Author Chat with Brett Bean (Zoo Patrol Squad #3 A New Sheriff in Town), plus Giveaway! ~US Only
Today we are chatting with Brett Bean, author of
Zoo Patrol Squad #3 A New Sheriff in Town!
Read on for more about Brett, his book, and a giveaway!
Meet Brett Bean!
Brett Bean has created art for TV, film, games, and books for clients such as Nickelodeon, Disney TV, Leapfrog, and Nerd Corps. He is working on his fifth art book, a graphic novel short story collection.
About Zoo Patrol Squad #3 A New Sheriff in Town:
Crack the case with the Zoo Patrol Squad in this series of fun graphic novels for young readers filled with zany animals, wild adventures, and unbelievable mysteries. Perfect for fans of Dogman and InvestiGators!
Fennlock Fox and Penny the Pig head to the Wild, Wild West! When a chatty chicken named Nugget makes it to the zoo to beg for help ridding his little Western town of a gang of feral cats, the Zoo Patrol Squad is on the case. But when they get there, the sheriff is missing, and no one can seem to find any of the townsfolk. Will Penny and Fennlock be able to save the town, or will the dastardly Glaring Gang have the last meow?
~Author Chat With Brett Bean~
YABC:What gave you the inspiration to write this book?
During the lockdown, we didn’t have any pets and so my 7-year-old started to feed the neighborhood feral cat dubbed “Luna.” I warned my wife and son about what was to happen, but he loved sitting out there with her and pretending to be a kitty too so I didn’t stop it. But I was right and soon after my warning, Luna started bringing around her friends. My backyard was filled with hisses and hoots into the wee hours of the night. We had fluffy grey cats spraying my front door, my 2-year-old kept finding cat nuggets in his sandbox, and a wide range of dead animals on the porch as a gesture of good will. It Pretty much traumatized all 4 of us indifferent ways so I used that idea as fuel for the book. I needed a villain and the world provided me with a glaring of cats!
YABC: Who is your favorite character in the book?
Penny has quickly become my favorite. I enjoy drawing her personality and expressions but also the way her friendships, views on life, right and wrong, and her sense of adventure. I realized that I aspire to that, as I write her.
YABC: What scene in the book are you most proud of, and why?
I love the big barroom brawl scene for book 3. Each book is a “take” on a genre. A whodunit for book one, a big race for book 2, a western for book 3, and a medieval setting for book 4. So for this book, I can’t imagine a western without it and it’s so much fun to draw all the cats and details and really let loose. To me when it all comes together it’s the most fun to do and see.
YABC: Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you've learned as a writer from then to now?
To loosen up when I’m building the story. It’s pretty similar to how I think as a designer in animation. “Don’t tighten up and try to finish one small part when you need to concentrate on the overall page, or storyline. Don’t judge yourself early and let it all flow. There will always be time to edit and refine.” Same as a drawing!
YABC: What was your favorite book in 2020?
I have been eating up all the Cartoon History of the Universe volumes by Larry Gonick and they are all very informative and thought out so well. The amount of information in them is staggering. I enjoy the art form and the real-world information that leads me further down the rabbit holes of knowledge. I heard about them but when the world paused, I found time to read through 5 volumes!
YABC: What’s up next for you?
We are moving to Portugal, we got residency visas, and we are trying our hand at living abroad and looking for the ways it will affect and translate into stories, art, and ideas. On the writing side I have a few ideas waiting to be pursued and I’ve been busy making art samples for sending out to editors. Lots of juggling but all good stuff for the future. Oh, and raising 2 kids is a never ending “next” for me.
YABC: Is there anything that you would like to add?
More pages!!! There’s always more art and storyline to explore and it’s an interesting challenge to keep the pace and story to a set number of pages. I think for the Zoo Patrol Squad is a perfect number of pages, but after 4 books I relish the idea of adding more nuance and pacing for my next series.
YABC: What would you say is your superpower?
Other artists claim that my superpower is being as fast as I am. Over time I started to notice that there happens to be some truth to it, my artistic decision process is quick these days. Maybe if I slowed down, I’d get bored or too hung up on the myriad of decisions I would make “differently” so I go fast enough to never look behind to see all the mistakes I make!
YABC: Is there an organization or cause that is close to your heart?
I love Kiva, it’s a way to lend out money to people who don’t have much collateral around the world. Be it to help them start a business, buy supplies to continue on, or help them with a loan for school supplies. Kiva is about helping to lift themselves out of their current situation and poverty. As an entrepreneur it speaks to me on many levels. I continue to lend and relend money for years and it’s great to be a part of it. Also, all organizations devoted to getting us closer to understanding that we only have one planet and it’s up to us to consciously think about ALL its inhabitants and life and the impact we make on it.
Author: Brett Bean
Publisher: Penguin Workshop; Penguin Young Readers
Release Date: November 16, 2021
Genre: Middle Grade Graphic Novel
Age Range: 7-10
*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*