Interview: Pat Chapman talks about The Tallest Truck Gets Stuck
Pat Chapman is the author of more than a dozen books, including The Best Mum in the World, and The Best Dad in the World (winner of a 2017 Storyline Award). Prior to that, she worked with Tauranga artist Richard Hoit to create ‘Tis the Month Before Christmas, the True Story of Santa. She talks to NZ Booklovers about her latest book, The Tallest Truck Gets Stuck.
In your last interview, you gave NZ Booklovers the heads up about The Tallest Truck Gets Stuck, and we are delighted to see your latest picture book now in print.
Can you tell us a little about your new book?
The Tallest Truck Gets Stuck is aimed at the young reader with a passion for machines, focused on the life of forklift trucks in a bulk warehouse. This is an environment I know well, and I wanted to share the diversity of machines and their capabilities, as well as open a slightly different world to children.
Can you share the process of how you worked with illustrator Richard Holt?
This is the second book Richard Hoit and I have done together (the first was ’Tis the Month Before Christmas, the ‘true’ story of Santa). I write a first draft of the story, and then Rich and I discuss the elements that will have best visual impact and which he will be keen to draw. I then complete the text while he works up character studies. After that, he will do pencil roughs of the pages, and we will work on refining those to get the most out of the story and the environment it takes place in. Then it’s left to him to create the full colour images and bring the story to life.
What do you hope children will take from the book when they read it?
From this particular story, I hope they will see how little people can work together to help bigger people out of a sticky situation. It’s all about cooperation, smart thinking and having a go.
What did you enjoy the most about creating this book?
Definitely the characters. They had been mulling around in my head for a couple of years and some of them are based on forklifts I have at work and use every day, and they are each very different.
What is the favourite book you have read so far this year and why?
I read Diary of a Bookseller by Shaun Blythell over Christmas, and absolutely loved it. It’s funny and fascinating in equal measure and definitely a book I will reread (which is unusual for me, as there are so many books I want to read that I seldom read the same one twice).
What’s next on the agenda for you?
I am currently working on the sequel to The Tallest Truck Gets Stuck, which will be called Bendy Wendy and the Firetruck, about what happens when fire breaks out in the warehouse. It’s about bravery and what to do in an emergency. And hey, it has a firetruck in it, so what more needs to be said? It’s coming out later in 2018. Publisher: Upstart Press RRP: $19.99