Meet Richard Rosser, Author of the Piggy Nation books
What inspired you to become a children's author?
I have always loved working with children. I was a camp counselor in college and worked on children's TV shows for Disney and Nickelodeon including Lizzie McGuire. My kids, Nick and Ali, always enjoyed the stories that I made up for them at bedtime. As they got older, I considered turning my bedtime stories into children's books. Then.....
How did you come up with the idea for your Piggy Nation books?
Several years ago, my family met my mother-in-law for dinner and a rude driver stole her parking space. My kids and I joked that the man was a Piggy for stealing the space and we came up with the idea for Piggy Nation. A friend of mine suggested that I write a children's book about Piggy Behavior. So, I created Piggy Nation A Day At Work With Dad, a picture book about a piglet named Sammy who joins his Dad on Piggy Patrol. As they search the town for piggies, Sammy learns about rude behavior!
Who was your favorite author as a child?
When I was young, I enjoyed the following picture books: Go Dog Go and Are You My Mother by P.D. Eastman. Curious George by H. A. Rey and Margaret Rey. Busytown by Richard Scarry. When I started to read by myself, I devoured The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner, The Mad Scientists' Club by Bertrand R. Brinley and Encylopedia Brown by Donald J. Sobol.
What do you hope children will learn from your book?
I'm on a mission to stop Piggy Behavior throughout the world and I hope that children will learn how their actions affect others. My books are all about thoughtfulness and consideration. The foundation of Piggy Nation is that we're all piggies! We just have to learn how to curtail our own Piggy Behavior.
Children's authors don't always get to choose who illustrates their books. Are you happy with how your illustrations turned out? Are the characters as you imagined them?
I was very lucky to have connected with an amazing artist named Shane Sowell. He works as an animator for The Simpsons and King of the Hill. We met through friends on Facebook and began working together on our first book Piggy Nation A Day At Work With Dad. In addition, we just published our first chapter book, Piggy Nation Let's Go Camping and we also collaborate on the Piggy Nation comic strip which runs in several newspapers and online on a number of websites. Shane draws characters better than I imagine them. He always adds an extra bit of expression or details that I hadn't thought of. We have a blast collaborating together.
Are you currently working on anymore books?
Shane and I are nearly finished with our second picture book Piggy Nation Let's Sell Some Cookies and have just begun work on our next chapter book which is about the most egregious Piggy Behavior - Bullying. In addition, I'm writing a book about Storytelling and have developed an educational program for schools called The Piggy Tales Story Bee. I want to get kids excited about reading, writing and storytelling while squelching Piggy Behavior across the globe. I hope everyone out there has a Piggy Free Day!
For more information about Richard Rosser and his Piggy Nation books visit http://piggynation.com.
Stacie Theis / firstname.lastname@example.org / copyright 2012