Monday, November 26, 2018

Interview with Children's Book Author Chris Sarracini

Chris Sarracini has been working in the comic book and film industries for over 15 years. In addition to writing for a number of successful comic book favorites including TRANSFORMERS, STREET FIGHTER and DARK MINDS, his own creations include FATE OF THE BLADE and CASA NOSTRA. As a screenwriter, he has worked with Universal Pictures, Disney and Nasser Entertainment. His most recent publication is the children's picture book WHERE WISHES GROW...
Chris lives with his family in Toronto where he continues to create and write.
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Where Wishes Grow… is the story of eight-year-old Maggie, a pensive and courageous dreamer, whose big heart starts to break when her grandmother becomes bedridden and sick with no recovery in sight. Fortunately Maggie has some wishes in mind to breathe life into Nana and is about to learn the secret for making them come true.
Watching Nana’s health fail has been difficult for Maggie and so now much of her time is spent dreaming up wishes for ways she can help her. Maggie conjures up three wishes for Nana she desperately wants to come true: for Nana to see again to enjoy her favorite beautiful things, for her to walk again to visit her favorite places, and for her to speak again so that she and Maggie can sing their favorite songs. The problem is, with wishes this important, Maggie wants to be sure she can realize them; wishing upon stars that may be long dead or relying on birthday candle hoopla just won’t cut it. Thankfully, Maggie’s mother knows the secret for turning wishes into reality…you’ve got to write each wish down and then go plant each one in just the right place. And, as Maggie discovers, retelling the story of how each wish was planted turns out to be the most magical part.



Thank you for this interview!  I’d like to know more about you as a person first.  What do you do when you’re not writing?

I’m a high school English usually I’m marking a stack of literary essays! But when I get out from under my mountain of marking, I’m mostly spending time with my family and watching old movies.

When did you start writing?

I’ve been writing stories as far back as I can remember. My second-grade teacher really inspired me when she loved one of my stories so much that she laminated it and put it in our school library for other students to read. It was called “T.V. Dinosaur”. When I went back to visit my Elementary School nearly fifteen years later, she was still working there and told me that she still reads it to her class every year!

As a published author, what would you say was the most pivotal point of your writing life?

Working on the comic book series “Transformers: Generation 1” for Dreamwave Productions was a huge boost for me. It ended up being the number one selling comic book the year it was published and opened up a lot of doors for me in the world of writing. This included offering me some opportunities in Hollywood, which was always a huge dream of mine.

If you could go anywhere in the world to start writing your next book, where would that be and why?

My wife is from Karachi in Pakistan and I would love to take my stepson and my daughter to visit there. I think if I could be a part of helping them recognize their roots it would be both powerful and inspiring.

If you had 4 hours of extra time today, what would you do?

Write a bit more of that project I’m behind on...(p.s. it doesn’t matter when you ask me this question, this will always be my answer because I always feel behind on a project hahaha)

Where would you like to set a story that you haven’t done yet?

My home city of Toronto.

Back to your present book, Where Wishes Grow..., how did you publish it?

Brownridge Publishing is the publisher of Where Wishes Grow…. In addition to pursuing creative writing projects, I mentioned I also work as a high school English teacher. The owner who started Brownridge Publishing worked as an elementary school teacher and I was put in contact with her by a fellow teacher whom we both worked with. We immediately bonded and she felt that Where Wishes Grow… would be a great addition to the Brownridge line-up of books.

In writing your book, did you travel anywhere for research?

I walked some hikes to get inspired by nature, as so much of the main character’s journey is about travelling to her grandmother’s favorite spots in nature and looking at them with wide-eyed awe for the first time.

Why was writing Where Wishes Grow... so important to you?

I wanted to write a book that felt timeless. I wanted to tell a story that would have a powerful emotional impact not just on the kids enjoying the book but also on the parents or grandparents who might be reading it with them. “Where Wishes Grow…” focuses on the unbreakable bond of love between a young girl (Maggie), her mother and her grandmother. Maggie’s grandmother is bedridden and Maggie has some wishes she desperately wants to come true; wishes that would help her grandmother enjoy the vibrant life she once had. And so, Maggie’s mom comes up with a plan to help those wishes to grow. I wanted the story to remind readers, young and old, just how powerful the bonds of family are and how important it is to cherish the shared memories between generations because time with family is precious.

Also, like Maggie in Where Wishes Grow…, I too was deeply impacted as a young child when my grandmother suffered a stroke and had to rehabilitate herself physically and mentally. So, I guess the seed for this story was planted way back then. I think Maggie’s wishes for her grandmother stem from my feelings of helplessness when I saw my grandmother struggling to return to health.

Where do you get your best ideas and why do you think that is?

I am a night owl and I think best in the dead of night. I find it easier to concentrate when the rest of my neighborhood is asleep.

Any final words?

Don’t ever stop planting your wishes.

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