First-time author Henry Herz is a management consultant by day, and a children's book writer and crime fighter by night. His son Josh is a middle-school student who likes doing parkour and collecting LEGO. His other son Harrison is an elementary school student who loves playing basketball and video games. Both are big fans of The Lord of the Rings, the annual Comic-Con convention, and have an entrepreneurial bent. With technical assistance from their dad, they started three web-based businesses selling LEGO party favors, custom cast bases for Warhammer, and painted concrete yard sculptures.
They are (distant) relatives of Madeleine L'Engle, whose book "A Wrinkle in Time" was ranked #3 on the top 100 children's books of all time by Scholastic's Parent & Child Magazine. Writing must be in the DNA!
No fair! That's like asking me to list my favorite foods. There are too many to fit in a post. What comes to mind first are Lord of the Rings, Where the Wild Things Are, and Shogun.
Inspirations for the book?
I wanted to get my kids interested in reading fantasy. They were too old for Where the Wild Things Are, and too young for the Hobbit. So, I decided to draft something myself. The storyline is a journey, where the fuzzy protagonists have to overcome obstacles to reach a safe destination.
Did you know you wanted to be an author when you were little?
Definitely not. Originally I wanted to drive a garbage truck because that looked cool to my young eyes. Happily, my preferences evolved with time.
Any Pet Peeves?
People without integrity (not to be confused with Doctors Without Borders) probably top the list.
Chocolate or Peanut Butter?
Vanilla. And while we're on the subject of treats, I'm very upset that Egg Nog isn't available all year round. I guess I should add that to my list of pet peeves...
The weirdest thing you've ever done?
I've walked on broken glass and swallowed fire. And lived to tell the tale. Really.
Is there a soundtrack to the book/Favorite music?
We've not thought about a soundtrack for Nimpentoad, although Can't Find My Way Home by Blind Faithr would be a good choice. Some of my favorite musical artists are Joe Bonnamassa, Dave Matthews, The B-52s, Jethro Tull, and Depeche Mode. Yes, I know that's an eclectic mix.
Do you need anything to write?
Just a computer with internet access (dictionary, thesaurus, rhyming dictionary, Google images & wikipedia are all very handy). But chocolate couldn't hurt.
How long do you write on any average day?
It varies from one to three hours. My day job pays the bills, so it gets precedence for now.
Give us the number one reason to read your book.
Remember, it's an early chapter book aimed for kids 6-9. They love the adventure and the illustrations. Parents like that the story discourages bullying and promotes teamwork and creativity. Parents also appreciate the meta-story of two kids helping write and promote the book.
Nimpentoad website: www.nimpentoad.com (you can buy signed copies there)
Henry's blog: henryherz.wordpress.com
A children's fantasy book telling the tale of the courageous and resourceful little Nimpentoad, who leads his tribe of Niblings through the perilous Grunwald Forest, overcoming obstacles and encountering strange creatures along the way. Kids aged 5-10 enjoy the adventure and stunning illustrations. Parents appreciate a story that discourages bullying, and emphasizes teamwork, creativity, perseverance, and leadership.