LITTLE WING – WHO AM I? WHERE AM I? WHAT AM I? BY JAKE TAYLOR
1) Please provide a short excerpt of what your children’s book is about
Little Wing faces a big dilemma from the moment he was born. He has no idea of who he is, where he is, or for that matter what he is! He finds himself in Butterfly Forest and has no idea about what to do next; but lucky for him, he befriends Lou, a caterpillar, who advises him to seek Professor Moth and ask him. However, the professor lives deep in the forest where there are many dangers and Little Wing has to be very careful. That’s how the adventures of Little Wing start as he takes off in search of finding out who he is, where he is and what he is. At one moment, and rather hilariously, he actually thought that he was a bee and joins Bob and a group of bumblebees who are fetching nectar from flowers! He ends up terribly exhausted.
During his travels inside the forest, he faces great dangers especially when he crosses paths with a spider who invites him to jump on her ‘net’ (obviously a spider web). He also has to fly for his life when he is pursued by some birds. But at the end, after overcoming many obstacles, he finds the answers he sought. During his adventures, he also learns the importance of work, and of taking good care of our planet Earth because it is the only home we have.
2) What inspired you to write this book?
While studying English literature, a teacher told us that if we were writers we would be writing and not attending classes. That same night I dreamed about two stories: Little Wing – Who am I? Where am I? What am I? and one more about friendship that will be written in the future. The whole story came to me in a dream.
3) How did you come up with the title or series of your book?
One of the characters that Little Wing runs into in the forest is Mary, the Queen of Butterfly Forest who is a monarch butterfly and after looking at the small wings of the main character, she decides to name him: Little Wing.
4) Why did you pick this genre?
It was not really picked by me. As mentioned above, the story came to me in a dream and by its very nature, it is a children’s story recommended for children 3+ (if read to them) and for ages 6-8 / Kindergarten – Second Grade if they themselves read the eBook, which includes 14 full-colour illustrations.
5) How do the illustrations complement your book? What was important to you as an author?
I was extremely lucky in that my brother recommended a painter, illustrator, who happens to be a dentist. Her maiden name is Claudia Montero and she happens to be married to my nephew, Daniel Taylor. They have two lovely sons. She sent me her ideas for the illustrations for the book and I was enchanted by them. Readers have been very pleased with the illustrations as well because they reflect the story perfectly.
6) As a child, what books and/or authors influenced you the most and why?
As a child, I remember reading about half of the Jules Verne’s books. Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, Around the World in Eighty Days, The Mysterious Island, etc., all of which I found fascinating because of the enormous amount of adventures in them.
7) What is the most fulfilling thing about being an author?
At present, I am writing the Fourth book of a Series entitled: Yah and the Space Cadets and what I find most intriguing is that I know where the story is going, but for some reason, have no idea as to what will happen to it when it gets there. It is similar to preparing an itinerary for a trip to Europe: You know where you are going, say: Greece, Italy, France, Spain and England, but have no idea of what will happen in those places once you get there. It is fascinating. Almost like going to the movies. I have been surprised many times by the twists and turns of my own stories. There is nothing better than that, although, sometimes I hit a wall and have no idea of what to write next. Then, that same night I have a dream of how to continue.
8) What do you hope children will take away with them after reading your book?
That we need to take good care of our environment, of our home, which is our planet; also about the importance of hard work, the appreciation of good friends, to be aware of the many dangers that we all face and to love animals.
9) Who is/are your favourite author/s as an adult and why?
There are several authors that I consider favourites, from Shakespeare, Cervantes, and many other classics, such as Plato and Seneca, to Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. I also read the seven books of the Harry Potter series. I really admire the work of Ms. J. K. Rowling. I also enjoy Jane Eyre of another Brontë sister.
10) What are you working on now?
Two Spheres – The Fourth Expedition of the above mentioned series of Yah and the Space Cadets. I hope to finish it within the next three or four months. The series is planned for seven volumes.