Author Chat with Zack Smith (Dolpin Girl 2: Eye of the Baloney Storm), Plus Giveaway! ~ (US Only)



Today we are chatting with Zach Smith, author of

Dolphin Girl 2: Eye of the Baloney Storm!

Read on for more about Zach, his book and giveaway!





Meet Zack Smith!


Zach Smith is a cartoonist, author, illustrator, and show creator. Currently, he is creating an upcoming show for Nick Jr. and works as a storyboard artist in the animation industry. Zach lives in the suburbs of Los Angeles with his wife, two daughters, and two dogs. Before becoming a professional artist, he delivered pizza for a living. Dolphin Girl is his first graphic novel series.


Website * Twitter * Instagram






Meet Dolpin Girl 2: Eye of the Baloney Storm!


Attention fans of Lunch Lady and Steven Universe! Middle grade graphic novel superhero-in-training Dolphin Girl is back fending off cold cut storms and learning to deal with a new (super-annoying) rival in the second book in this side-splitting series. 
Ever since the evil Sea Cow tried to steal Dolphin Girl and Captain Dugong’s restaurant/hideout in Trouble in Pizza Paradise!, business has been bad. Dolphin Girl attempts to rebrand the restaurant, but everyone who works there hates the new outfits and the new music. Even worse, there’s a new superhero in town—everyone loves, Wonder Friend and they seemingly can do no wrong. On the other hand, Dolphin Girl is getting everything wrong. 
But when Sea Cow returns to cover Midwestern Deerburbia in a blizzard of baloney, Dolphin Girl and Otter Boy have no choice but to team up with the all-too-wonderful Wonder Friend to prevent their town from becoming a big Jimmy John’s sandwich! 
With bold, bright, energetic illustration Into the Baloney Storm serves up a graphic novel that fans of Steven Universe will be eager to sink their teeth into.



 Amazon * B & N * Indiebound







~ Author Chat ~


YABC: What gave you the inspiration to write this book?
I wanted to further develop the characters that I established in the first Dolphin Girl book, but also wanted to inject some real life inspiration into the stories. When it came time to write the second book, I was personally struggling as an artist to decide what to do next in my career or just generally in LIFE. I was feeling like I was in a bit of a rut.  I had been developing this project for TV animation for around 5-6 years and felt like it was kind of going nowhere (it eventually did go somewhere, but at the time I was convinced it wouldn’t).  I was also working in the animation industry and had 3 very tyrannical bosses in a row.  AND – All that I REALLY wanted to do was draw my own stories – but kept finding myself not doing that. I started constantly comparing myself to other artist’s careers, talents, and lives – then got really down and depressed about my own abilities and my own life.  I used this ‘art-xistential’ crisis to fuel what Dolphin Girl was going through in book two.  I think Dolphin Girl and I both had to learn together that the only person who can decide what is going to happen to us was ourselves, THE MAGIC WAS INSIDE OF US ALL ALONG! (Zach makes dolphin sounds).


YABC: Who is your favorite character in the book?
My two favorites are probably Dolphin Girl and her dad, Captain Dugong because they feel so natural to write for.  Really, they’re  just two versions of myself split into two characters:  The anxious/busy/creative person, and the extremely slothful – takes a lot of naps in his car – type of person.  I kind of fluctuate between these people in life.  It’s the internal struggle. THE TWO WOLVES.

YABC: Which came first, the title or the novel?
I usually at least come up with a rough story outline before I have a title.  I knew I wanted this one to be about a big storm or plague of some kind taking over Deerburbia, so while I was writing the story I was constantly ping-ponging title ideas around. I wanted it to be something punny or based off of an old phrase so somehow it just worked.  Or maybe it didn’t work?  I still haven’t decided…YOU BE THE JUDGE!


YABC: What scene in the book are you most proud of, and why?
As an artist I was really into all of the scenes that take place at the Deerburbia Municipal Links golf course.  During the pandemic I found myself really enjoying the escape that was ‘going mentally to a crappy municipal public golf course from the 90’s’.  Something about it just felt WONDERFUL.  I grew up golfing, then quit for a long time because….sports.  BUT I took it up again in the last few years, and there’s just something so weird and magical about these low rent public golf courses.  Like the idea of golf as this elitist thing being made into this public – municipal ‘for everyone’ thing which is cool, but then it’s also built right next to an airport, or a carcinogenic power plant – somehow there’s Canadian geese in there – in LA – which doesn’t usually have geese.  Its weird. I’m into it. Really gets the ole’ brain going. 

YABC: What’s a book you’ve recently read and loved?
If you can get through it, The Ethics of Ambiguity by Simone De Beuvoir was one of the best books I’ve read in my life. The sort of Zach summary is: we are both individuals with worth, dignity, and freedom; BUT we are also part of a collective society, THE HIVE – if I may; and how that is a weird ambiguous place to find yourself in – SO WHAT DO YOU DO?! HOW DO YOU ACT? WE CAN’T KNOW?! OH MY GOD! Anyway, I’ve been tearing through a bunch of books by the existentialists this year – so I would recommend anything by Simone De Beuvoir, Friedrich Nietzsche or Rollo May, but they are DENSE.


YABC: What’s up next for you?
I am illustrating a book written by Phaea Crede called Super Pizza & Kid Kale which will be published by Viking Books in fall 2022, I am super excited for that one. I am also in production on the first season of a show I created with Nick Jr and Nelvana called ‘Hamsters of Hamsterdale’.  Which will be released sometime in the mystery future. 



YABC: What is the main message or lesson you would like your reader to remember from this book?
The main purpose of the book is to create awareness of the word ‘Ope’. People from the Midwest and more specifically the Rust Belt region of the Great Lakes use the word ‘Ope’ or ‘Ohp’ when they want to politely acknowledge they’ve done something wrong in a public setting.  Say you accidentally spill mayonnaise on yourself at a Bob Seger Tribute Band concert and the word ‘Oops’ isn’t self effaicing enough – that’s when it’s time to pull out the word, “Ope!.” Well, I think it’s high time that we as a region, introduce this into the national language – or heck – THE INTERNATIONAL HIVE MIND OF HUMANITY! So you can view this book as a vehicle – nay – a seed to plant that into the global consciousness – where it can then flower into a beautiful linguistic tree.



YABC: What would you say is your superpower?
Just verbalizing my anxiety and adhd during an interview.
YABC: What advice do you have for new writers? 
Keep your authentic voice in your work.  I think often times when our creative projects become commercial or industrial or just generally in the public –  we have so many external forces trying to manipulate us in one direction or another, but to get to a place of authenticity and freedom in your own work is something you should always strive for – it’s what separates you from the ‘herd’ as my pal Fred Nietzsche would say.  And I don’t mean that in a creepy Ayn Rand kind of way – I mean, just create the stuff you want to make, based on the values and interests that you’ve decided you want to act on.  I think that’s just about the best we can do as creative people, and as humans, really.  Whether you’re painting signs for the local pharmacy, or making holiday cards, or helming an entire TV series – wherever you find yourself – you just have to inject some of that weird inner experience into your projects – the weird stuff that only you have gone through, your unique world view and values.  This is probably the only magical stuff that exists in the world.  IT WILL PAY DIVIDENDS, AND ONE DAY YOU WILL BE BECOME A MILLIONAIRE LIKE ME! (puts on a monocle and drives away in a 2015 Mazda full of trash).





 Dolphin Girl 2: Eye of the Baloney Storm

Author: Zack Smith

Publisher: Pixel+Ink

 Publish Date: January 18th, 2022






One winner will receive a copy of Dolphin Girl 2: Eye of the Baloney Storm (Zack Smith) ~ (US Only)


*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*


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1 thought on “Author Chat with Zack Smith (Dolpin Girl 2: Eye of the Baloney Storm), Plus Giveaway! ~ (US Only)”

  1. Danielle Hammelef says:

    The cover is fun and this sounds hilarious.

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