First off - I want to thank you for virtually stopping by Memories In A Box's blog to let me interview you today. After watching you talk about the weather for years this is a real treat for me. My "interview series" on Memories In A Box is mostly left for those individuals who I admire and follow. So I am extremely grateful that you are taking this moment to hang out with me.
His book can be purchased on Amazon once it is released here: AMAZON
Or you can pre order it on his website here: PRE ORDER NOW
Join Jake and Alice on an adventure through time and weather. From the belly of a T-Rex to falling snowflakes, the two water drops learn about friendship and the water cycle as they evaporate and precipitate their way through this wild ride! Imaginative illustrations are accompanied by water drop insets with fun facts about the water cycle all of which is presented in language accessible to elementary students.
Now onto the fun!
I have to admit this was the first children's book that I have read about weather, probably sinceelementary school but I really enjoyed it! I learned all about the water cycle. My first question to you is this ... What made you come up with the idea to explain children how water cycles are important?
The idea came about a little after I moved to Houston more than 11 years ago. I got invitations to speak to elementary students about the weather and I needed something to keep their attention. For kids 2nd to 5th grade I created a PowerPoint about severe weather safety. Pre-schoolers, kindergartners and 1st graders have a different attention span and need more of a story. So I made up a story about two drops of water and the water cycle. I had a boy and a girl come to the front of the class and play out the parts. What you'll read in the pages of A Wild Ride on the Water Cycle is what I had the students act out.
I have to say the idea of drinking the same water that a T-Rex drank makes me laugh, I would never have thought of it like that. But it made me wonder, how has the quality of water diminished since the T-Rex's and their partners in crime roamed the earth?
This really is beyond my area of expertise. But water cannot be created or destroyed, it can be polluted but it is always around.
What made you start writing children's books? Was there a specific moment that was your 'Ah-hah' moment or is it something that you have just known you wanted to do?
The ah-ha moment was that I wanted something to share with younger kids at schools. The hard part is actually getting published and that journey took seven years.
I have to admit, science wasn't my favorite subject in school. It wasn't my least favorite either. But I don't remember it being as easy to understand as your children's book was. Did the plot and explanations of each step in the water cycle come easy for you, or did you have to do a lot of work in deciding the best way to explain it on a level anyone could understand?
It came really easy. My job is to know the weather and this is the foundation of what makes our weather. I'm always telling stories to my own kids and friends so that came pretty easy too.
Will Jake and Alice have other adventures?
Yes, in fact the second book is already complete. This time the adventure will take place in the clouds. After getting caught in a thunderstorm, Jake and Alice get lost and can't find their way back home. With the help of some friendly and not-so-friendly clouds, the adventure begins. Have you ever looked to the sky and wondered, "What kind of cloud is that and how does it form?" The next book answers that question.
I loved the illustrations. Did you have any input in those or was that all your illustrator, Mike Guillory's vision?
I met with Mike and shared my illustrations and layout of the book. He said it really helped him put his images together. I have an example of my drawings at www.anthonyyanez.com and you can see what a true artist Mike is and how awful I am at drawing.
Have you considered writing books like this for older children? I found your ease of explanations easy to follow and thought it would have been nice in school if I had had books like this to help me learn science.
I haven't, maybe after this series has run its course. But for now I'll stick to children's weather books.
From Weatherman to Author ... what do you find most fun about both categories?
They are both great. Broadcast is an exciting job and I'm finding how rewarding it is to be a published author.
I have always wondered, what is the hardest part about forecasting the weather, aside from the fear you might be wrong?
The hardest part is knowing where to point, that is the thing that takes the most practice. There isn't a fear of being wrong. You collect the data available, work as hard as you can using your experience to make a good forecast and what happens, happens. We are predicting the future and at times we will be wrong.
Have you ever had to broadcast the weather from a location that made you fear for the outcome? Like in a hurricane or tornado for example.
No, I did broadcast from Tropical Storm Grace in 2003 but it wasn't scary.
Do you have any advice for future authors, or weathermen?
Work hard and never give up on your dreams.
Thank you again for letting me interview you. This was a thrill for me and I wish you so much luck with your book and your adventures when you leave Houston.