AUDIOBOOK- Ask Lars Guignard - Saturday March 1, 2014 discussion

Zoe & Zak and the Ghost Leopard (Zoe & Zak Adventures, #1)
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Author Q&A Archive > Ask Lars about Zoe & Zak and the Ghost Leopard-Dec 16, 2013

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Fantastic Press | 4 comments Mod
Welcome to the group! Lars will be answering your questions on Monday, December 16 in this thread only. Until then, please feel free to introduce yourself and post your questions about Ghost Leopard or writing for middle-grade.


message 2: by Kat (new)

Kat | 1 comments Hey!

I just love the book. What is the inspiration for your characters and their adventures??


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Sarah Miles (cmusmiles) | 1 comments Your leading lady has an elephant talking to her. If you could have a conversation with any animal, which would you pick? Is yours an elephant too?

More on topic with the book - What other books would you liken yours to? "If you liked , you'll love Zoe & Zak and the Ghost Leopard!"


Jessica Mccort | 1 comments When you thought about your book's voice, what did you want it to sound like? How did you hit upon a voice that felt authentic to you?


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C.L. Murphy | 1 comments I can't imagine writing for middle graders. What is your thought process for finding a topic that this age group would enjoy?


Stephanie Cover2CoverBlog (StephCover2Cover) | 3 comments Why did you choose to make India the setting for this book? Did the place intrigue you and the story come out of it?


Renee  (MotherDaughterBookReviews) | 2 comments What were some of your favorite books from childhood and did any of these influence you as a writer?


Laura Phelps | 1 comments The setting in Zoe and Zak feels so real and it is obvious that you've spent time in India! Thus, I would love to know more about your experience attending boarding school in the Himalayas.


Cheryl Carpinello (CherylCarpinello) | 1 comments Will readers be seeing Zoe and Zach somewhere else in the future?


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Lars Guignard | 17 comments Mod
Kat wrote: "Hey!

I just love the book. What is the inspiration for your characters and their adventures??"


Thanks Kat! Inspiration. Hmm. I suppose I just think back to my own school days in India and the strange and wonderful things that were always happening there. My memories of when I was young are pretty vivid, so it doesn’t take much for me to think of some event and after that the stories, for the most part, just seem to write themselves.


message 11: by Lars (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lars Guignard | 17 comments Mod
Sarah wrote: "Your leading lady has an elephant talking to her. If you could have a conversation with any animal, which would you pick? Is yours an elephant too?

More on topic with the book - What other books..."


That’s a tough one. There are a lot of cool animals to talk to. I’d like to talk to a a grizzly bear. I’d be interested in knowing what they dream about when they’re hibernating. In terms of talking to an animal who has seen it all, though, I don’t think you could top a cockroach. They’ve been around for so long you could ask a cockroach why the dinosaurs went extinct. Now that would be fascinating.


message 12: by Lars (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lars Guignard | 17 comments Mod
Sarah wrote: "Your leading lady has an elephant talking to her. If you could have a conversation with any animal, which would you pick? Is yours an elephant too?

More on topic with the book - What other books..."


Sarah wrote: "Your leading lady has an elephant talking to her. If you could have a conversation with any animal, which would you pick? Is yours an elephant too?

More on topic with the book - What other books..."


In terms of your second question, I think my Zoe and Zak books are in the Percy Jackson vein. If you liked Percy Jackson, you’ll love Zoe and Zak and the Ghost Leopard! But if you liked Harry Potter, you’ll love Zoe and Zak and the Ghost Leopard too. Or if you like Artemis Fowl, you’ll like Zoe and Zak. Basically, if you like action adventure with some magic thrown in, in a really cool place, then you’re going to like the Zoe and Zak books.


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Lars Guignard | 17 comments Mod
Jessica wrote: "When you thought about your book's voice, what did you want it to sound like? How did you hit upon a voice that felt authentic to you?"

Good question. I didn’t want the characters in Zoe and Zak and the Ghost Leopard to sound like me. Not consciously anyhow. I have a daughter around Zoe’s age so I have an idea of how kids talk and what they’re interested in, so I would say that Zoe’s voice is sort of based on her. I don’t think any author can escape their voice coming out, though. It just happens when you write it.


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Lars Guignard | 17 comments Mod
Stephanie wrote: "Why did you choose to make India the setting for this book? Did the place intrigue you and the story come out of it?"

I chose to make India the setting of the book because of the time I spent there when I was in school. It was such a magical, wonderful place, and my memories of it were so vivid that I really wanted to share them with my own children. The country is rich and textured with a story lurking around every corner. I suppose I really like the place and hence I set Zoe and Zak and the Ghost Leopard and the subsequent Zoe and Zak books there.


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Lars Guignard | 17 comments Mod
C.L. wrote: "I can't imagine writing for middle graders. What is your thought process for finding a topic that this age group would enjoy?"

I look at my own kids in terms of thinking about stuff middle graders enjoy. It’s really hilarious looking at the stuff they like and it’s not always what you think. One thing I’ve noticed is that middle graders are funny. It’s like they’re all natural comedians. In terms of stuff they would enjoy, I think it needs to be relatable, but not so relatable as to be boring. Middle Graders are incredibly eager to explore new places and ideas.


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Lars Guignard | 17 comments Mod
Renee wrote: "What were some of your favorite books from childhood and did any of these influence you as a writer?"

I used to read all the Enid Blyton books. I remember really loving her book, The Wishing Chair. It was this chair that grew wings and let these kids go on adventures. I still want a chair like that. The whole concept really fired up my imagination. I absolutely loved it. I think that chair was a big influence for Doormat, Zoe and Zak’s magic carpet.


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Lars Guignard | 17 comments Mod
Laura wrote: "The setting in Zoe and Zak feels so real and it is obvious that you've spent time in India! Thus, I would love to know more about your experience attending boarding school in the Himalayas."

I went off to a boarding school in the foothills of the Himalayas when I was fourteen. It was a life-changing experience because it was so different than anything I’d experienced before that. When you combine an entirely new culture with being away from your parents for the first time, strange adventures are bound to ensue and they did. I guess I’ll be getting more into the setting and stuff that happened as the series progresses, but Zoe and Zak and the Yogi’s Curse, the second book in the series really goes into introducing what its like for Zoe and Zak when they start to go to school up there in the Himalayan mountains.


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Lars Guignard | 17 comments Mod
Cheryl wrote: "Will readers be seeing Zoe and Zach somewhere else in the future?"

The second book in the series, Zoe and Zak and the Yogi’s Curse is available now, and the third book in the series, Zoe and Zak and the Tiger Temple is coming out this Christmas. So you’ll absolutely be able to see what they’re up to.


Victoria Simcox | 1 comments Hi Lars

So I can tell from your books you have a sense of humor. Do you have any favorite corny/funny movies & tv shows? Some of mine are Dumb & Dumber, Nacho Libre, Bronco's Gentleman, TV: The Office, Portlandia, and this new one on netflix, Derek, staring, Ricky Gervais. :)


message 20: by Lars (last edited Dec 17, 2013 12:52PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lars Guignard | 17 comments Mod
Victoria wrote: "Hi Lars

So I can tell from your books you have a sense of humor. Do you have any favorite corny/funny movies & tv shows? Some of mine are Dumb & Dumber, Nacho Libre, Bronco's Gentleman, TV: The O..."



First, thanks. Second, I love Parks and Recreation, The Big Bang Theory, The Simpsons. In terms of movies it’s hard to beat, There’s Something about Mary. In fact, most everything the Farrelly brothers have done is hysterical.


Renee  (MotherDaughterBookReviews) | 2 comments Lars wrote: "Victoria wrote: "Hi Lars

So I can tell from your books you have a sense of humor. Do you have any favorite corny/funny movies & tv shows? Some of mine are Dumb & Dumber, Nacho Libre, Bronco's Gen..."


Ah, the Simpsons ... I just love that show!! lol


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