Monday, May 13, 2013

Interview with Joanne Lécuyer, author and owner of Topsy Books

1.  You are the owner of Topsy Books and you currently have three books in print. What are the names of the books and what age groups are they appropriate for?

I’ve self-published three books The Witch, the Cat and the Egg, Kaptain Vamp, and The Tales of Anex and Bit. They are early chapter books for kids between the ages of 6 to 10.

2.  Your most recent publication is The Tales of Anex and Bit. If you were only allowed to describe the book in one sentence, what would it be?
A novice sorcerer and his amusing even slightly sarcastic cat roam the countryside, and beyond, learning about the meaning of magic.

3.  Do you recall your first idea on writing this book; were you inspired by anything in particular?

I can’t say that I recall anything specific. I really like everything that is magical, and Merlin is my favorite character.  I think the title of the book came first. My original plan was to create a short comic story that I could post on my website – one strip a week or a month.

4.  Tell me a little about the characters Anex and Bit. For instance, is there a special meaning behind the name Anexralis Plax?

Anex is a young sorcerer. He’s kind hearted, wants to help the peasants with his magic. But he’s a little awkward. His magic spells don’t always work out on the first try, but he’s determined. For his full name Anexralis Plax, I wanted something that sounded wizardly, that could be shortened and used also in French.

His companion Bit is kind of a strange cat. He’s going to be a more complex character. He can understand what Anex says, but doesn’t speak (at least yet!). We are not sure if he is real or magical? He’s kind of an observer in the first book, but will evolve throughout the series.

5.  Why did you choose to do The Tales of Anex and Bit as a graphic novel/comic book?
As I mentioned earlier, I wanted to do something short that I could post on my website. But I also wanted to explore another style of writing. It’s different writing mostly dialogue and thought instead to make the bubbles and the illustrations tell the story.

6.  Tell me a little about the illustrations and how they came into being?
My brother Seth is a graphic illustrator. I’ve always loved his work. I spoke with him about the idea for the story and he was looking for something to illustrate. I didn’t have a precise vision of what the characters would look like except that Anex should have a pointy hat and Bit would have a short tail. When I saw the first 2 pages of images, I remember thinking ‘wow I couldn’t have imagined that, but I love it’. He and I are also working on another book together and I trust his vision in helping me bring my characters to life.

 7.  What do you want readers to take away from this story?

I think that kids and adults are sometimes afraid to try something new and get discouraged. The take away from the story is to never give up. If you don’t succeed the first time, don’t get discouraged just keep trying – that’s what Anex would do.

 8.  What other books are you currently working on?

I’ve got a number of books in the works.  I’m planning to publish two books this fall. The Witch, the Cat and the Dragon is the sequel to my first witch book, and Shanlia and the Magic Pixie Dust is kind of an off-shoot of that series since it takes place near the same magical forest of Ennyar. I’ve given the manuscripts to some parents and teachers who are test-reading them for me. I like to get feedback from readers before I finalize the books. I’m also hoping to publish my brother’s first children’s book, Tess: A book about nothing, this fall.

My books are available on my websiteAmazon and Barnes and Noble.

You can also connect with the author on Facebook, Twitter, or by email:


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