Saturday, November 11, 2023

Q&A with Ethan Long




Ethan Long is the author and illustrator of the new children's early reader graphic novel Hoggy at Bat. His many other books include Hoggy Went-A-Courtin'. Also an art and literary agent, he lives in the Denver area.


Q: What inspired you to create Hoggy at Bat?


A: My older brother and I formed a bond over baseball as kids and the love has lasted all these years. We share stats, game results and all the geeky history of the game. As brothers, we also share our personal struggles, so this story hits on all those notes for me. 


The first book was about Hoggy playing basketball (which is my number one favorite sport) and since my baseball bond with my brother is so strong, it made sense to have Hoggy swinging a bat.


Q: Did you create the illustrations first or the text first, or did you work on them simultaneously?


A: For this particular story, I wrote the text first, then did the illustrations. But then my editor came in and simplified the text even more. But sometimes the images come out first. 


Q: What do you hope kids take away from the story?


A: It would be great if they realize that when you try too hard, energy doesn’t flow as freely. It’s when you loosen up where the magic happens. 


Q: What are you working on now?


A: Do you really want to know? Okay…two middle grade novels (author/illustrator), two chapter books (as illustrator), another Early Reader (author/illustrator) Scribbles and Ink digital books, two picture books with a colleague, and of course, agenting 17 artists for Tugeau 2 Art and Literary Agency. Is that enough? :)


Q: Anything else we should know?


A: Nothing else except that if you eat right, get good sleep and give even a little bit of your time to your dreams every day, good things will happen. :)


--Interview with Deborah Kalb

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