An Author Interview with Arthur Brood : The Mud Hole & The Snow Car

An Author Interview with Arthur Brood

Thank you for the opportunity to share my books with you. The Snow Car is a sequel to The Mud Hole  so the two books follow the same story line. I will answer some of the questions for the two books together, however most of my answers will be focused on my first book, The Mud Hole, as this book sets the story line.

And Now Twenty Questions…

1. Where or how did you come up with the idea for this book or series?

 

I am a teacher and I noticed my 4th grade boys were having a difficult time finding books they enjoyed.  Recognizing a lot of the boys in my class were interested in old cars, a hobby I share, I felt I could draw them into reading with a book centered around old cars.

 

2. When you sit down to write do you have an idea where you are going or does it just happen as you’re sitting there? Or is it actually the Characters writing the story?

 

I had mapped out a loose plan for both of my books.  My outline served as a guide with the bigger ideas in my story.  However, most of the details in my writing come to me as I write.

 

 3. What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?

 

My favorite chapter in The Mud Hole is when the main character, Henry, convinces his brother Robert to help him wash cars coming out of the mud hole.  He thought he was doing the drivers a favor and was not thinking about their surprised reaction or the consequences.  I wrote this chapter due to an event where my cousin sat on the mailbox at the end of the driveway with a hose and gave passing cars a free car wash.  Obviously this created an issue, but I found it quite humorous and thought I could use this event in a story.
the mud hole

4. Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?

 

My book begins with the main character, Henry, and his brother playing in the mud creating little rivers and racing imaginary boats.  I did that every spring when I was growing up and even as an adult I sometimes can be found with a shovel in hand during the spring thaw encouraging water to flow in little rivers I create in the mud. The car wash story was based on real life experience of my cousin.  There are other events in my story that have written accounts of happening in the time period, although they did not happen to me.

 

5. What is your favorite quote from a book of fiction?

 

“I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.” from The Little Engine That Could, by Watty Piper.  There are always things in life that seem overwhelming, but remembering these simple lines make the tough days seem easier.

 6. On that vein who would be your favorite Author? What writers influenced you?

 

C.S. Lewis wrote The Chronicles of Narnia.  I read the series as a teenager and fell in love the series, so he would be my first choice as my favorite author.  I am not even going to attempt to follow his writing style, it is way beyond me.  An author that has influenced my writing is Donald J. Sobol, author of The Encyclopedia Brown mysteries.  I love how his chapters are short and easy to read which makes it something reluctant readers are more likely to try.  That is one trait I try to mimic in my writing.

 

 7. Do you have a favorite fictional character?

 

Michele Pagano, a boy from the book Red Sails to Capri,  written by Ann Weil.  I love his sense of adventure and how he values the integrity of keeping a promise.

 8. What five words describe you?

 

adventurous, imaginative, dedicated, dreamer, humorous

9. What if any project are you working on now?(go ahead promote away!)

 

I have another story that is at the editing stage.  It is titled The Old Red Car and is loosely based on my growing up years with an old red car that sat in the sheep pasture on my dad’s farm.  I spent hours pretending to drive that car and it was a great place to spend rainy summer afternoons.  Each chapter is a mini story that can stand alone if needed and is short enough to keep the attention of reluctant boy readers.

 

 

10. What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author?

 

I had an adult reader reading my children’s book, but not reflecting through a child’s mindset.  He didn’t particularly care for the book and posted a negative comment.  It was a bit tough to swallow at first, but I realized he was not my target audience and I cannot please everyone.

 11. What has been the best compliment?

I never liked reading, but when I read The Mud Hole you inspired me so much I started to love reading.” from a student who wrote me a letter. This is the best compliment any author can ever get.  As a teacher and an author, this made my day!

 

 12. Have you written a book you love that you have not been able to get published?

 

After doing a lot of research early on and discussion with children’s authors I pursued the self-publishing market to get my books established. So at this time I have not had to deal with the challenges of having a book rejected.

13. Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?

 

Yes, I am involved in a program with a large school district where the students read my book and then interview me on a closed circuit TV broadcast.  After the online interview each student writes me a letter and shares a highlight from my book or the interview.  I have been doing this for several years and have received well over a thousand letters.  The most common things students say is my book is their new favorite or they related to a part of the story.  Occasionally I get a message from a parent who expresses gratitude for writing a book their reluctant reader boy enjoys.  That is rewarding to me!

14. What do you think makes a good story?

 

A good story needs to engage the reader.  My goal is to engage a reluctant boy reader who likes old cars.  To some the story line is too simple, but for my audience it sometimes is a challenge just to pick up a book, so I want it simple.  Different readers are going to be engaged by different genres and levels of reading.

 15. I think I know your answer but , what’s more important to you Characters or plot?

 

My first thought is,  Can you separate the two?  I think if either is weak you may lose the reader.  My second thought is a plot is more important because a reader may overlook a weak character, but will put a book down if the plot is weak.

 


16. What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

 

I have enjoyed taking several road trips across the United States with my family.  I also enjoy photography and anything to do with old cars.

 


17. How about a snippet from your book that will hook a prospective reader and make them want to read your book.

A short time later both boys were hiding in the tree waiting for their first customer. It didn’t take long for a little Oldsmobile Runabout to come splashing through the mud hole.

“Washing number one!” called Henry. When the little car was underneath the tree Henry dumped the bucket of water and watched as the little Oldsmobile sped by without a drop of water touching it. (excerpt from The Mud Hole)

 

Henry took his right foot and pushed down on the first pedal he felt.  With the engine still revving, the Model T continued to skid towardthe snow car the fence.  The front wheels nearly touched the fence when the forward motion of the Model T stopped and immediately the car was speeding backwards.  In his haste to apply the brakes, Henry had pushed down the center pedal which put the transmission into reverse. (excerpt from The Snow Car)


18. What are the most important elements of good writing? According to you, what tools are must-haves for writers?

 

I think the most important element is know your subject.  I have seen books that the author clearly has not researched well enough to write.  Know your audience, for many years many of the books coming out for the 8-12 year old readers  leaned heavily toward girl readers. Boys generally don’t pick up girls books, although girls often will read boys books.  Make the story engaging to the reader.  It is possible to know your subject and your audience yet write a dull story.

19. How did you get into writing? Is this what you always wanted to do?

I never thought I would become an author, it wasn’t a life goal.  However, as a teacher I love sharing things I have learned and encouraging my students to learn through reading.  I got into writing to help my reluctant boy readers find books they enjoy, but it also provided a way for me to share my hobby of antique automobiles in a creative way.

 20. Any last thoughts for our readers?

Find a topic that excites you and read all that you can.

Thank you for the opportunity to share my book!
“Author Arthur”
a.k.a.
~Arthur Brood

Arthur has been playing in mud since the time he was a toddler.  Writing about a mud hole only came natural. 

arthurArthur Brood is an award winning educator and has been a teacher  in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, where he teaches 4th grade.  He has been fortunate to combine his love of teaching with his passion for old cars in creating his book.  His entry into writing began when he saw many of the boys in his class were having a hard time finding books they enjoyed and he felt he could write a story they would enjoy.  The result is a book that is popular with boys, girls and adults.

In 2015 he was awarded both the Michigan Council for the Social Studies Elementary Teacher of the Year award and the Michigan Council of History Educators McConnell History Educator Award.

His books are available on Amazon  The Mud Hole       The Snow Car

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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Comments

  1. Lynne Baguio says:

    I like that the author realizes who his target audience is (I love the comment about keeping his chapters short so that it attracts reluctant readers) and writes about his passions.

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