Doug Gibson is the author of Tales of a Fifth Grade Knight that Arianna previously reviewed.
Interview Conducted by:
1. Have you written any other books? If so, can I read and review them for you because I loved this book?
I’ve written other books, but haven’t published any. You will definitely be on my list for review copies if I manage to publish any more, however.
2. How long did it take you to write this book?
It actually didn’t take me a long, long time to write Knight. I did the rough draft in a matter of weeks. Originally my wife came to me with the idea to write a book like the ones our son was then enjoying—books like Wimpy Kid and graphic novels like Bone and Amulet. I wasn’t sold on the idea right away, so she clinched it by letting me know that if I went ahead and wrote the book, it would count as her birthday present! That gave me an incentive — and a deadline of a little over a month. Revising continued for a few months afterwards, however.
3. Who is your favorite character in Tales of a Fifth Grade Knight?
Acro (or Fred, to call him by his real name). He’s a lot like I’d like to be—cool, friendly, and in possession of a number of useful skills.
4. What is your favorite scene in your book?
It’s not the funniest scene, but my favorite is when Max looks out the window after the animals have escaped and sees the kids being forced to work. Emma has to restrain him before he blows their escape, but Isaac (and Emma too, I believe) understands how hard it is for Max not to go straight to the kids’ rescue. I think that really shows Max’s heart, but also Isaac’s, and it shows how close the friendship is between the three of them.
5. What or who was your inspiration for this amazing book?
Well, the title and about half the idea came from my wife. When she encouraged me to write a book, she thought it should be about a boy who thinks of his real-life experiences at school in terms of being a knight. This was in part due to the fact that my son and I sometimes do boffering (foam swordplay) with a local group. But once I started to think about the story, I realized I just wanted to write a fantasy, something more like like the books I loved when I was a kid.
6. What is your favorite book, character and author in general?
I’m going to dodge this question a little by giving two answers—my all-time favorites and my current favorites. My all-time favorite books are the Dark Is Rising series by Susan Cooper, which I think turned me on to writing fantasy more than any books I read growing up. My current favorites are Garth Nix’s Keys to the Kingdom series. My all time favorite author is probably James P. Blaylock, who wrote The Elfin Ship and some other great titles. The author I most admire right now is Philip Pullman, who wrote the Golden Compass books. My all-time favorite character would have to be Sam Gamgee from The Lord of the Rings. At the moment, though, I’m listening to Cornelia Funke’s Inkheart series as audiobooks, and so I think I’d have to say Dustfinger the fire-eater is my current favorite.
7. How long have you been writing? When was your first piece published?
I’ve been writing something since I was in 4th grade. From high school through college, I wrote poetry, mostly, and never got anything published outside of student magazines. Knight is actually my first published fiction, though I write for one of my local papers (like you, I do a lot of stories about writers), and I occasionally do other freelance nonfiction.
8. What is your favorite color? Food?
Color? Blue. Unless someone intervenes, I can go weeks without wearing any other color. Food? French fries.
9. Would you rather have had to go down in to the creepy school basement or been chased by rats? Why?
In a way, I would love to do both. That’s the great thing about books: enjoying the fun of an adventure without having to deal with any of the downsides. But in real life, hands down, I would much rather have to deal with a creepy basement than giant rats with spears.
10. Any other interesting facts/info about you?
Just that I’ve done a little work on a sequel to Tales of a Fifth Grade Knight, in case Capstone decides to publish one. The sequel will involve Fred and the other Acro-Bats in a big way.
Thank you Mr. Gibson for all your support of 5 Girls Book Reviews!