Maureen Fergus is the author of Weenie Featuring Frank & Beans: Mad About Meatloaf, a new graphic novel for kids. Her other books include Glory on Ice. She lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Q: What inspired you to write Weenie Featuring Frank & Beans: Mad About Meatloaf?
A: I’d wanted to write a story about a wiener dog for a couple of years because wiener dogs are very hilarious. For the longest time, I tried to make the story work as a picture book featuring just Weenie and Bob but it wasn’t quite clicking.
Then my editor suggested that I try writing a graphic novel and bingo! Frank and Beans appeared out of nowhere, I had a vision of Weenie staring up at an out-of-reach meatloaf with a tortured expression on his face and the story almost seemed to write itself. It was like magic.
Q: What do you think Alexandra Bye's illustrations add to the story?
A: I think Alexandra’s illustrations really bring the characters to life and take the humor to a whole new level. The first time saw them, I laughed out loud at least a dozen times. She totally knocked it out of the park!
Q: How would you describe the relationship between Weenie, Frank, and Beans?
A: They’re great friends — the kind who sometimes tease each other but who love hanging out together because life is WAY more fun that way.
Weenie is a joyful little troublemaker who careens from one wild adventure to the next with Frank egging him on and Beans pleading for caution. They’re all very different but at the end of the day, they’d do anything for each other.
Q: What do you hope kids take away from the story?
A: Although there are some great messages about friends sticking together and people/wiener dogs taking responsibility for their actions, mostly I just want kids to have fun with the story because when that happens, they get excited about picking up that next book.
Q: What are you working on now?
A: I’m working on the second book in a fun new picture series about a princess and an ogre, a young adult novel about a sassy teen paranormal investigator, and an adult novel about marriage, murder, and unintended consequences…
Q: Anything else we should know?
A: I’ve got all sorts of activities sheets available for download from my websites www.maureenfergus.com, so enjoy! And stay tuned for more Weenie adventures!
--Interview with Deborah Kalb