Yesterday I posted the review of the lovely story Ghosts Are People Too, and today I get to share an interview I was lucky to have with the author of that fabulous book, Peter Ricq.
(the kickstarter is still looking for funding)
Where did the idea of a spooky kids book come from?
When I had recently seen The Gashlycrumb Tinies, by Edward Gorey, I was reminded of how much I loved that book and how captivating those spooky little illustrations were. I wanted to do something that had that same feeling yet still had a contemporary aspect to it with more of an optimistic approach, hence the more bubbly cartoony character Ethan Alby.
Everyone is afraid of what they don’t know or understand but once you give it a chance and take the time to learn and educate yourself, things aren’t as scary anymore. Guillermo Deltoro plays with that theme lots in his narratives and I love his work. Remember that that monsters or ghosts in the basement can have a bigger heart than the pretty girl or boy next door (this can be applied to not just the supernatural).
Why illustrate it yourself?
I’ve been illustrating from a very early age (drawing epic battle scenes with ninjas), I later art directed several animated TV shows (The League of Super Evil), drew several comic books, I do some fine art illustrations, and so on. I find that I’ve worked my whole life to get to this point so I could illustrate Ghosts Are People Too just right.
I really like the way it turned out and if it wasn’t for my story and adventuring/exploring all these styles throughout the years, Ghosts Are People Too would’ve never come out the way it did. I can’t think of anyone else who could’ve captured the look and feel I wanted with this book.
(I maintain that the little ghostie is the cutest thing ever)
Are there plans for more Ethan adventures?
Yeah, Very much so. Because I write films, mostly horror-themed, I can see this becoming something much bigger. Something in the veins of Beetlejuice meets Jojo Rabbit.
But I also have plans for more books and other similar books about other creatures. This was a lot of fun to make and so why only have the pleasure to do it just once?
Where did the ghost stories in the back come from? Did you write them too, or are they stories you heard?
I wrote them based on true stories I’ve heard throughout the years. I was obsessed with the paranormal from an early age and retained a lot of ghost stories.
These ones struck me because the ghosts weren’t jerks or evil. I heard some other stories where some ghosts did pranks but these 3 were ghosts that had heart. For some reason, I still got chills when I heard them. I think ghosts always give you goosebumps whether they are good or bad.