Lécuyer’s Kaptain Vamp is a very cute story about a modern day vamp and his quest to change the relations between vampires and humans. Allistaire, is a young vamp who loves learning about humans and is on a quest to help the gap between the two groups. Together with his best friend, his super human abilities and some magic will they achieve this. I really enjoyed reading the story about Allistaire and his adventure to make things right. The illustrations are great addition to the story bringing it to life. Children will enjoy this read because it has all the makings of a great story, great characters, a beautiful lesson that is easily conveyed.
Genre: Young Adult, Children
Humans have long been afraid and distrustful of vampires. A young vampire named Allistaire, who is also part human, wants to change that. His family has been living among humans for hundreds of years and they have always used their abilities for good. One day, while reading his favorite super-hero comic, Allistaire decides that he’s going to do everything he can to help humans. He enlists the aid of his best friend to help him become Kaptain Vamp.
Interview with author Joanne Lécuyer
Where are you from? Tell us a little about yourself!
I’ve been working for the Canadian federal government for over 23 years, with the last half in corporate communications. I’m also a professional and personal coach and a Reiki Master. I’m really enjoying writing children’s books and doing writing workshops with kids. I have a very active imagination, which has been over-active in the last year. I consider myself as an eternal learner.
I live in a small rural community outside of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada with my husband Rick, our dog Kato and two cats, Black Magic and Minx. For fun, I love to read, write, and watch movies (Rick and I love all the animated movies – especially the ones for kids). We also spend time with friends and family.
Tell us about your book? How did it get started?
My latest book is Kaptain Vamp. It’s a very positive story of a young vampire named Allistaire, who is also part human. He wants to change the fact that humans are afraid and distrustful of vampires. His family has been living among humans for hundreds of years and they’ve always used their abilities for good. One day, while reading his favourite superhero comic, Allistaire decides that he’s going to do everything he can to help humans. In order to become a superhero, Allistaire will start by doing good deeds. His sidekick, his human friend Rich, offers to help him out.
I’ve been writing stories for children for about 2 years now. But, it all started about 6-7 years ago, after spending a weekend with my younger brother. He’s a graphic artist and has always been extremely creative. On my way back home on the train, I jotted a story down on some scraps of paper that I called Topsyturvia. When I got home I just put the pages away.
In 2009, I remembered the story and transcribed into my computer and just kept adding to it. I got to about 6,000 words and read it to my husband -who can sometimes be brutally honest. He told me that he thought it was a very good story. I gave a copy to a few colleagues with children and they liked it too. So I asked my brother if he to do the illustrations for the book Topsyturvia. And then more stories came. Last fall, I publish my first book The Witch, the Cat and the Egg.
How do you create your characters?
In my first book The Witch, the Cat and the Egg, the young witch Juliane was inspired by the Disney books I read as a child. I loved how Cinderella and Snow White could talk to the animals. So I made sure that Juliane would also be able to do this and more. As for Allistaire, in Kaptain Vamp, I saw him as a very smart young boy who wants to do good. Both characters use their intelligence, their wits and imagination. I think it’s important that kids have positive role models.
What inspires you to write?
Writing is fun, it’s creative. It feels like I’m breathing in and out and releasing something very positive. As the author, I can be any character I want and I can take the reader on an infinite number of journeys and adventures – they just need to come along for the ride.
What do you like to read?
I always have a few books on the go, in between the day job, writing books and other stuff. I usually like to read fantasy, sci-fi, and new age. I’m currently reading Mary Stewart’s trilogy about Merlin (he is my favourite character) “The Crystal Cave” – I’m on book 2, “The 12th Insight” by James Redfield; “Childhood’s End” by Arthur C. Clark, and “The War of Art” by Steven Pressfield. Did I mention I’m a Gemini? There’s two of me to keep busy!
What would your advice to be for authors or aspiring in regards to writing?
I would say, write down your ideas when you get them. I carry a little notepad with me and jot down all my ideas in there. When I have the time to finally sit and write, I pull it out and the notes and ideas get me going. Don’t try to edit your own work. Write the best story you can and ask friends and colleagues to be your test readers. They can help find the holes in the story and give you ideas. A good editor is your friend. As the author, I think we sometimes forget to add some of the details that we have in our head. Of course, you don’t have to take all the suggestions. But I do think that considering them makes for a better story in the end.
Anything else you’d like to share?
When I started writing stories for children, I decided that I would write the kinds of books that leave my readers feeling good and wanting more; that also leave them with a smile on their faces. The type of book that you can read to kids before they go to bed that will help them have good dreams! That’s what Topsy Books is all about. My personal motto is “Dare to imagine and believe in the magic of possibilities!”
There will be sequels to The Witch, the Cat and the Egg and Kaptain Vamp next year and other new things like comics, puzzles, and more! Readers can find out more on my website www.topsybooks.com, through Facebook under Topsy Books (http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Topsy-Books/179610058715988), and on Twitter @JoTopsyBooks (http://twitter.com/#!/JoTopsyBooks).
Thanks for the interview. I hope that readers will make Kaptain Vamp and Topsy Books part of their book collection. J:O)anne