Today we talk about The adventures of Fang, the wonder dog, a book by Colin Hopkins published with our publishing house Europe Books.
Europe Books had the pleasure of interviewing the author Colin Hopkins to get to know him better, where and when he found the inspiration to write his book The adventures of Fang, the wonder dog, as well as what resemblances have the world of the wander dog with the author ones.
Below you can find our interview. Take a seat and enjoy your reading!!!
- Where and when did you find the inspiration to write your book?
In around the year of 2004 I was boarding a room with a close friend and his partner, and they had a little girl by the name of Kori, Kori was around 4 years old at the time and every day after school we would sit down and draw or do art together. This was when I was inspired to start and create a children’s book, with the help from my little friend Kori, I wanted to try and picture through what a child at her age would want to see in a book. I came up with the idea of “Fang, the wonder dog”, as I thought at the time that a lot of children out in the world would have a pet and how cool would it be if your pet had super-powers and un beknown to anyone else, your pet would go on adventures saving people, making the world a safer place to live. So, as I was drawing the illustrations Kori would suggest what I should draw and where, I wanted to have each page full of colour and life, so as the child’s young eyes would be so captivated on trying to take it all in, therefore hopefully wanting it read over and over again. I also came up with the idea that when Fang was first purchased at Joes Pet shop by Ben his owner, there would be a little helper in the form of a Rat who follows Fang and can be seen on every single page there after (sometimes hidden) I wanted there to be a twist at the end that will keep the reader guessing too, “ Is Fang really a wonder dog, or has he just dreamt the whole journey?” making it quite possible to be a series. I also wanted to keep the book modern with the times, hence Ben being a Skateboarder.
- What is the message you want to convey to your adult and young readers?
I wanted to convey a morale background to my story and in “The adventures of Fang, the wonder dog”, there is a time in the story where Ben and Fang are walking through the park on their way to the skate park when Fang can see a little girl skipping on her own by a wishing well, just after they leave the park is when Fang could sense that the little girl was in trouble, deep within himself Fang could feel her cry for help, this is where Fang turns back to rescue her, leaving Ben to ponder whether he had run away? So, the underlining morale to the story is young children shouldn’t be playing alone on their own, as if they may get into trouble, there may not be a Fang there to rescue them. So, stay safe and always be accompanied by an older responsible person.
- How is the world of the “wonder dog” and what resemblances does it have with yours?
The world of the “wonder dog” and what it resembles to myself is quite simple, I am an animal lover and especially love dogs, I have had a few as pets over my 48 years of being on this earth and as I personally have not had any children of my own I have always treated dogs like a child (human as such) I feel as humans we can learn quite a lot from our pet dogs, they are loyal, kind protective and sometimes when you’ve had a bad day, they are just there, all they want is unconditional love and if you return that, then you’ll have a friend for life. I was in a veterinary hospital one time many years ago with my dog, and saw a poor family with the horrible task of having to put their older pet dog down, the Mum and Dad were visibly upset, although their daughter wasn’t as upset as I thought she would be, I said to her “Isn’t it a shame that our pets don’t get to live as long as Us humans?” her reply still stays with me today, she responded with “ They don’t need to, as they already know how to be faithful, loyal and provide unconditional love, in the short time they are here on this planet” It takes Us as humans a lot longer to know these traits. So, in today’s world, having all these traits is a “Super-power” in my eyes.
- In what way have the illustrations empowered the story you told in your book?
As far as the illustrations go, I wanted each page to be bright and colourful with so much going on in the background to keep the child captivated without distracting them from the main character of Fang. With each turn of the page, you would be in a new location, whether it be the beach, a park or at a Skateboard ramp. Also, when Fang turns into the “Wonder Dog” I was trying to portray how scared he was in the storm, when the lightning struck his kennel, the asking the question to the reader “was this when Fang was blessed with his powers?”, I also wanted to draw the illustrations when Fang was flying up high in the sky, from Fangs perspective, making the child feel as though he was up there flying along with Fang and they could see what he saw.
- Are you working on a new writing project, you can tell us about?
Immediately after I was contacted by Europe Books on wanting to publish “The Adventures of Fang, the wonder dog” it kind of inspired me to continue a sequel to the first book, so I sat down pencil and paper in hand and came up with his next adventure in “Fang goes Camping”, the story takes place when Fang goes on a camping trip with the family to outback Australia, where they camp near a lake, I won’t give away too much of the story, although let’s just say he saves the animals of the Outback from a wild bush fire during the night whilst everyone is fast asleep, then puts the fire out. Then after finishing “Fang goes Camping” I am currently in the middle of a completely different story line, in a book about an Australian Native animal called the spotted Quoll, this book is titled “Spot, the Quoll”, I wanted to feature the Quoll as it is near on extinct on the Mainland of Australia, only found in small little numbers in scarce areas, and can only be seen now in the Zoo, although the only place it can be found in the wild is Tasmania. Ever since Australia was colonised and introduced other species such as cats, dogs, and foxes, the Quoll has been under threat for some time now. So, I wanted to express their story and let the world know, that if we don’t start paying close attention, certain animals may be lost forever, and the Quoll is a distant relative of the Tasmanian Tiger, which is no longer with us.
Europe Books thanks the author Colin Hopkins once again for taking the time and answering our questions. We are really pleased to have walked alongside him on the editorial path that led to the publication of his book The adventures of Fang, the wonder dog. We wish him the best of luck for his book and for his future works.
To you, my dear reader, may this book let you feel the unconditional and pure love that an animal can give to its owner, especially dogs. At the same time, I hope it will provide you with a point of attention in never letting a child play alone and be always responsible towards them, in every occasion!
So, my dear reader, all I have to say is to enjoy your reading!