09 Feb 2014

Interview with Elias Zapple, Author of “Jellybean the Dragon” and “Duke & Michel”

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“Jellybean the Dragon” by Elias Zapple is a very quirky and fun read about the stellar meeting between 10 year old astronaut Emma and Jellybean the dragon.
With great humorous style and some educational notes about the solar system this is a great story to read your young ones.
Very recommendable. 

Jellybean is a clumsy dragon. As a matter of fact, all dragons are clumsy. So when Jellybean falls from the sky and lands in front of Emma, a 10 year-old astronaut, naturally a series of calamitous events occur forcing Emma to eventually leave her land and meet more clumsy dragons. However, Emma is not only patient, she’s a fighter and she learns to live with Jellybean and experience a whole new and exciting life

Skateboarder Michel is freaking out as his cousin Romain has gone missing. Michel sticks his head through a hole in the garden fence and is sucked into a giant vortex. He ends up in a mysterious corridor, with doors leading to strange worlds. He also meets Duke, a food-obsessed, sarcastic Basset Hound, who is searching for his brothers. Together they hunt for their missing relatives, unaware that they are also being hunted by the Master, a villain with a dandruff problem

 

“Duke & Michel: The Mysterious Corridor” by Elias Zapple is a very original and 22182961netertaining read about a skateboarder and a talking dog in a corridor connecting worlds.
With great vivid imagination and fantastically created charcters in those worlds Zapple understands how to make kids and their parents smile.
Mayor Sandman in Napland must be one of my favourites, but judge for yourself. There are plenty more ideas and characters in this book.
A real treat.

Elias Zaple

Interview with Elias:

Tell us a little about yourself as a writer and as a person.

As a person, I’m pretty fantastic. As a children’s writer I’m also pretty fantastic. My slugs always tell me I’m fantastic – if they didn’t then in the pot they would go. My neighbour, Dieter would probably not tell you that I’m fantastic as I keep hitting his noggin with cabbages.

What made you become a writer? Have you always written?

One day in the summer of 1870 whilst doing my job as a chimney sweep I inhaled a huge amount of fumes, which then somehow inspired me to write Duke & Michel: The Mysterious Corridor. I probably felt that inhaling large amounts of toxic fumes was not the best way to make a living and so an alternative career was in order. As it has now been almost 60 years since that day, I feel as though I have always written.

When did you decide to write for children? Are you maybe a young at heart who is really writing for yourself?

Since emerging from a tulip in an old granny’s garden in Camberwell, I’ve always felt like writing for children was very natural. Though I didn’t begin until I was down that chimney in Putney, the desire was always there. I’m eternally young at heart due to my constant consumption of cupcakes and my time spent up a hill in Maputo.

Elias Zaple

How long does it take you to write and publish a book?

My slugs and I normally churn out books pretty frequently. As we write a broad range of books for different age groups it can depend how long it takes. On average though it’s around 10 hours from concept to publication. Slugs are great.

What is the easiest about writing and what is the hardest?

The easiest is writing the first draft and the hardest is re-writing then marketing. However, I let my slugs do most of that and so nothing is truly hard for me. I would encourage others to breed slugs and genetically-modify them but then I have the monopoly on them and if anybody else was to start breeding them then we’d have to attack. We have an unlimited supply of cabbages.

Would you say there is a message in the book beyond the story? Do you find it is well received and picked up by the reviewers?

In the Duke & Michel series there is a theme of family unity, to do all you can for your family and stand up to bullies. In Jellybean the Dragon there’s a theme of tolerance and compassion. In all my books though the main purpose is to provide the reader with laughs, fun and a chance to escape into other worlds. I escape all the time but I’m always retrieved by my crack commando slug unit. Of course my books are received well, otherwise they’d be hit by a barrage of cabbages!

What do you like most about your characters? Which one is your favourite? Are you or your children like any of them?

My slugs are nothing like any of my characters! My cabbages probably resemble a few of them… My characters are fun, intriguing and you’ll feel something for them whether that’s love or hate, never indifference! I’d have to say that I do enjoy writing Duke. Duke’s a sarcastic, pompous Basset Hound who’s sharper than something very, very sharp. He appears to be my most loved character, though I believe you quite liked Mayor Sandman from Duke & Michel: The Mysterious Corridor. Boris the Rat from Duke & Michel: The King Tingaling Painting is quite a star too.

What are your next projects? Tell us about your other books.

This month, January 1980 I have two books coming out. A book of rhymes called, ‘Elias Zapple’s Rhymes from the Cabbage Patch’ and the sequel to Duke & Michel: The Mysterious Corridor called Duke & Michel: The King Tingaling Painting. Both are full of laughs and more laughs. The King Tingaling Painting is however, a lot darker than its predecessor.

What is your life like? What do you do for pleasure and work when you are not writing?

My life is very busy coming up with new cabbage recipes, throwing the latest cabbage at Dieter and avoiding slugs whilst walking through my hallway – they keep holding conventions there. I do enjoy a nice cup of herbal tea and quite often I will spend hours in front of the mirror, admiring my moustache – Mr Snazzy. He actually takes up a lot of my time. Combing, waxing and speaking niceties to him – Mr Snazzy is a sensitive moustache.

Who are your literary influences? What are your favourite books/ films/ albums?

Me and mine. Clyde the Slug was quite influential until he got too big for his boots. I did admire Roald Dahl, he was a chip off the old block.

What are your views on independent publishing?

I don’t know, what are their views on me? Have they been speaking ill of me again? A cabbage is in my hand and it has a steel centre!

Can you recommend any indie books/ authors?

I could.

What would your friends tell us if we asked for your best and your oddest qualities?

There is nothing odd about me at all!

What are your favourite animal/ colour/ outdoor activity?

Slugs, green, throwing cabbages.

What would you take to a remote island?

My moustache – Mr Snazzy, my slugs, my cabbages and I’d take Dieter so that I’d have a target to aim at.

Who would you like to invite for dinner and why?

Mary Josefina Cade, Mary Danino, Deb Zeb, Tony Gilbert, Melinda KinsmanNatalie Finnigan, Karen Prince, PJ Larue, Jourden Renee, Celia CarlileAnn Morris and you, Christoph Fischer! I’d serve cabbage salad, cabbage soup, cabbage stew, cabbage cheesecake and cabbage juice then throw cabbages at all of you in a rather surprising and unexpected attack. J

What are you writing at the moment and where would we find out about your next projects?

I’m about to embark upon a series of books about a little vampire. You can find all the latest info about me and my moustache via my website, www.eliaszapple.com Or Google me or come to my garden – BUT don’t even think about taking one of my cabbages!

What else would you like us to know about you and your books?

They’re cheap.

 

http://smarturl.it/mysteriouscorridor http://smarturl.it/jellybean

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Christoph Fischer was born in Germany in 1970 as the son of a Sudeten-German father and a Bavarian mother. ‘The Luck of The Weissensteiners’ is his first published work. He has written several other novels which are in the later stages of editing and finalisation.
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