Today’s interview is with Billy Baldwin, author of The Boy, the Mermaid, and the Storm.
1) What is your author name and in what state do you live (or country if not in the US)?
Billy Baldwin, USA
2) What is the title of your newest book and what is the genre?
The Boy, The Mermaid, And The Storm. Genre: Modern-day Fairytale
3) What is the book about?
A Boy sets sail as he does each dawn, but this day is like no other: a storm has come. Battling the wind and waves he is overcome. From the deep a mermaid carries the boy to the Island Of The Eye. The mermaid explains it’s the boy’s time to face the storm and her time to guide him through it. The only way home is for the boy to make it through the stormy darkness. Together, the boy and the mermaid sail into four overwhelming challenges, each one testing all the boy’s strengths and beliefs.
“No storm is stronger than you”, The mermaid tells the boy. Wedged between wind and wave the boy feels powerless, but faces the wall of water, nonetheless. Attacked by a Sea Dragon the boy battles physical and mental exhaustion. Tricked by the storm the boy must trust his will & spirit to survive. Finally, the storm declares its absolute power and tells the boy his futile attempts to survive are in vain. About to give up, the boy comes to understand the power and strength of the Mermaid’s words and defiantly tells the storm: “You may claim my last breath, but you will not claim me.”
The Boy, The Mermaid, and the Storm is a modern-day fairytale about the battles we face through life’s storms. I created this book to help adults and children alike discover the courage and inner strength we all possess to persevere through even the mightiest of battles.
4) Where did you come up with the idea?
Helping my brother battle a storm In the form of an illness. His ‘mermaid’ was his girlfriend, who helped him through every step of the way.
5) How long did it take you to write it?
I originally created an outline for the story fifteen years ago and decided to go forward with the book late in 2019. Writing and illustrating the book took about 3 months.
6) Did you learn anything from the project?
I discovered the beauty, and the challenges, of black and white illustration. The clarity and simplicity of greyscale illustrations facilitate powerful communication. However each and every line within black and white illustrations carry much greater weight and significance than if you are working in full color.
7) Do you have an author website and/or blog? How about a book video?
my website is: billybaldwinstories.com you can see one of my books, Wipeout The Wave, on video here: https://www.goodreads.com/videos/156464-wipeout-the-wave
8) Do you have any success tips to pass on to fellow authors? How about any great editors/cover artists?
I specialize in writing children’s books. I encourage young writers to follow their passion and not to be timid in their creative process, overly worrying about industry standards. It took me years to find an illustrator that I could work with to bring my sketches to life. When working on a book we are in communication several times each day, going back and forth re. the development of characters and images. I believe it is essential for authors and the person who is illustrating the book to be able to communicate freely and openly.
9) What genres do you like to read? Are you open to reading new authors and reviewing their work?
I enjoy all kinds of Children’s books, andI especially love Dr. Seus and Roald Dahl. As much as I do enjoy all sorts of books I would have trouble as a reviewer as I have severe dyslexia – therefore reading and writing are quite a challenge for me. Overcoming my Dyslexia in order to read and write has been challenging, however, my passion to express my creative vision has compelled me to find unconventional reading and writing methods. Given this challenge, I would likely not be a good candidate for writing reviews.
10) What is your favorite book of all time and why?
Tolkien, Dr. Suess and Roald Dahl are some of my fav. authors. If I had to pick one book that represents all that I love about children’s literature I would choose The Invention Of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
11) Fun Question: Do you have any pets? If so, what kind?
I don’t have any pets though there is a chipmunk who lives under my backdoor steps and he seems to have adopted me! I leave nuts out for him and if I forget for a time I see him peering into my house through my glass door with a look of impatience on his face.
12) Fun Question 2: Do you own an electronic reading device? If so, what kind and how do you like it?
I truly enjoy the physicality of books and have never enjoyed reading on a device. I have a large collection of books, vintage and new, and take great pleasure exploring the actual pages. Even the smell of an old book can add to its charm.
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