Monday, December 29, 2014

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Caldric Blackwell


The Gal in the Blue Mask: 
Hello, Caldric.  Welcome to The Gal.  Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Caldric Blackwell:
I grew up in the Bay Area and went to college in Santa Barbara, where I studied English and psychology.  I started out writing short stories for adults, but eventually migrated to writing children's books.  My first work, a children's book titled The Enchanted River Race, was published in December 2012, and my second release, a picture book titled The Boy Who Couldn't Cry Wolf, came out in late 2014.  Outside of writing, I play a lot of guitar and enjoy the outdoors.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What are 5 things about you that most people don't know?

Caldric Blackwell:
I can't think of five.  I think the one thing that most people don't know about me is that I play a lot of instruments, such as the mandolin, banjo, guitar, bass, keyboard, and tin whistle, among others.  My newest instrument is an erhu. 

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What is the first book you remember reading?

Caldric Blackwell:
That'd have to be Danny and the Dinosaur by Syd Hoff.  I remember it being kept in the advanced reader section of the classroom bookshelf.  It was as if my teacher was saying, "You can read the books with a real story once you finish the senseless books about pets, cots, and people with simple names."  When I finally got my hands on a copy of Danny and the Dinosaur, it was a glorious moment.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What made you decide to begin writing?

Caldric Blackwell:
I have always been a creative person, and writing is a great way to express this creativity.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Do you have any quirks or processes that you go through when you write?

Caldric Blackwell:
Yes, whenever I write I have to have sixteen Snickers bars lined up on my desk in the shape of a giant triangle, with one side slightly shorter than the other two.  I kid.  I don't have any quirks that I'm aware of.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Is there anything about writing that you find most challenging?

Caldric Blackwell:
I think world building can be challenging.  I can't imagine writing something like Lord of the Rings, where you have thousands of places, events, and people to keep straight.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What do you think makes a good story?

Caldric Blackwell:
I don't think I can make a blanket statement about what makes a good story.  There are so many variables at play.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What book(s) have most influenced you?

Caldric Blackwell:
I don't think there are any books that I can definitively say influenced my writing.  I'm sure a lot of my favorite books have influenced my writing on a subconscious level, however.  A lot of the books I admire, such as Quest by Aaron Becker and The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway, are completely unlike anything I've ever written.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What inspires you most?

Caldric Blackwell:
Music, nature, people, etc.  While writing my new picture book, The Boy Who Couldn't Cry Wolf, I was mostly inspired by things that I thought were imaginative.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Which of your characters do you think is the most like you?

Caldric Blackwell:
I don't think any of the characters in The Boy Who Couldn't Cry Wolf are particularly like me.  They're all fairly unique.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What have you learned creating this book?

Caldric Blackwell:
The Boy Who Couldn't Cry Wolf is the first picture book I've written, so I had to learn a lot about what works for me when writing a picture book.  One of the lessons that really stands out is the importance of ensuring the text and illustrations work together.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What do you think your readers will take away from this book?

Caldric Blackwell:
My hope is that reading The Boy Who Couldn't Cry Wolf will stimulate the reader's imagination.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What makes your book different than others that fall under this genre?

Caldric Blackwell:
I think it strikes a decent balance between the fun, entertaining story and the theme.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What's in your trunk?  (Everyone has something that they've hidden away to work on 'when they get time' - what's yours?)

Caldric Blackwell:
I almost wrote about my car jack and spare tire ... I have a lot of short stories I dabble with; maybe someday I'll put them together in a collection.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What can we expect from you in the future?

Caldric Blackwell:
My next release is a middle-grade novel titled The Missing Alchemist, set to be released on January 20.  It's very different from my picture book!

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Thanks for stopping by, Caldric.  And I look forward to The Missing Alchemist -  you'll be back here in early February for that blog tour.  
            Before you go, where can we find you?

Caldric Blackwell:


About the author:
Caldric Blackwell realized he loved reading when he read about a bunch of people (with single-syllable names) and their pets (along with single-syllable names) in kindergarten.
            Exposure to a host of great authors while studying at the University of California, Santa Barbara inspired him to begin writing fiction.  Although he began writing short stories for adults, he eventually migrated to writing children's books.  His debut work is an early chapter book titled The Enchanted River Race.  His next release is a picture book, The Boy Who Couldn't Cry Wolf.  
            Outside of writing, Caldric enjoys hiking, gardening, and playing a variety of string instruments.  Caloric currently resides in California.

1 comment:

Caldric said...

Thanks for the opportunity to share more about my picture book! I'm happy to answer any additional questions readers may have!