All Rights Reserved, S. J. Henderson 2014
Out of the blue, my 10-year-old came home full of questions about my book, the characters, the sequel. And he drew me this:
I've got a happy heart.
Welcome to another installment of "Names Changed To Protect the Innocent", the portion of our show when we learn more about the inspiration behind my characters. If you've read my Children's/Middle Grade book, DANIEL THE DRAW-ER, you already know that one of the most magical elements of the story is the colorful cast of people, animals, and, yes, even aliens from the planet Beezo. You can find Part 1 here.
Today's character is...
Whiskers is a crowd favorite amongst the kids I've met at book signings. His popularity doesn't surprise me all that much because he's a funny curmudgeon of a feline.
And, hello! What's not to love about a talking cat?
This white cat isn't a fan of sushi or flying, and he tells it like it is.
Here's a fun fact you probably don't know, kiddies: Whiskers has a Jersey accent. Does that surprise you? It should, because I never told you before. Unless you're inside my head, and you can hear him talk, too, you should be surprised.
Are you in my head?
When I came up with the idea for Whiskers, I simply thought of the kind of thing a nine-year-old boy would draw. Homemade Pokemon, fire-breathing dragons, and obviously rocket cats. When you consider the world through the fresh brain of a nine-year-old boy, the idea of Whiskers becomes kinda obvious.
And, obviously, now you're going to ask me if Whiskers is based on a specific talking rocket cat.
No, actually there is no real-life talking rocket cat... but our family used to be owned by a certain white cat named Wally. He's now demanding ear skritches from the angels, but when he was with us here on earth, he lived life on his terms. You like that box? Well, it's Wally's litter box now. You want to pet Wally? He'll show you where and exactly how to do it--with his teeth. If he could have talked, he would have sounded like a cast member from The Sopranos. I'm sure, had he not gone through all of his given lives, he would have worked out the whole flying and talking thing, no problem.
That's it for this week. Check back soon for part 3 in Names Changed To Protect the Innocent.
NowDo you have an animal in your life who would make a good story character? I'd love to hear about them in the comments below.
The random things that cross my mind go here...