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?
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?
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?
8. What five words describe you?
9. What if any project are you working on now?(go ahead promote away!)
10. What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author?
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?
13. Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
14. What do you think makes a good story?
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 toward 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?
Find a topic that excites you and read all that you can.
Arthur has been playing in mud since the time he was a toddler. Writing about a mud hole only came natural.
Arthur 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.