Posts in Interviews

Remie Geoffroi, illustrator of Capes in the Family

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

I began illustrating my own stories at a very early age. I’d take a few sheets of paper, fold them in half, staple it, and then set about filling my book with a story and drawings. My own kids now do the same.

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

As I read through the story, I was reminded of many stories and characters, such as the movie Spy Kids, with all the gadgets and inventions. I also took inspiration from the many comic books I’ve read over the years, superhero and science fiction movies (the Incredibles, Batman, Star Wars), etc. You could say I drew inspiration from many, many sources.

Capes in the Family Chapter 8

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

My favourite book was “Where the Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak. I really loved the story, drawings, and the idea that this kid, Max, could be transported to this mythical land and command all of these beastly monsters. It is still such a joy to read.

A close second would be “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” by Roald Dahl. As a kid who loved candy and fantastical ideas, it was such an engaging read. The version with illustrations by Joseph Schindelman is the edition that I loved.

Neither of these authors hid the grim nature of their characters, which made it all the more enthralling.

4) What’s your favourite childhood memory?

So tough to choose one – but I really enjoyed my summers spent all day on the beach at Lake Huron with my family. We’d build sandcastles, bury each other in the sand, swim, collect smooth stones, driftwood and “sea glass”, and then have big bonfires at night roasting marshmallows.

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

I’d probably choose Willy Wonka because he can make the impossible possible. I’d also choose Calvin, from Calvin and Hobbes, because he has such a wild imagination and warped sense of humour. He’s not technically a children’s book character, but certainly one of the most influential fictional characters from my youth. I’ll throw Max in there, too – just to see what he and Calvin could get up to together.

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

Remie Geoffroi has been an active freelance illustrator for over 15 years, maintaining a wide client base of US and Canadian clients. He has been involved in children’s publishing for much of that time, working with publishers such as Scholastic, Canadian History Society, Formac, and illustrating the joke pages for chickaDEE magazine, published by Owl Kids for over 10 years. During that time, Remie reimagined the characters of Mish, Mash and Mush and co-developed a joke book featuring them.


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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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