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Monday, December 10, 2012

Author Interview: Platte F. Clark, author of Bad Unicorn

I'm so excited to have author Platte F. Clark stopping by today for a super fun interview! Platte is the author of Bad Unicorn, the first book in a new MG trilogy coming out next spring from Simon & Schuster...

In this start to a hilarious middle-grade fantasy trilogy, Max Spencer discovers that a killer unicorn is hunting him.
It wasn't Max Spencer's idea to fight robots, lead an army, or save the world—it just so happens that he's the only living person who can read the most fantastical book ever written: The Codex of Infinite Knowability. The Codex is no ordinary book, and among other things, it describes a unicorn named Princess the Destroyer.
Princess the Destroyer is no ordinary unicorn. She loves nothing more than hunting down, killing, and eating other creatures. After all, what's the point of having a sharp horn on your forehead if you don't use it for destructive purposes? And right now Princess has a very definite purpose: Find Max and retrieve the lost Codex for an evil sorcerer and his mysterious master. If she can do that, she's been promised an all-the-humans-you-can-eat buffet in Texas.
Stuck in another world and with a carnivorous unicorn on his trail, Max must find the courage to save himself, his friends, and, oh yeah...the entire human race.

Coming 4/16/13
Purchase: Amazon / B&N

WS:  What three words best describe BAD UNICORN?
PC: Don’t pet that!

WS: In just one sentence convince readers why they must read BAD UNICORN.
PC: In an over zealousness towards zombies in general, I think we’ve completely ignored the threat of carnivorous unicorns and their propensity to eat slow, out of shape humans.

WS:  With a title like BAD UNICORN I have to ask, where the heck did the idea/inspiration behind this story come from?
PC: I’m starting to get this question a lot -- especially as a doctor is peering into my eyeball with a bright light. But I think the short answer is I enjoyed the idea of taking something as archetypal as a unicorn and turning it completely on its head. In fact, going against type is a bit of a catalyst for a lot of the things in the book: Max (the hero) is an out of shape gamer kid; Dirk (who sees everything in a fantasy context) is generally more right than wrong; Sarah is both the smartest AND toughest of the kids; and the special magical weapon they have does little but spout unhelpful motivational advice. So as a fan of writers like Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams, that kind of zaniness just naturally crept into my writing.

WS:  Grab a copy of BAD UNICORN and answer the following:
Favorite chapter?
PC: I’ll take the chapter near the end called “Sudden Death” because it’s the climax of the story and we get to see how all the characters act when the stakes are at their highest.
Favorite page?
PC: The one where Max tries his hand at a new spell and it doesn’t go well for one of the poor frobbit spectators.
Favorite character?
PC: My favorite character to write is Dirk. He just refuses to see the world as others think he should. Dirk has this abounding faith in his friends and his own unique take on things, and somehow he gets mixed up with some of the craziest aspects of the adventure.
Flip to a random page and give us a 1-2 sentence teaser.
PC: “His skin exploded into goose bumps as he imagined spider fangs sinking into him, and the sensation of hairy legs scurrying over his bare flesh. Horrors were coming for Max in the darkness, and he was powerless to stop them.”

WS: Can you give us any tidbits or details about what's to come in future books in this trilogy?
PC: Sure. In the second book Max and his friends find themselves mixed up with a bunch of new characters, include a rogue pair of fire kittens. And let’s just say you may never look at rainbows quite the same.

WS:  Do you have any advice for readers who may come face to face with their own carnivorous unicorn? Do these evil creatures have any weaknesses?
PC: I recommend you have an exact duplicate of yourself made entirely out of tofu. Yes, you may have to buy things like an extra movie ticket when you go out, endure being largely ostracized in social settings, and perhaps lose all your friends and loved ones, but when the unicorn springs you’ll have the last laugh.

WS:  If you could visit one made-up world from any book or movie or tv show, which would you choose? What would you do there?
PC: I would totally go to The Shire in Tolkien’s Middle-earth. Since I’m 6’2” I would rule over the hobbits like a giant. Plus, I suspect the food’s quite good.   

WS: Random Favorites...
Midnight snack?
PC: Coca-Cola bottled in Mexico. Seriously, once you try it you’ll be hooked.
Middle-Grade appropriate curse word or expletive?
PC: Fudge! As delivered in the movie “A Christmas Story.” 
Middle-grade hero and heroine?
PC: Bilbo Baggins and Hermione Granger. 
PC: Superman. He’s the only hero who doesn’t wear a mask and fought Muhammad Ali.
Mythical being or person?
PC: I loved all the Conan books and comics growing up, and he’ll always have a soft spot in my heart. But wow, totally not kid appropriate.

WS: Fill in the blanks:
I'm really awesome at  filling in blanks.
I'm embarrassed to admit that  if I tried to dance Gangnam Style I’d probably hurt myself.
The last awesome book I read was  Hunger Games. I equate “awesome” with “couldn’t put it down.”

WS: If you were to create and bake a cupcake inspired by BAD UNICORN what would it look and taste like and what would you call it?
PC:  Fortunately this is something I’ve already thought a lot about. You start with red velvet cake injected with a strawberry filling and top it off with a pink-colored cream cheese frosting. Then sculpt a gummy bear impaling horn out of almond paste. Call the cupcake “Princess’s Crimson Swirl of Death” and serve at birthday parties or funerals.

Thank you so much Platte for answering my questions and giving us all chance to get to know you and your book better! And that cupcake sounds AH-MAZING! Readers, be on the look-out for the funny Bad Unicorn next year!!

Platte F. Clark:
Platte F. Clark shares his first name with the midwestern Platte River, which he’s been told means “wide and shallow.” He nonetheless graduated cum laude with a BS in Philosophy and an MS in English, and lives with his wife and seven children in American Fork, Utah

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