Sunday, January 23, 2011

Devon Kinch Interview about Pretty Penny

Meet author Devon Kinch:
She has a new book just published by Random House Books for Young Readers that teaches children how to handle money, including how to save it.  I had the pleasure of asking her some questions about her writing for this blog post.  Here are her answers:

1.    Why does she have a pig for a pet?

There are a few reasons Iggy is Penny’s beloved pet. For starters, I have always wanted a pet pig and here was my one and only chance to realize a dream!  I also wanted Penny to have a sidekick that was a bit out of the ordinary. Pigs are not exactly your everyday pet, but they are smart, adorable, and fun - and Penny is all about fun.  Lastly, there is an underlying connection between a piggy bank and saving money. Although it wasn’t my primary reason for inventing Iggy, I thought the subtle money message was appropriate.

2.    What made you choose a wardrobe of pink and black?

Penny is a headstrong little girl with a spunky and independent personality. I wanted her style to reflect that spirit. Black and pink (I’d say it’s a bit more magenta than pink) is a strong color combination. It’s bold, like Penny, and I thought it was a perfect fit.

3.    What did Penny look like when you were first imagining her?  Was the change drastic?

Oh yes!  Penny had many incarnations before she became the girl she is today. Penny started off a bit shy-looking, but as I developed the character, she became more colorful and confident.

4.    How did you decide how Grandma Bunny should look?

Bunny is named after my 94 year-old grandmother Bunny (affectionally known as “Bunster” to the younger generations in our family). The character is actually a hybrid of my two grandmothers, Bunny and Meme, from whom I borrowed characteristics to create Penny’s grandmother.

5.    Is it hard to decide how to draw your characters or do you instantly have an image in mind?

It’s so much fun to create characters. Once I had Penny, I got to work inventing her world of friends. Some characters came out of my imagination and others I created based on childhood friends or family members.

6.    Have you been drawing all your life?

I have always loved to draw. I used to draw maps of imaginary towns and sell them on the school playground for a dime. I can’t remember if I made any sales, but I know I tried! I filled notebooks with illustrations, stories, and characters. I went on to study art in college and then design in graduate school. Drawing has always been an important part of my life.

7.    Any advice for children who may wish to be an illustrator when they get older?

I think the best advice is to follow your passion. Be brave and don’t get discouraged. Being creative is hard work!

I like the answer to question seven.  The reason I'm a bookseller and reviewer is because I love books and want to share that magic with everyone.  Another way to phrase it would be follow your heart.  Do what you love and you'll be a success.

How would like to see the various reincarnations of Pretty Penny?  Here you go:

You can just see her evolve, can't you?

I'm just the first stop on this blog tour.  Each of us is doing something different so check them out:

Tuesday, January 25
Teaching Books

Wednesday, January 26
Family Finance

Thursday, January 27
The Children’s Book Review

Friday, January 28
Booking Mama

Saturday, January 29
Two Writing Teachers            

Sunday, January 30
A Frugal Friend      

Monday, January 31
Random Acts of Reading

And just so you will know which book to look for at your local bookstore, here's a photo of the cover for you:

Happy reading!


Susan Martin said...

Cool interview, and loved seeing the evolution of Penny! (and the comment about Bunster)

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

Great interview! I loved the pictures of Penny. :)

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