Over the last few weeks, I’ve been busy visiting schools talking to many young comic fans about writing and creating comics. And for some of the most fun visits, I haven’t even had to leave my office!
I love doing virtual visits with schools around the globe and last month I participated in the OLA’s Forest Friday webinar series where I spoke to dozens of Ontario schools all from the comfort of my home office.
The talk was a lot of fun and I got many great questions from students around the province. But I didn’t get a chance to answer them all.
So, I was thrilled when the students from the Winchester Library’s Gr. 3/4 Silver Birch Express club sent me an email with their questions about writing and comics. I replied with my answers right away and I thought it’d be fun to share them with you.
I hope you enjoy the answers. And remember, if you have a question for me about writing, visit the Contact page and send me your questions. I answer every one of them.
Questions from Winchester Library’s Gr. 3/4 Silver Birch Express Club
Where do you write your books?
Great question! I write them in two places. One is my office, which is a small room in my apartment here in Toronto. I was in my office when I did the video chat. I meant to turn the camera around to show the room, but I totally forgot!
The other place I write in on my couch, not far from my office. 🙂 I sit with a nice cup of tea or a hot coffee and write, write, write. I usually jot down my ideas in my notebook and then when I have a pretty good idea of what will happen in the story, I switch to my laptop.
Why did you write Tank and Fizz? How did you get your idea to write about Tank and Fizz?
I’ll answer these two questions together. I got the beginnings of an idea for Tank & Fizz over 10 years ago, but it took a while to grow into a full-fledged story. As a kid, I loved reading fantasy books, like the Hobbit, and playing Dungeons & Dragons. I still like playing D&D 😉 I loved the magic and the monsters, but I wanted to tell a story where the goblins and trolls weren’t scary, but instead they were the heroes of the story. So, that’s why I wrote Tank & Fizz, but the ‘how’ took a little longer.
I had that idea for many years but didn’t know how to tell that story. First, I tried a Harry Potter style story (where Fizz discovers he’s a wizard and goes to wizard school), but I didn’t like it. I even started one version were Fizz was a goblin in space! That didn’t work out either. Then, I had the idea to write the story as a mystery. And that’s when it all fell into place. Once I knew Fizz and Tank were detectives, the stories just came from my imagination.
Why did you name them Tank and Fizz?
Many years ago before I became a teacher, I worked in a classroom with a student whose nickname was “Fizz”. I’m can’t remember why he had that name, but I thought that would be a great name for a character. And when I started creating my goblin detective, I knew he was going to be small but full of energy and ideas. The word “fizz” captured that – like a soft drink fizzing when you shake the can.
Detective partners always have names that sound cool together. So, to go with the soft “zzz” sound in Fizz, I needed a name that was short and sharp with a “k” sound, like truck or rock. The hard and soft sounds go well together. And that’s when I came up with the name Tank – it had that hard “k” sound I needed and fit nicely with soft “zzz” sound in Fizz. And that’s how the names Tank & Fizz were born.
Does that make sense? I hope so!
Why is Minecraft your favourite video game? We like it a lot too.
Minecraft is my favourite game because it lets you do ANYTHING you want! I loved playing with Lego when I was younger and playing Minecraft for the first time felt just like playing with Lego. From that moment on I was hooked!
I don’t play it as much anymore because I played it a lot over the last 6 years, but I still think it’s an amazing game.
Got Questions? Ask Them!
Did I miss anything? Want to know more? Then, send me an email with your writing questions. I’ll write back with an answer. Promise.
Want to invite me to visit your school? Awesome! Get all the details on School Visits here.