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Gregg Taylor, author Capes in the Family

Audio Extra:  Gregg Taylor reads from “Capes in the Family”

1) When and why did you start writing children’s stories?

I know it sounds odd for someone writing children’s books to say that they don’t actually exist, but I’m not sure that they do. Stories are stories, and if you are true to yourself and your characters, and mindful of the wants and needs of your audience, that’s all you need. The classifications are a marketing device. I think that the “I’m going to write a children’s book” is the sort of thing at you think immediately before you write a terrible one. If you break it down into Bookstore Sections I’ve written mysteries, adventure novels, science fiction, plays, radio dramas and comic books, and for all of their differences, the creative process is very much the same.

2) What was your inspiration “Capes in the Family”?

With “Capes in the Family”, I set out to tell an adventure story, an engaging mystery, and a story about two brothers who care about each other deep down. (Sometimes very, very, very deep down). I grew up with superhero stories, old and new, and they continue to inspire me. To me, they are a vision of the kind of people we can all become – not because they have extraordinary powers and abilities, but because of what they choose to do with those abilities. Imagine learning that the secret family business of your very boring relations is and always has been wrapped up in that kind of wonder. That’s the journey of discover I want to take readers on.

3) What was your favourite book as a kid and why?

If I had to pick only one, I would say it was Treasure Island. I spent hours reading that book under the covers with a flashlight, and every minute of that time was well spent. Jim was the kind of avatar for a young reader that really carries you away with the story.

4) What’s your favourite childhood memory?

Okay, so this one time my parents packed up all of the kids and took us to the Ontario Science Centre for the day, which is a great thing in itself. But totally unbeknownst to them there was a whole exhibit on about the Muppets, because the Henson company was in Toronto filing Fraggle Rock, which had not started airing yet. We saw all of the Fraggles and Doozers and things before we ever knew what they were, and all of the actual Muppets, and all of the Sesame Street puppets we had grown up with and all of the original Sam and Friends puppets from the 60s. There were Muppet performers doing live demos, and everyone in the place was wandering around with the same gobsmacked, astonished expression on their faces like they couldn’t believe that any of this was happening. I remember more details about that single day than I do of being ages eleven to thirty-two, inclusive. Magic.

5) If you could have lunch with any your three favourite children’s book characters who would you choose and why?

If I could have lunch with three children’s book characters, it would be Winnie-the Pooh, Paddington Bear and the Mad Hatter. Those three cats can really throw it down. I’m thinking all-you-can-eat sushi.

Try a FREE sample of “Capes in the Family”! 

Gregg Taylor has been writing adventure and mystery stories for as long as he can remember. He created the radio adventures of the Red Panda, masked protector of 1930s Toronto for Decoder Ring Theatre, and has expanded that universe with four Tales of the Red Panda adventure novels, and the comic series The Red Panda, published digitally by Monkeybrain Comics via Comixology, and in trade paperback from IDW. He is also the creator of the radio detective Jack Justice, and is the author of the novels Black Jack Justice, Black Jack Justice: Dead Men Run and Finn’s Golem.

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