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Thursday, May 8, 2014

Giveaway & Interview with Christopher Healy, author of The Hero's Guide to Being an Outlaw!

I've been a part of the Hero's Guide caravan ever since the first book in the series rolled out on its very first adventure, and I've been pleased to welcome its creator, Christopher Healy, to the blog to pick his brain about each successive quest (sometimes even via vlog!); this year, in honor of the final book's release, I'm featuring The Hero's Guide to Being an Outlaw not once but twice! You've already been introduced to one of the book's characters, Val Jeanval (I know!), when I kicked off the tour during Fairy Tale Fortnight. But the ole caravan is taking a circuitous route this year, and is swinging back by today so that Chris could stop in and let us pick his brain once more!
Check it out!

If you could pop one of your characters into any iconic movie scene, who would you send where, and why? Would they interact/change anything, or just be a fly on the wall?
I’d love to recast Star Wars with my characters: Liam is Luke, Gustav is Han Solo with Mr. Troll in the Chewbacca role. Ella is Princess Leia. Frederic and Duncan are R2-D2 and C-3PO. But let’s see… You asked about a specific scene. I’d love to see Duncan in the Endor sequences of Return of the Jedi; I’d like to see what he names all the Ewoks.

What is your favorite magical object from any fairy tale? What makes it so special? 
Well, the Wizard of Oz is not technically a fairy tale, but I’d like to say the Golden Cap that calls the flying monkeys. For ages, I had no idea this cap was even part of the story until I read the original book by L. Frank Baum. The Golden Cap changes everything, because it means the witch doesn’t just have an army of hybrid creatures at her disposal. Anyone who wears the cap can call the monkeys. And the monkeys can only be called three times. I like when there are rules and limitations put on magic items. Plus, you have to say the most awesome magic words ever to call the monkeys: “Ep-pe, Pep-pe, Kak-ke! Hil-lo, Hol-lo, Hel-lo! Ziz-zy, Zuz-zy, zik!”

Make a case for your favorite lesser-known tale or retelling: which story should we all read, right this instant? 
“Great Claus and Little Claus” by Hans Christian Andersen. It’s hard to summarize the plot because the entire things is so darn weird, but it’s basically about this big, mean, dumb guy who keeps being trying to outdo this little, slightly-less-mean, smart guy—and the little guy repeatedly gets revenge on him in the most bizarre and gruesome ways. It’s dark (duh, it’s Andersen), but a lot of it is dark humor. Very dark humor.

This or That?
Trial by fire or trial by water? 
Depends on the time of year. In winter, a trial by the fireside would be warm and cozy. But in summer weather, you can’t beat the beauty of a nice seaside trial. Or is that not what you meant?

Flying carpet or flying broom? 
There’s no way the carpet isn’t far more comfortable.

Talking animals or talking inanimate objects? 
Animals. The idea that inanimate objects might be alive makes me way too paranoid about things I’ve said and done when I assumed I was alone in my house.

Mermaid or unicorn? 
So hard to choose. Can I just go with the mythological hippocampus?
YES. You win.

Would You Rather?
Follow a will-o’-the-wisp or face a troll?
Follow the wisp! I hear they might lead you to treasure. Either that or certain doom. But I’m betting it’s treasure.

Sleep for one thousand years (Sleeping Beauty) or tell stories for 1001 Nights (Scheherazade)?
Tell stories every night? I’ve got two kids. Been there, done that. And for more like 4001 nights.

Follow a trail of breadcrumbs or try to climb a hair rope?
Follow the breadcrumbs! They may lead to food.

Go about in the emperor's "new clothes" (ie nothing) or wear a smelly, crusty donkeyskin for the rest of your life? 
You know what always bugged me about the Emperor’s New Clothes? You can still FEEL stuff when it’s invisible. The emperor should have been able to use several of his other senses to realize there was nothing on his body. He genuinely was an idiot. I can’t be associated with that guy in any way, so… donkeyskin.

Word Association - Say the first word that pops into your head when we tell you….
Magic Olivia Newton-John [It takes Misty a minute to stop laughing after this, before she's able to move on to the next question...]
Hair Doctor
Knight Dark
Orange Vitamin C
Trees Ents
Frog Kermit
Gold Finger
Food Breadcrumbs
...My subconscious is apparently deeply rooted in pop culture.

In addition to offering up a complete set of the Hero's Guide books for Fairy Tale Fortnight, the awesome people at Walden Pond Press are giving you a 2nd chance to get your hands on The Hero's Guide to Being an Outlaw — and it's signed! Open to US and CAN, ends April 15th at midnight. Fill out the Rafflecopter to enter.
Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Hero's Guide to Being an Outlaw by Christopher Healy
Get It | Add It
Middle Grade Adventure/Retelling, 320 pages Published April 29th 2014 by Walden Pond Press
The League of Princes returns in the hilariously epic conclusion to the hit series that began with Christopher Healy's The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom, which the Los Angeles Times called "one of the more clever, hilariously successful incarnations of the current literary rage to rip apart and rewrite fairy tales." Prince Liam. Prince Frederic. Prince Duncan. Prince Gustav. You think you know those guys pretty well by now, don't you? Well, think again. Posters plastered across the thirteen kingdoms are saying that Briar Rose has been murdered—and the four Princes Charming are the prime suspects. Now they're on the run in a desperate attempt to clear their names. Along the way, however, they discover that Briar's murder is just one part of a nefarious plot to take control of all thirteen kingdoms—a plot that will lead to the doorstep of an eerily familiar fortress for a final showdown with an eerily familiar enemy.
Christopher Healy is the author of the Hero's Guide trilogy: The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom, The Hero's Guide to Storming the Castle, and coming in spring 2014, The Hero's Guide to Being an Outlaw. The series is a comedic adventure that follows the exploits of four different Prince Charmings in the aftermath of their not-quite-accurate fairy-tale fame. It is published on May 1st, 2012, by Walden Pond Press, an imprint of HarperCollins. A film version is currently in development at Fox Animation/Blue Sky Studios. Chris lives in New Jersey with his wife, two children, and a dog named Duncan. Visit him at ChristopherHealy.com. And learn more about the Hero's Guide universe at OfficialHerosGuide.com.

Make sure to check out these other fabulous stops on the Hero's Guide to Being an Outlaw tour!
5/1 - The Book Rat - Been there, done that, got the T-shirt
5/5 – Icey Books
5/8 - The Book Rat - YOU ARE HERE!
5/16 - KidLit Frenzy
5/19 - Mundie Kids
5/23 - Novel Novice
5/26 - Mundie Kids
5/28 - Small Review


  1. Great interview! (I particularly like the mythical hippopotamus. It doesn't seem like a real animal sometimes.) I'm looking forward to reading the end of this great series!

  2. LOL! Wonderful interview. Christopher Healy is hilarious, and this just reminded me I'm way behind on this series.

  3. I got to meet Chris last year when he was a bbgb tales for kids in Richmond, Virginia so I know what a great time you had doing the interview. I got to read a digital ARC of THGT Being an Outlaw so I've actually read the entire series but I (really, really) need a signed copy to complete my collection. For a real treat you should listen to the books narrated by Bronson Pinchot.

  4. The link for the excerpt didn't work but I found it at http://www.thebookrat.com/2014/05/a-reading-from-heros-guide-to-being.html

    1. Thanks for the heads up! I've fixed it. For some reason, it was trying to list it as published in April, when it went up in May. No idea why, that was really weird.

  5. My kids and I are trying to make the story last even though we can't stand to stop reading every night! I think we will reread the series this summer. Mr. Healy - I hope you have more ideas for books, my kids love your work (and Mr. Harris' illustrations)!

  6. Fun, this author is definitely into pop culture and fairy tales, I want to read this book so badly now.

  7. Really enjoyed reading this! I just started reading some of the Oz books recently and loved Golden Cap as well.

  8. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  9. I never expect writers, even humor writers, to be wittastically funny in real life. Thanks, Christopher Healy, for exceeding my expectations. This was fantastic!!

  10. I want to read the 3rd book bc Ive read the first two and want to know what happens next!!! XD
    Mary G Loki

  11. I loved the first book, and the many laughs it gave me! I can't wait to see what other adventures this group has!


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