Thursday, June 12, 2014

Interview with Ben Hatke, author of The Return of Zita the Spacegirl

Today, we have an interview with Ben Hatke, the author of The Return of Zita the Spacegirl.
What was the hardest thing about writing this book?
That's a tough question because, of the three Zita books, this was was absolutely the easiest to write and the most fun. The main difficulty with this book was just making time to write it! You see most of this book was written over a very busy summer when we were visiting my wife's family in Italy. All summer I felt like the only one who wasn't on vacation.
Which of your characters can you relate to the most?
Ohh, let's see... A lot of times I feel like my wife, Anna, and I are a bit like Zita and Joseph. She will say "Let's do this adventurous thing!" and I will say "Let's just be careful instead." I feel like Piper is one side of my personality too. Piper is not as charming as he thinks he is.  
Which part of the book was the easiest to write?
One (the robot) is always the easiest character to write. He's such a strong personality that I always know just what he's going to say. The Piper and Madrigal parts were also easy because their relationship has been floating around in my brain for a while. I actually wish we could have seen a bit more of them in this story.
Which actors would play the main characters in the movie version of the book?

I've always thought Frank Oz would do a good voice for One. I imagine One's voice as being similar to Sam the Eagle, but a little rougher.

Other than that... I don't know! I haven't thought about it enough. That would be a fun question to put up on the internet.
Which songs would be on the soundtrack of the movie version of the book?
Let's see, I think James Newton Howard would do a great job with the score. And some of the music from the recent Doctor Who series works pretty well. Two songs that seem connected to Zita are Home is Where Your Heart Is by The Sounds and Hero by Family of the Year.
Any future books in the works?
Oh yes! I have my picture book, Julia's House for Lost Creatures, coming up in September, and after that will be a new graphic novel called Little Robot which is about a very young girl a small robot who develop a friendship over the course of a summer. That book takes place near my house, so I've done a lot of outside sketching for it. After that, well, I've got several projects in the works....

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Ben Hatke's first graphic novel was Zita the Spacegirl. He has published comics stories in the Flight series as well as Flight Explorer.  In addition to writing and drawing comics, he also paints in the naturalist tradition and, occasionally, performs one-man fire shows.  Return of Zita the Spacegirl is his most recent entry in the New York Times Best-Selling Zita trilogy. 

Hatke lives and works in the Shenandoah Valley with his wife and their boisterous pack of daughters.
ABOUT THE BOOK:

Ben Hatke brings back our intrepid space heroine for another delightful sci-fi/fantasy adventure in this New York Times‑Bestselling graphic novel trilogy for middle grade readers.

Zita the Spacegirl has saved planets, battled monsters, and wrestled with interplanetary fame. But she faces her biggest challenge yet in the third and final installment of the Zita adventures. Wrongfully imprisoned on a penitentiary planet, Zita has to plot the galaxy's greatest jailbreak before the evil prison warden can execute his plan of interstellar domination!

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