1. When did you decide that you wanted to write graphic novels for children?In 2008 I did a school visit and the Librarian told me how graphic novels were extremely popular with the students... he said it didn't matter what the story was, if it was done as a GN it would fly off of the shelves. At the time I had a story that I wanted to do as a follow-up to my middle grade novel, "Hockey Player For Life" and I was looking to do something different and everything just kind of meshed together from there!
2. How long have you been writing?I've been writing since I was about eight, first on a typewriter trying to emulate "Encyclopedia Brown" books and sports writing. I didn't start publishing, though, until I was 40.
3. Tell my readers a little bit about your self?I'm 46, I am married and have two, twelve year old sons. We live in a suburb outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. My graphic novel, "The Stereotypical Freaks" is die out in March, 2012 on Sea Lion Books. It is my fifth book, my other books are "Hanukkah Counts Too!" from 2005, "Destructo Boy and Spillerella... We Are Who We Are!" from 2006, "Hockey Days" from 2007 and "Hockey Player For Life" from 2008.
4. So I guess your a big Hockey fan? lolI most definitely am!! I've been playing hockey all my life in various ways, street hockey, ice hockey and dek hockey. Additionally, I am a lifelong Pittsburgh Penguins and Toronto Maple Leafs fan and supporter. I hope to resume playing in 4 years when I can join an over-50 men's league!
5. How many graphic novel have you written so far?"The Stereotypical Freaks" will be my first graphic novel. I am hoping to make it a trilogy of sorts.
6. What are you working on right now?
Well, my illustrator, letterer and I are finishing up "The Stereotypical Freaks" and gearing up for its March release. As soon as we finish up, I am looking forward to beginning in earnest to write the sequel to it. I have the basic plot outline and I'm very eager to get started with the actual and planning of it!
7. Do you plan on writing any graphic novels other than about Hockey?Actually, "The Stereotypical Freaks" is not about hockey... its about four disparate high school seniors who come together to form a band to play in their high school's Battle of the Bands. At its heart though, it is about friendship and learning to live with loss. However, the sequel to "TSF" which has the working title "Bittersweet Rage" will find me returning back to hockey in a very unique way... stay tuned!
8. Where can my fans buy your books? The best place to buy my books is on Amazon or please visit my website which iswww.howardshapior.net or my Facebook Author's page which is at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Howard-Shapiro/296610707017204
9. What age group are your books good for? "Hockey Days" and the Hanukkah and anti-bullying book (Destructo Boy) are geared to 5-9 year olds. "Hockey Player For Life" is a middle grade novel for 10-14+ year olds. The upcoming "The Stereotypical Freaks" graphic novel is for ages 14+... and I think adults would like it as much as kids!
Hope everyone enjoy the interview as much as I did....so leave a comment and enter to win a "The Stereotypical Freaks" signed T-shirt and a signed poster! All you need to do is leave comment for Howard with for email address. Get a extra entry for liking his Facebook page and leave a comment on his wall so I do you did it. Howard will pick 2 winners, one for the t-shirt and one for the poster. Here is a picture of both the T-shirt and the the poster...Good Luck!
The Stereotypical Freaks T-Shirt