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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Interview with Hudson Talbott, author of From Wolf to Woof

Don't miss my interview with author and illustrator Hudson Talbott! His new book, From Wolf to Woof is in stores now.


From Wolf to Woof tells the story of how a relationship between a wolf pup and a boy may have sparked the evolution from wolf to dog. Can you share your inspiration for this book? Did it require any research?
The story is based entirely on the research I did, which included the most recent theories. I wanted it to be a realistic hypothetical - in other words, nobody knows what actually happened in the vast ocean of prehistoric time, but this could have happened.

As for my inspiration, you only have to look into any dog’s eyes to see that look asking “can I trust you? Will you love me? Can we share this journey?”

I have cats - they can be as loving and trusting, but they always know where the exits are, just in case.
Tell me a little bit about your writing process: Do you outline? Start at the beginning? The middle? The end? 
My writing is subordinate to my art and both are subordinate to the story and the optimum way to tell it. Doing a picture book is more akin to write a screen play than a chapter book as it is a story told in a series of images, with the text linking the plot points. When I come up with an idea for a book I develop it by looking for the best “photo-ops”, or in my case “art - ops”. Sometimes I’ll have an idea for a compelling image in the middle of the book and then figure out how can I get there from here. Once i have the general plot points I do make an outline and often a storyboard. It’s a chart that has several lines of double-squares representing pairs of pages. I have a limited number of pages in a picture book - usually 32, 40, or 48. Having a sense of my frame before I really get started helps me stay focused and let the boundaries inspire me rather than hinder me. I love the challenge of seeing what I can get into a confined space and still tell the story the best way!
My blog is dedicated to my personal hiding spot, books. Name a notable book or author that has provided you with a hiding spot.
“Play of Consciousness” by Swami Muktananda.
Inspiration comes in many forms. Share three people, places, or things that inspire your creativity. 
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela, and Mahatma Ghandi are the three people who inspire me to work toward being who I want to be. I would also add President Obama and my two cats. And most of all, my own curiosity. My creativity seems to be a by-product of my joy and gratitude for the doors that have been opened for me to walk though and explore a bigger me.
What can your readers look forward to next? 
I currently have three book projects and a few other things taxiing down the runway. Very excited about all of them but a bit premature to talk about them publicly yet. Stay tuned!

About the Author
Hudson Talbott is a published author and an illustrator of children's books and young adult books. Some of the published credits of Hudson Talbott include United Tweets of America: 50 State Birds and Their Stories, Their Glories, Show Way (Newbery Honor Book), Leonardo's Horse, and Safari Journal: The Adventures in Africa of Carey Monroe.
About the Book 
How did dog become man’s best friend? Dogs come in such a variety of shapes, sizes, and breeds, that it is hard to believe that they all have a common ancestor--the wolf! Hudson Talbott takes readers on a fascinating journey through history to see how wolves’ relationships with humans sparked their development into the dogs we know and love today.

Striking paintings, from an adorable wolf pup to a wide range of modern-day dog breeds, illustrate this insightful story of teamwork and friendship. Through the eyes of a prehistoric boy and a lone wolf pup, we see how the bond between our ancestors and these wild animals may have developed. Starting as enemies competing for food, the wolf and the boy realize that they’ll eat better and be safer if they team up. Over time, others catch on, and as many of the wolves become more domesticated, the humans breed them for skills like hunting, herding, pulling, and rescuing. And today, there are more breeds of dog than of any other animal, all thanks to this relationship that started so long ago.


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