A friend of the Gaithersburg Book Festival, John Patrick Green is returning to our in-person event on May 21st, along with John Gallagher (Max Meow), Abby Denson (Kitty Sweet Tooth) and lifelong friend, Dave Roman (Astronaut Academy series). When I introduced the InvestiGATORS to my students, they were an instant hit (my students love a good graphic novel series)!
Author Presentation (followed by book signing): 12:15-1:05 pm in the Cather Tent
Comics Co-Lab: Kids Graphic Novel Workshop: 3-3:45 pm in the children’s workshops pavilion
I hope you enjoy this interview with John Patrick Green!
What is your writing space like?
When I’m in the process of writing a book, wherever I am is where I am writing. It’s not a process that has an easy on/off switch. So sometimes I’ll be writing at a desk, other times it’s on a couch watching TV, occasionally it’s laying in bed trying to get to sleep. Much of my writing happens while pacing around my apartment. For me, sitting still isn’t really conducive to creating a story, so I’ll move around a lot. I’m probably most productive writing-wise when I’m doing a chore like laundry or washing dishes!
How (or in what ways) do you hope librarians will promote your book?
The best promotion I’d say is just recommending my work. Being familiar enough with it and other books like it that you can say, “oh, you like that book? Then you might also like THIS book.”
What do you hope your readers will learn from reading your book?
One thing I hope they’ll get out of my books is an appreciation for the connection between text and visuals when it comes to this type of storytelling. And maybe they’ll also learn the occasional big or obscure word.
Who is the reader you are writing for? Describe them.
My target audience is, basically, myself when I was a kid. I try to harness the types of stories and humor and cartoons that I liked when I was little, and make something that young me would find entertaining. And hopefully kids today will find it enjoyable as well.
What is one (or more) thing(s) that you really want your readers to know about you?
Hmm… I guess I’d want them to know how much I appreciate hearing that they are enjoying my books! And if there’s any occasion that calls for such a thing, please send me cheese instead of flowers.
What do you love most about the cover art and illustrations in your book?
The part about my illustrations I like the most is when they’re DONE and I get to hold the books in my hands. It takes a lot of drawings to make a graphic novel, and while it’s fun making them, it’s very satisfying when the art is finished and ready to be seen by readers!
What has surprised you most about the characters in your book?
What probably is most surprising about a few characters is how they just showed up out of nowhere. When I’m making a book, I usually start with a short outline, and then I come up with specific dialog and detailed situations that I sketch out. Many times this results in a joke that wasn’t planned, and often it results in a funny character insetting themselves into the story unexpectedly. Characters like Dr. Doodldoo and C-ORB were not planned at all up until the moment I sketched out the page each one first appears in.
Which book review or award has been most meaningful to you?
These aren’t really reviews or awards, but I’d say the response that has meant a lot to me is the appreciation my work gets from readers who *aren’t* actually the target demographic. While I want these books to connect with the audience I’m aiming them at, it’s nice to know that there are readers outside of that window that connect with the work as well. So when I hear from them or see fan art they’ve done it makes me feel like I’ve accomplished creating something that works on different levels.
What are you most looking forward to at our book festival?
I’m most looking forward to meeting readers! And after a couple years of mostly virtual conventions and festivals, it will be nice to meet some in person.
We hope you will join John Patrick Green at the Gaithersburg Book Festival on May 21st!
John Patrick Green is a human with the human job of making books about animals with human jobs, such as “Hippopotamister,” “Kitten Construction Company” and “InvestiGators.” John is definitely not just a bunch of animals wearing a human suit pretending to have a human job. He is also the artist and co-creator of the graphic novel series “Teen Boat!”, with writer Dave Roman. John lives in Brooklyn, N.Y., in an apartment that doesn’t allow animals other than the ones living in his head.