You have a very ‘out there’ sense of humor. Where did you get that from?
I got it from out there. Seriously. One night I was fast asleep in my tent upon a hill outside of Maputo when some repulsive aliens came down in their spaceship, woke me up and took me away. Whilst in outer space, they injected me with some strange, green, luminous liquid. I’ve been this way ever since and, I must say, I feel and look fantastic and occasionally have a warm green, luminous glow.
What inspired you to write children’s fiction and why?
A little orphan child, I forget his name – let’s call him Derek, came to my door one day at my house in Camberwell. I opened the door and looked down upon him as he smiled up at me. He had chocolate smeared around his mouth, snot flowing down from his nose and then, for some reason, proceeded to hold out his grimy hands. Disgusted, I made it my mission to write gripping children’s fiction that educated children on personal hygiene.
How would you describe Duke & Michel?
I would describe Duke & Michel as a dog and a boy. Duke would argue he’s not just a dog he’s a Basset Hound. He’s a dog. A sarcastic one.
How long have you been writing and what is your writing process like?
I started writing on the 9th June 1870 whilst taking a break from my job as a chimney sweep. So I make that around 70 years, though my memory isn’t so good due to all those toxic fumes I inhaled. Fortunately, I was a test subject for L’Oréal and I haven’t developed one noticeable wrinkle.
My writing process consists of me first combing my moustache. This is absolutely vital. Then I stick the kettle on and make a nice cuppa before I retire to my study, get comfy in my orthopaedic chair and prick my finger with a little needle and get scribbling. The ideas just stream out, as does the blood, which means I soon lose consciousness. When I awake, I start the whole process again. I normally write about one sentence per week.
How do you stay positive?
Hurling cabbages at my neighbour Dieter always gives me a lift. That and admiring myself in the mirror every ten minutes.
What inspired you to write Jellybean the dragon?
My favourite pet slug, Steve. My faithful companion, attentive listener to my woes, avid reader of my prose and unfortunate victim of a fatal lawnmower accident. He inspires me everyday and in every way. His last words to me were, “Elias, finish that children’s book.”
“Duke & Michel: The Mysterious Corridor?” I asked.
“No,” he said, “You finished that one already.”
“Jellybean the Dragon?”
“Yes, that one. It’ll be a huge success and children everywhere will love it. Also, please eat the lettuce in the fridge before it goes bad.”
He then died.
My books are dedicated to him.
What are some of the challenges you faced by writing children’s fiction and how did you overcome them?
Some of the challenges I had to face whilst writing children’s fiction were first to scale a very high wall, then scramble my way through a tunnel, avoid being shot at by a very disgruntled German neighbour then find my way to my study without stepping on the many slugs that for some reason had decided my hallway was a suitable place for a convention. I overcame these obstacles with skill, determination, brilliance and lots of moustache wax.
What is a typical day like for you?
Who are your favorite authors and what types of books do you like to read?
Well, Roald Dahl has to be at the very top of favourite authors and has definitely influenced me greatly. In fact he has influenced me almost as much as those fumes I inhaled while I was a Victorian chimney sweep.
I normally enjoy non-fiction on such topics as moustaches, cabbages, the breeding of slugs and the complex issue of Korea and how to unify it.
What would you like parents to know about your books, since they are the ones buying it for their children?
Bonus question: What’s next for you? More books?
Prison, most likely if Dieter goes ahead with his threats to press charges. However yes, many more books. Book 2 of Duke & Michel, entitled ‘Duke & Michel: The King Tingaling Painting’ is waiting impatiently to be released while book 3, ‘Duke & Michel: The Return of the Nibbles’ is refusing to leave my brain and so I’m currently undergoing a course of hypnotherapy.
Synopsis for Duke & Michel: The Mysterious Corridor
Skateboard-loving Michel is freaking out as his snotty little cousin has gone missing from the garden. He sticks his head through a hole in the fence and is sucked into a giant vortex where he ends up in an infinitely long and mysterious corridor, with doors leading to many strange worlds. He also meets a pompous, food-obsessed, talking dog called Duke who happens to be searching for his equally fat brothers. Together they go on an adventure to hunt for their missing relatives, unaware that they are also being hunted by an evil villain who has a dandruff problem.
Synopsis for Jellybean the Dragon:
Jellybean is a clumsy dragon. As a matter of fact, all dragons are clumsy. So when Jellybean falls from the sky and lands in front of Emma, a 10 year-old astronaut, naturally a series of calamitous events occur forcing Emma to eventually leave her land and meet more clumsy dragons. However, Emma is not only patient, she’s a fighter and she learns to live with Jellybean and experience a whole new and exciting life.
For more info on Elias Zapple, click here for his website.
To get your free copy of Jellybean the Dragon, click here.
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