Ten writers for children. All with something to say.


My Next Big Thing

What is your next Big Thing?
Top Goat, a novel about a goat who becomes the leader of his herd after he and his fellow goats escape the confines of their pen and embark upon the adventure of their lives.

Where did the idea come from for the book?
I was watching a pair of goats head-butting each other at a local farm, and I thought, "Hey, those goats would make good characters for a novel."

What genre does your book fall under?
Middle Grade fiction

What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
Um, some type of CGI-generated goats?

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Buck, a young outcast goat, earns the respect of his herd after leading them on an adventure beyond the confines of their pen.

Who is publishing your book?

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
About 3 months

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Pigs Might Fly or Find the White Horse, both by Dick King-Smith.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?
In addition to the above reference to head-butting goats, I was intrigued by the possibilities for exploring the theme of bullying in a way that does not involve a school setting.  Plus, I think goats are interesting characters!

What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?
Lots of mayhem and humor, I hope.


Stephanie said...

I love the word "mayhem". This sounds like a story middle-graders would adore. I hope you are sending it out or getting ready to? (shakes admonishing finger)

Christy said...

Your illustration, too? Cute! Does Buck head-butt another goat? Great idea tying this into bullying--a very relevant topic, which I'm sure you will stress when you pitch this.

mark said...

Stephanie, the first draft(by definition)needs a lot of work, so it'll be a while before it's ready to send out...

And Christy: no the illustration is NOT mine, just something I found on the internet that I thought would fit with the post. Buck is not much for head-butting, which is part of what makes him an outcast to other goats, but the fact that a goatherd is ruled by such tactics seemed tailor made for a story about brain versus brawn, bullying, etc. We'll see if editors agree when I finish it and begin submitting!

Edie Hemingway said...

It seems to me you've hit on something different, yet relevant! Best of luck with this manuscript. I'm ready to read it, and I can tell you my granddaughter, Annabel, should be ready for it by the time it's out. She's in kindergarten now, but I can tell you she's drawn to any book with animal characters. Best of luck to you!

Lauren said...

Mark, I love this story already. My son grew up reading Dick King-Smith's books and I read them too. I agree with Stephanie, send this one out, or at least work your way through that first draft quickly to get there.