Friday, September 4, 2009
New book review for Kevin Collier and his book Professor Horace Cryptozoologist
Joining us today is Kevin Scott Collier, author of the picture book Professor Horace, Cryptozoologist, for children. We’re going to talk to Kevin about his new book and get to know him a little better.
I was very interested in reviewing Professor Horace, Cryptozoologist. I was curious to read what it was about. Anyone who knows me knows that I love to solve cryptograms. I also have a zoology degree with a minor in chemistry. So, I figured that this story was going to be about solving a mystery about animals. I was close. Cryptozoology is the study of hidden animals which fall outside of the contemporary zoological catagory. Which means-myths and magical creatures. Professor Horace, Cryptozoologist, is about a man who travels all around the world learning more about legends and myths. For example; Big Foot, leprechauns, Loch Ness, Aliens, etc.... To be honest, I have heard of a few of these myths and legends, but reading this book also brought to my attention a few that I haven't heard of before. The curiosity of Professor Horace leads him to search out and find some of these legendary creatures, and what he finds is that not only are they real, but they are not as horrible as they are made out to be. He believes that they just don't want to be found and that is why they are rarely seen. Then he disappears, taking all evidence with him of his adventures and the creatures he has seen, becoming a myth and legend himself.
This book was published based on what experts believe was the journey of Professor Horace and his exclusive meetings with creatures during his interest in Cryptozoology. If you are a believer of Cryptozoology or not, the legends do make for interesting reading. I must say that the story was very interesting and put a fun twist on a topic that brings up so many questions. More information about this topic can be found at http://professorhorace.blogspot.com/ You will find it very interesting. Kevin also was the illustrator for this book and he did a wonderful job. On each page were drawings of some mythical creatures and what I loved the most was an index at the end of the book which explained more about each creature and where they could be found. This story was unique and different. I liked the way Kevin weaved the tale to make the story light and fun. This is also a rhyming book, which makes the story easy to remember. Check out the many books that Kevin wrote and/or illustrated. Very creative, Kevin. Great job!
Welcome, Kevin. It’s great to have you with us.
Great to be here!
Please tell our readers a bit about yourself.
I'm Art Director for a daily newspaper for my day job, and evenings I write and illustrate children's books. I'm married to an author, too. Also, I will be appearing in weekly drawing segments in the upcoming new season of the internationally broadcast KICKS Club TV show.
How did your writing career begin?
I wrote a short story for a niece, it caught the attention of an Indiana publisher, they asked me to expand the tale into a book, and I signed the contract and my first book was published. It happened really fast.
Tell us about Professor Horace, Cryptozoologist.
It's a fun children's picture book for kids about a Professor who travels the globe meeting cryptids, and mythical creatures.
What age group is this book for?
I'd say 5-8.
This book is a rhyming book. What inspired you to write it?
I just thought it would be fun, as kids are curious, and like creatures of legends, and I have a fascination with cryptozoology.
In what forms is your book available? Is it available in e-book, hard cover or traditional paperback, or all?
Paperback and ebook.
Tell us about the other books that you have written and or are working on.
I'm always illustrating books for other authors, but the one book I wrote and illustrated this year is about a whale that can hardly be heard. "Whispering Wally" will be a picture book published by 4RV Publishing before Christmas, and it's a gentle tale kids and parents should adore.
For homeschool parents, such as myself, we are always looking for the best curriculums, workbooks, supplements and subjects to best teach our children. How can Professor Horace, Cryptozoologist, help educate children?
Whether crypids are real or not, there is an educational aspect as to the history of legends and how they came to be. The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, the leading homeschool magazine in the nation, highly recommended it. It also received high marks on many homeschool blogs, too.
Do you have a website and/or blog where readers can find out more?
There's a web page for Professor Horace, http://professorhorace.blogspot.com/
Where can readers purchase your books and how much do they cost?
The best way to locate all my books is just feed my name, Kevin Scott Collier, into Amazon. The titles will all pop up. Most books are in the $10 range.
What's next for you? Is there anything else that you are involved in?
The video shoots for KICKS Club TV are still ongoing, as a full new season is 26 half hour episodes. I may only appear on there for a few minutes a program, but a lot goes into segments, and my son and his friends also appear in many activity clips, too. I also illustrate Splish the Frog, the reading mascot for The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, too. So, I'm involved in a lot of things.
Tell us about how your association with KICKS Club TV got started.
I'd watched the show on occasion, and wrote to them regarding illustrating a book based on their puppet named Elmer. Pastor Kim Robinson liked the idea, so she wrote the book, I drew it. One thing led to another and I ended up on the program.
You are not only an author, but an illustrator. How did you get started illustrating books? And how many books have you illustrated so far?
I've drawn pictures since age 5, and when I stumbled into the book market, illustrating books just unfolded and fast. I've illustrated over 100 books in the past 4 years.
Has writing and/or illustrating, always been a passion for you?
Yes, but an enjoyable one. It's not like I was ever driven to be an author. I did, however, want to make a career in art. I enjoy being both an author and illustrator, but it's part of my life, not my life.
I have read that the proceeds from sales for this book go to St. John's Lutheran School, Grand Haven, MI. Can you tell us more about that?
Yes, it's not a lot, but it helps. Christian schools are always strapped for cash. Any help we can give is good.
Majority of your books have a Christian theme and come from the heart. There is something that can always be shared and learned. Can you tell us about why you chose to write in this direction?
It's simply what inspires me. My faith drives everything I do. I've always said, that if you want to make an impression on a reader's mind, you have to touch their heart, first.
Tell us more about what Cryptozoology is and why you chose to write about the topic?
Simply because I find it curious. I mean, the reality of it is until they find the remains of the Loch Ness Monster, or a Bigfoot, it's all left up to the imagination. A re cryptids real? I don't know. But, the stories behind them are fascinating.
Is there anything else that you would like to add or share?
Write from the heart. Draw with a smile. That's it.
Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to our readers today. Good luck in all of your future endeavors. Please check out this book by Kevin Scott Collier.
I hope everyone learned more about Kevin and his wonderful children's picture book. All my best, Renee Hand.