Congratulations on the release of MY TOOTH IS LOOSE. Please tell us more about it.
About the book: Although this book is included in THE SUM OF OUR PARTS series, it is a bit of a departure from the standard anatomical content of the other books in the series. Instead of being a non-fiction rhyme about a particular body system, the book uses an up-front rhyming story to cover the subject of teeth. Most of us likely recall the first tooth we pulled as a child. And more importantly, we remember the “how”, as if it were yesterday. This book tells one such story about a boy losing his first tooth.
What was the inspiration for this book?
Bill: I’d have to say our grandson, Dylan, got me to thinking about the whole idea when his first tooth began to wiggle. Originally, I had written the book as a stand-alone story for anyone who has lost a tooth or is about to. When I sent the manuscript to Lynda Burch, she immediately saw the best “fit” as being part of my anatomical series. So, that’s where it landed.
What is your favorite moment from the book?
Bill: I’d have to say my favorite moment is when the older brother prepares the main character for the “string on the door knob” trick. Here’s the verse:
Then I felt a piece of string.
(Yikes! This trick seems ruthless!)
“Close your eyes,” I heard him say.
“You will soon be toothless!”
You’ll have to read the story to find out if this time-tested method works this time.
My daughter could answer that, but it sounds like reading the book would be way more fun.
This doesn't sound like your first published book.
Bill: No. This book is number nine. It is the fifth book in the anatomical series (all illustrated by Eugene Ruble). It joins four other fiction stories, also written in rhyme, and illustrated by some terrific artists. All my books have been published by Guardian Angel Publishing. It’s been a lot of fun seeing each book take form.
We’d love to hear more about you, Bill.
Let’s see. It might be easier to start now and go backward. I’m currently retired from my professional life, having completed two careers. But I must admit to feeling even busier now than I have ever been. In addition to writing and promoting my books, I’m having fun as a Scoutmaster in a Boy Scout Troop. We meet weekly and our Troop goes camping or backpacking at least once a month. Last summer a small group of us spent six days backpacking the Pacific Crest Trail near Lake Tahoe.
I’m also a Deacon at Faith Presbyterian Church in Sacramento and, in my spare time, I am a Massage Therapist, working just enough to keep my hands in the business, so to speak. When I can manage it, I like to run pretty much anywhere I have a chance, although the distances seem to be getting shorter lately.
In my professional life, most recently I worked for the State of California for 19 years in the Child Support Program and as a research manager in the Department of Social Services, where I retired four years ago. Before my state career, I was an Intelligence Officer in the U.S. Air Force for 20 years.
I grew up in an Air Force family with three younger sisters. My youth was spent on the move from Germany to Arizona, Florida to Washington DC, Bolivia to Georgia. Then it was back to Germany, France, North Dakota and Florida again before joining the Air Force myself. After living in California for 27 years, my wife and I are on the verge of picking up stakes and moving back to Florida. We have two children and four grandchildren, split between California and South Carolina.
Wow, you know how to live a full life. And 20 years as an Intelligence Officer!?
Do you have any book signing events or book tours scheduled for MY TOOTH IS LOOSE?
Bill: In March I did a book signing at a local novelty store called “Imagine That Gifts and Home Décor” as the only author with books offered by the store. Looking ahead, I’m working with a branch of the Sacramento Public Library to do readings of “My Tooth Is Loose” and several others of my books this summer. Wherever I travel—most recently to Minnesota and North Dakota, I feel like a literary version of Johnnie Appleseed, dropping books and business cards all over the country.
How can our readers learn more about you and any upcoming MY TOOTH IS LOOSE events?
Bill: The easiest way is to visit my website at http://www.billkirkwrites.com where all my books and other writings are presented. I also have a blog dedicated to all aspects of the writing craft at http://billkirkwrites.blogspot.com and a second blog specifically highlighting THE SUM OF OUR PARTS at http://billkirkwrites-tsoop.blogspot.com .