results. With bullying being such a universal problem, I thought it would be good to present an ethical, non-violent, and personally enriching way to address it.
The way that Mattie deals with bullies shows that there are other ways to feel rewarded for good behavior. Why do you feel this is an important lesson to learn?
With a bit of soul searching, it becomes clear that a majority of the most potent and memorable works of fiction deal with revenge in one form or another.
In its basic form, the villain is defeated, evil is destroyed, and there is much rejoicing in the land. Children are exposed to this rationale at an early age, and seeking revenge can easily become habitual.
Likewise, because of popular children’s fiction, fame, wealth and physical attractiveness can become more desirable than the apparently mundane virtues of self-contentment, and the appreciation of good friendships and strong family ties.
In the book, Mattie’s values and ethics are tested but she prevails by not taking the easiest path. Revenge may feel good for a while but, ultimately, it does not bring peace of mind.
I think it is important to show that the most valuable rewards for good behaviour may not be those temporary things that we are encouraged to seek. The most valuable things in life – love and friendship are free.
Learning this lesson early in life could mark the difference between lifelong happiness or a lifetime of discontentment.
What was the art collaboration like with illustrator Nhat Hao Nguyen?
I’ve been working with Hao for the past year, and it has always been a joy. He follows my very detailed instructions very well and produces beautiful and informative illustrations that visualise each poem.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
I am currently working with the illustrators of two books, simultaneously. These will be the last two of seven illustrated children’s books published under the umbrella of Wayne Gerard Trotman’s Rhyming Stories.
A Turtle’s Adventures is about a leatherback sea turtle named Shelly that returns to Matura Beach, in Trinidad and Tobago, to lay her eggs. It aims to inform children and their parents about the threats facing the world’s largest living sea turtles. The premium hardcover book will be available at the end of October, 2020.
A Letter from a Gorilla is written as a letter of complaint from a monocled, silverback gorilla named Silverback Jeremy. It aims to promote conservation of the endangered African mountain gorilla. The premium hardcover book will be available at the end of November, 2020.
Believe in Fairies by Wayne Gerard Trotman and Sherrie Trotman is a children’s story about why you should believe in fairies. It discusses topics such as how devoted fairies are to keeping plants alive. Fairies will put dewdrops on flowers to cool them and cover them with parasols to protect them from the rain! Fairies also love healing, and feeding the weak flowers. They take pride in taking care of their plants and your garden because the beauty of those flowers is what proves that their magic is real.
The authors of this story give beautiful descriptions and rhymes to captivate their readers. They provide details on how the fays take care of plants, and what exactly they do for them. The art is vibrant with plenty of action on the page that will certainly capture a child’s interest. I especially loved a sad little snail that appears about halfway through, so cute. There is much to learn and see while reading Believe in Fairies which is why I found this book to be so enjoyable!
Believe in Fairies is an enchanting poetry book that I think is perfect for young readers. Children will learn a lot about the fairies and walk away with a better appreciation for nature. Wayne Gerard Trotman and Sherrie Trotman will have readers believing in fairies in no time.
Pages: 32 | ISBN:1916184863
Tags: author, Believe in Fairies, book review, bookblogger, children, childrens book, ebook, fairy tale, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, kids, kids book, kindle, kobo, literature, myth, nature, nook, parent, picture book, poem, poetry, read, reader, reading, rhyme, Sherrie Trotman, story, teacher, Wayne Gerard Trotman, writer, writing
Mattie Boombalatty by Wayne Gerard Trotman is a children’s illustrated short story that follows Mattie Boombalatty as she moves to a new town and falls victim to bullying by her new schoolmates. Trotman’s simple yet profound lesson about morality, combined with the book’s vivid and lively illustrations makes this a fantastic book for children.
Nhat Hao Nguyen, the illustrator of the book, is a skilled artist who makes each scene and character come to life. He uses vivid colors that pop, and his life-like yet cherub-like character illustrations add just the right amount of magic and realism to this children’s picture book. His attention to detail on each page is fantastic.
Trotman’s message about treating others who treat us lesser than we deserve is, as aforementioned, simple yet poignant. Mattie faces many anxieties that are understandable and normal for a school-aged girl. Some of her schoolmates decide for no reason that they do not like her and, as mean schoolchildren do, they make their feelings known. As distraught as she is over being taunted by her peers, she displays strength in refusing to wish them ill will, even when she comes across a glowing opportunity to get revenge. Mattie is ultimately rewarded for choosing the high road, and she reaches her happy ending in the story. While we as humans are not always rewarded for rising above our circumstances, Trotman makes it clear that the reward is not what matters – rather, the peace of mind that comes with choosing the right path is what ultimately matters.
Pages: 50 | ISBN-10: 1916184839
Tags: author, book, book review, bookblogger, bully, childrens books, ebook, education, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, kids books, kindle, kobo, literature, Mattie Boombalatty, nook, parent, picture book, read, reader, reading, story, teacher, Wayne Gerard Trotman, writer, writing
Kaya Abaniah and the Father of the Forest follows a young man who discovers he has an extraordinary ability and that he’s being hunted by a vampire. What was the inspiration for the setup to this exciting story?
The idea that people may not be what they appear to be, or that heroes may be the unlikeliest of individuals, has always appealed to me.
Kaya Abaniah and the Father of the Forest draws heavily from Trinidad and Tobago’s culture and folklore with surprising twists. The titular Father of the Forest is Papa Bois, French patois for “father wood” or “father of the forest”. He is a Pan-like character who is thought of as the protector of Trinidad’s forests and its flora and fauna.
The vampire in Kaya Abaniah and the Father of the Forest is a witch-like, shapeshifting Caribbean folklore character called a soucouyant. According to Trinidadian legends, she appears as a reclusive elderly woman by day. By night, she peels off her wrinkled skin and assumes her true form of a ball of fire. She streaks across the night sky in search of her next victim whose blood she sucks while they sleep.
Up until the 1970s, Trinidad and Tobago’s folktales were told, much like ghost stories, to the youth. However, the tradition and the legends that were told are being lost to history. Part of my aim was to revitalise interest in Trinidad and Tobago’s rich folklore. Kaya Abaniah and the Father of the Forest also asks the question, “What if characters such as Papa Bois and Soucouyant aren’t what we thought they were?” “What if there is a logical, scientific explanation for them?”
Kaya is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some ideas that guided his character development?
More than any other fictional character I’ve developed, Kaya draws heavily from my life experiences as a teenager while growing up in Trinidad and Tobago. His love life and fighting ability are far more advanced than mine were at age 14. However, his interests in art and photography and his achievements as a sprinter are similar to my own at his age.
Kaya is bullied at school and has to endure heartache and death in his family. At 14, he falls in love. I wanted to portray a character that is fairly universal in terms of coming of age. At the same time, I wanted to suggest that extraordinary things can be achieved by the unlikeliest of people, living in the unlikeliest of places. Everyone expects superheroes from powerful nations. Heroes from the Caribbean are very rare.
Kaya’s development as a character builds on attaining maturity from having to deal with unique issues while overcoming personal insecurities. The idea that muscle is not the only determinator of strength meant that Kaya would be skinny. Throughout the story, his confidence grows as a result of winning small but significant interpersonal, physical, and emotional battles.
The story is set in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. Why did you choose this location for the setting to your novel?
Where locations on our planet provide major settings, most science fiction stories tend to be set in technologically advanced countries such as the United States of America, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, the Soviet Union or Japan. In fact, my first instalment in the Cosmic Sea universe, Veterans of the Psychic Wars, begins in London, England. However, for Kaya Abaniah and the Father of the Forest, I wanted to suggest that advanced alien beings may have interests in our planet that are not defined by our narrow concepts of cultural ideology, military strength or political influence.
There are certain plants and animals that exist only on the islands of Trinidad and Tobago. And, in the book, an alien scientist is convinced that the cure for a virulent bioengineered virus could be found among the naturally-occurring organisms endemic to Trinidad. Trinidad is the second largest leatherback turtle nesting site in the world. Because of this, I could easily weave conservation themes into the story. Trinidad and Tobago has one of the most culturally rich and ethnically diverse populations in the world and this makes for unique and interesting storytelling. Stories set in the Caribbean, or featuring characters from the region, often dilute their unique manners of speech. In Kaya Abaniah and the Father of the Forest, I wanted to present raw and authentic Trinidad Creole and Jamaican patois. The book features an extensive glossary of terms for anyone not familiar with the more exotic aspects of Caribbean dialogue.
Kaya Abaniah and the Father of the Forest is also my attempt to increase interest in Trinidad and Tobago folklore, which is gradually being lost. The book portrays teenage life that is unique and different from British and American portrayals that most English readers would be familiar with.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
For just over a year, I’ve been working on a series of illustrated children’s rhyming stories. These books present the themes of conservation and bullying at school, which I began in Kaya Abaniah and the Father of the Forest, to younger audiences. My next release is Song of the Blue Whale, which will be available from 16th August 2020. In the wake of COVID-19, improperly discarded masks have added to the pollution of oceans and waterways. This is reflected in the artwork.
The book encourages children and their parents to sponsor whales, recycle, use less plastic, discard rubbish responsibly and be more mindful humans. Hopefully, it will make a positive difference.
Kaya lived the life of an ordinary 14 year old, dealing with family, school, bullies, and crushes. Until one day, after an unexplained fever, increasingly odd things began to happen. Suddenly it seemed like there was very little in Kaya’s life that was ordinary, especially after a near death experience on a school field trip. As the months passed, he was inundated with information and experiences straight out of science fiction, and with every new discovery came a new danger until Kaya had to learn how to protect himself and those that he loved, even as he questioned who he could trust. Nothing would ever be ordinary again.
This is the story for “Kaya Abaniah and the Father of the Forest” by Wayne Gerard Trotman. Set against the rich cultural landscape of Trinidad and Tobago, “Kaya Abaniah” weaves a tale that goes from zero to a hundred pretty darn quick and also keeps a solid narrative as it does so. Trotman describes the scenery vividly, making the depictions of local flora and fauna come to life, as well as incorporating various pieces of native folklore and legends. For Kaya, life in his small hometown of Coconut Grove was enriched by that nature and the stories of supernatural happenings. A personal experience with Papa Bois, the so called Father of the Forest and protector of all living things, opens the door for Kaya to an understanding that life is so much bigger than he ever could have imagined. Before long, multi-generational feuds, murder, witches, time travel, and multiple alien races are all things he is suddenly forced to understand and contend with. Even with everything going on, the book tends to flow very smoothly, and as the reader learns along with Kaya, new twists and turns continue to reveal themselves, very nearly to the end.
“Kaya Abaniah” is a cleverly written coming of age story, steeped in a science fiction skin. Even as Kaya begins to absorb lifetimes worth of knowledge, it is mentioned multiple times that his age prevents him from using his new skills with complete restraint. As a result, he is restricted from using them fully. Kaya struggles with uncertainty, lack of confidence, and bouts of elation much like any other early teen, but his struggle to come to terms with his identity is something much more unique. His emotional growth, as seen through his own eyes, invests the reader in his fate very early on.
It gets wild in the very best way, although at times the plot thickens to the point of being just a tad convoluted. The twists were well written and managed to be complete surprises, and overall it was a fantastic piece of science fiction.
Pages: 481 | ASIN: B00T1DFTL2
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