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Sunday, March 24, 2013

Author Interview – Rick Johnson

Tell us a bit about your family. Helga: Out of Hedgelands (and the Wood Cow Chronicles series overall) have been written with the irreplaceable assistance of Barbara, my beloved wife, and our two children. Indeed, some of the essential “research” into the history of the Wood Cows has been conducted during the odd hours of family reading and storytelling “around the campfire” as we say—even when there was no campfire! This research continues and grows richer as our children have begun their own careers and families and the storytelling expands across generations and continents.

What is your favorite quality about yourself? Well, actually, my goal is to live a balanced life, so I have several “favorites” I try to develop. I certainly can’t claim to have mastered these, but there are four qualities that I strive to live: first, enthusiasm and perseverance in the face of challenges; second, a smiling face and general happiness; third, seeing things with my own eyes and not relying only on the word of others; and fourth, finishing a task I have begun.

What is your least favorite quality about yourself? On those days when there is a possible choice between work and taking a hike in the mountains, the mountains, for the most part, win. J

What is your favorite quote, by whom, and why? “You must work – we must all work to make the world worthy of its children.” Pablo Casals. I believe we must all work to make the world worthy of its children—all its children. I am filled with wonder at the systematic way we ignore the needs of children and youth in our society. It astonishes me how passionate we can become for a week or two when particularly tragic violence occurs involving children, while the wholesale needs of vast numbers of children and youth seemingly does not disturb the national discourse at all. And, this is only the overt violence, if we mention the other putrid conditions that beset children in our society, we can only wonder at the deafening silence. Yet, these children are our children also.

Why is there so much interest and eager sympathy shown towards the slaughtered individuals In Connecticut, for example, while for thousands of others there is none? I can only come to the conclusion that our society simply values some children more than others. I leave the question of what criteria we apply in making this distinction to all of us to ponder. It is my sincere conviction that, without serious consideration of that great question, nothing will change–even for those in such places as Newtown. My heart breaks as I remember those killed—but my heart has been breaking long before this. When will we value all children? We must all work to make the world worthy of its children—all its children.

What are you most proud of accomplishing so far in your life? Having raised two children who appear to be far better than I am.

What is your favorite color? I like all the diverse colors and hues when they mingle together as in a delightful flower garden. Many colors are more glorious to me than one.

What is your favorite food? I like many kinds of foods, but it’s pretty hard to beat a plain old plate of rice and lentils with some kind of hot spice.

What’s your favorite place in the entire world? I am a native of the Great Plains of the United States, having grown up on a farm in the Platte River Valley of western Nebraska. I love the wild beauty of the Plains and nearby Rocky Mountains—the too hot, too cold, too empty, too full of life extremes. Typically, the awesomely diverse and the awesomely stark are much the same, even as they are different. Although I have lived in Michigan, North Carolina, and British Columbia, the western plains, high mountains, and desert are in my heart. If you cannot find me at my desk, I’m likely out hiking these places.


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Genre – Fantasy / Middle Grade

Rating – PG

More details about the author & the book

Connect with Rick Johnson on Facebook & Twitter

Website http://www.woodcowbooks.com/

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