Dian Curtis Regan is the author of the new kids' picture book Space Boy and the Snow Monster, the third in a series. Her many other books include Space Boy and the Space Pirate and Space Boy and his Dog. She lives in Colorado.
Q: How did you come up with the idea for this new Space Boy book?
A: I wanted book #3 to be different from the first two titles, so I changed the season to winter. As Space Boy and the Snow Monster opens, Niko finds his spaceship buried in snow—and Radar, his robot copilot, missing!
So of course a Snow Monster captured Radar and took him home to Planet Ice. Thus Niko’s newest space mission blasts off . . . .
Q: Did you know when you wrote the first one that you'd end up writing a series?
A: Not at all. I thought Space Boy and his Dog would be a stand-alone picture book. But the publisher asked me to come up with more story ideas, which resulted in my being asked to write two additional books about Space Boy and his crew.
Q: What do you think Robert Neubecker's illustrations add to the book?
A: Robert’s humor and enthusiasm shine through his energetic illustrations. The comic book layout has received lots of positive attention from reviewers. And the kid appeal is obvious. Mothers have told me that their kids don’t just read the books, they act out the stories. Love that.
Q: Who are some of your favorite authors?
A: I was heavily influenced by Lloyd Alexander and C.S. Lewis. Wanting to create my own “Prydain” or “Narnia” led to the publication of Princess Nevermore and its sequel, Cam’s Quest.
One of the best current children’s book authors, in my opinion, is Patricia MacLachlan. She has the magic. Period.
Q: What are you working on now?
A: I’ve just finished a young science fiction middle grade novel. And I’m working with Curtis Brown Digital to bring back previous titles as ebooks and print-on-demand softcovers. It’s nice to always have books available, especially if you do school visits.
Coming out this fall are the first four titles in the Ghost Twins series, with awesome new covers by Doug Cushman. Also out will be an updated edition of The World According to Kaley.
Q: Anything else we should know?
A: I have a cat, Gracie, and a dog, Nelly. I like to read stories-in-progress to them. The dog is the best audience because she listens to everything with ears perked.
The cat, however, often leaves the room--sometimes at a dead run. I try not to let it hurt my writerly feelings.
--Interview with Deborah Kalb