Mark Wilson answers some questions about his latest book A New Prayer for the Animals. Thanks to Mark, Windy Hollow Books, and Reading Time reviewer Julie Murphy for this interview.
Mark Wilson’s Prayer for the Animals was published by Hachette in 2005. A New Prayer for the Animals is published by Windy Hollow Books. What prompted you to make a “sequel” through a different publisher?
I love working with everyone at Windy Hollow Books and have been with them since they published my book The Little Wooden Horse ten years ago. I already had two books under contract with Hachette last year, and after a very nice lunch with Fil, Cristina and Will in Richmond one day, Cristina called me to say Windy Hollow would like to publish A New Prayer for the Animals.
Do you think of this as a sequel?
Yes and no. The first Prayer was actually a song, then we shortened the lyrics into a free form poem. The new book with Windy Hollow is a collection of short cameos of each endangered creature. I’m trying to let readers into a little snippet of each creature’s life, to show how they are just trying to survive.
How did you choose which animals to include?
There are so many critically endangered species that I could do twenty books and still only scratch the surface! So I started with the ‘most extremely endangered’ ones.
Can you tell us a little more about how the student’s wonderful drawings came to be included in the book?
I run a three-day writer’s camp every two years with the Merrijig MARC students and Darcy Smith, their teacher/librarian. The students finished the last day of last year’s camp by drawing their favourite endangered creatures. I promised them I would put their drawings in my new book. I always keep my promises. Pretty cute drawings too!
Read Julie Murphy’s review of A New Prayer for the Animals here