Interview with Liz McGlynn
Author of Detective Zucchini and the Case of the Bad Apple
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What's Detective Zucchini and the Case of the Bad Apple about?
- Well, as the title suggests, it's about a Detective Zucchini who investigates the Case of the Bad Apple: a simple story that follows Detective Zucchini as he tries to rescue Peter the Plum from inside a jam jar and find the culprit that put him there. It's not meant to be a particularly moralistic tale or promote healthy eating, but if children are a little bit kinder to one another and know more about fruit and veg than fast food after reading it, then all the better!
You wrote this book with your husband; what made you want to write a children's book together?
- I don't know if it was a case of wanting to write a children's book together, more a need to bring to life a range of colourful characters that have been occupying our heads for many, many years.
Detective Zucchini was born five years ago, as we headed out of the city to the coast for a weekend getaway. From there, additional characters were imagined, including Peter the Plum and the Bad Apples . . . among many others that are yet to be brought to life.
We don't know why we chose a zucchini to be the detective. In our minds, it just works (we hope)!
As you said, there were two of you involved in this writing/creative process. How did that work?
- We have learned a lot from creating the first book together and we're already working on the second, so it can't have been a total disaster. Ask us after the third!
In all seriousness, it was an easy process, in no small part due to the fact that the characters have been 'living in our heads' for many years already. It was just a case of letting them out and seeing what mischief they got up to.
What books from your childhood served as inspiration for Detective Zucchini?
- Anything by Roald Dahl, the creator of gobblefunk. The process of playing around with words to invent new words or meanings is so appealing to youngsters. What child is not instantly drawn into a world full of snozzcumbers and whizzpoopers?
With Detective Zucchini, we hope to create a make-believe, fantasy world that children will want to escape to. Perhaps it will even have its own language one day, too.
What's next for Detective Zucchini?
- We're working on a series of Detective Zucchini books that will be released throughout 2020. His next case involves a ridiculously fast vegetable . . . it's definitely one you'll want to catch. After that, we have a couple more ideas sketched out. We would also like to create a festive-themed, winter case for Detective Zucchini to investigate, for release at the end of the year. Perhaps a few Chilly Peppers will make an appearance. We'll see.