“I felt it was time for me to pave my own path”

Isabella “Izzy” Church is a children’s book author and illustrator born in Sacramento, California, who now lives in New York City. In this interview she talks about her first book for children, Dr. Pookie and The Case of his Missing Thought.

Dr. Pookie

You’ve written Angry Movie Guy, a romantic comedy novel, in February year 2016, but now you’re publishing a children’s book.

Yes, I’ve been creating children’s content for a few years now, so it felt like a natural progression for me as a writer to cultivate my presence in the market. That is not to say I have turned my back on the rom-com market. Currently, I’m currently working on two books: Dr. Pookie and The Incredible Miss HoneyBees and my second rom-com novel titled, My Beautiful Neighbor.

What’s the premise of Dr. Pookie (Square Monkey Publishing)?

In the children’s book series a wise old bear named Dr. Pookie recounts the ridiculous adventures he lived in the heart of the Little Royal Forest as a young and curious bear. Each book is a story in his memoires. In the first book, Dr. Pookie and The Case of his Missing thought, Dr. Pookie charms the readers as he recounts a tale of the time he lost his thought and the silly journey that follows as he frantically searches for it. As Dr. Pookie’s hunts for his missing thought the reader is introduced to some of Dr. Pookie’s forest friends: Scoozie, the fearless and charming, yet strange yellow beak crow; Neeko, the sly fox that never loses his cool; Reuban, the curious prankster rabbit that enjoys taunting Dr. Pookie; Squirm, the slow-moving squirrel and Sam, his timid son.

Dr. PookieIt seems to me that it’s a series in the making…

Yes, you are absolutely correct. I’m currently working on the second book in the series: Dr. Pookie and The Incredible Miss Honeybees. In the second book, we are drawn into Miss Honeybee’s delicious world of honey-coated creations and her crazy bee farm after Dr. Pookie awakens from hibernating with a ferocious appetite, only to learn his hunger forced him to wake before the winter snow has melted. Thus, Dr. Pookie aimlessly wanders through the forest desperately searching for something to eat. Eventually, weak from not eating, Dr. Pookie falls face first into the lush snow only to come crashing down on a wooden sign that tipped over from the weight of the snow. Frazzled by the abrupt fall, Dr. Pookie brushes the snow off the sign and discovers that he has stumbled into Honey Pot Valley where he will soon meet the incredible Miss Honeybees.

Why did you choose to illustrate your own book?

I’ve worked with other illustrators on numerous projects, and that can be fun, but I felt it was time for me to pave my own path, not only as a writer, but also as an illustrator. I’ve been developing a more sophisticated and surreal style, which I hope to introduce to the world soon, but for now I’m working on characters that are relatable to most every child.

Dr. PookieHow has your experience in film and television helped you putting together Dr. Pookie?

There are a lot of moving variables when you are creating a television series and or film project, much more than most people realize or could naturally wrap one’s mind around. While the variables are different for every medium, it is important that you research and be aware of your industry in its entirety, because what you don’t know could be the missing piece that could ultimately make or break your project. It takes patience, persistence, and a continuous renewal of one’s own spirit in order to keep moving towards your goal; it’s a balancing act. I’ve gotten good at juggling working in the entertainment industry and I’ve brought that to the Dr. Pookie book series. Also, it is key to build a support team; try to network and forge relationships with people in your field. The relationships you make in the entertainment or publishing industry are key to your success.

What else are you working on right now?

I’m working on a few projects in the art world, both as an artist and curator: Street to Tower is an enormous street art exhibition on the sixty-ninth floor of the World Trade Center, tower number four, which focuses on positive growth and the renewal of the lower Manhattan. I’m also co-curating, No More Black Targets. The art project focuses on using our creativity to reach out to others to stop the violent and unjust shooting of black men. You can find details about both art exhibitions at my media development company.

When will you release the book?

 Dr. Pookie and The Case of his Missing Thought will come out on February 20th, 2017. You can pre-order it now on Amazon or Barnes & Nobles. You can also go to Goodreads and enter a contest for a chance to win a free copy. You can find additional information about book signings, contests, and general information on the books’ official website. If you do order a book or win a copy through one of the various contests, please write a short review and post it on Goodreads, Netgalley or Amazon.

Author V.M. Simandan

is a Bangkok-based Romanian-born writer, archer, speaker, traveler, and vlogger.

More posts by V.M. Simandan

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