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Friday, January 15, 2016

Interview: Erin Soderberg, author of Catnapped! (Puppy Pirates 3)

I'm so thrilled to have Erin Soderberg here today to chat about the latest book in her adorable Puppy Pirates series...

(Puppy Pirates 3)
by Erin Soderberg
Jan. 26, 2016
Random House
Ahoy, mateys! Set sail for fun and adventure on a pirate ship full of puppies.
Fighting like cats and dogs? Exactly! The puppy pirates played a prank on the kitten pirates, and meow! The kittens sure are mad. Can the pups escape the kittens’ claws? It’s dog vs. cat, and may the best pirates win.

Two perennial kid favorites—dogs and pirates—combine in the new chapter book series perfect for fans of Rainbow Magic, Jake and the Neverland Pirates, and Paw Patrol.

Other books in the series
(click cover)

Wally and his Puppy Pirate pals have found themselves in a bit of furry trouble. After playing a prank on the Kitten Pirates, the kitties retaliate by catnapping some of the puppies. It’s Puppy Pirate versus Kitten Pirate in this hi jinx filled book!

Combining two awesome things- pirates and cute animals- Erin Soderberg’s Puppy Pirates is a rollicking, super fun series that young readers will find absolutely amusing and addicting! Catnapped is full of silly humor, endearing characters, and exciting adventure. With an easy-to-follow story, engaging storytelling, and eye-catching illustrations, this book is perfect for both independent reading and read-aloud story time.

Readers of all ages will be charmed by Wally and his pals, delighted by the wild world of pirates, and eager to climb aboard both the Salty Bone and this series!

Thanks so much for having me!

What three words best describe the Puppy Pirates series? 

Fun, adventure-filled, and furry.

Can you give us your best one sentence pitch to convince readers, especially reluctant readers, to give the Puppy Pirates Series a try?

Puppy Pirates is an exciting series about a pack of puppies…that are also hilarious, adventurous, swashbuckling pirates. The series name says it all! And those covers – adorable!

Grab a copy of Puppy Pirates: Catnapped and answer the following:
-favorite chapter? 
Chapter Six – The Digging Room. The idea for this chapter came from my daughter, who suggested the kitten ship have a giant litter box on board…when the dogs stumble upon it, they think it’s a “digging room” and start digging holes in the sand!

-favorite illustration? 
I absolutely love the very last illustration in the book – it’s a sweet shot of best mates Wally and Henry sitting together, gazing off into the sunset. It’s a perfect image of my pup and his boy.

-favorite place/setting? 
I love the kitten ship, the Nine Lives! It was fun to make up another pirate ship for the pups to explore.

-flip to a random page and give us a 1-2 sentences teaser. 
“I am Lucinda the Loud, the captain of the kitten pirates.” The cat’s fierce green eyes focused on Henry. “And you…are the funniest-looking dog I have ever seen.” Wally stepped forward and said, “Henry’s a boy, ma’am. A human.” “Ah, yes!” shouted Lucinda the Loud. “A human-dog. Human-dog. Hu-dog. For short, I shall call it a hog.”

Can you tell us a bit about a few of your favorite characters in the Puppy Pirate series? What makes them special and fun to write? 

I’ve always loved to write about naughty and/or mischievous characters (because I was always a really good kid who longed to have the guts to get in trouble more) – so I love writing scenes with the pug twins, Piggly and Puggly. They have the best lines, and they always play fun pranks on the rest of the crew. I also love Wally, the star of the series, because his character is based on my own pup (a goldendoodle named Wally).

If you were a part of the Salty Bone crew, what would your pirate name be? 


What’s next for Wally and his Puppy Pirate pals? 

My favorite two books in the entire series are coming up next. First up is Sea Sick – in this story, Captain Red Beard comes down with the sneezies and the stomach flea and can’t plan his annual Party Like a Pirate Day celebration. I loved making tough-talking Captain Red Beard a big sick-day whiner. Then the pups get their first Super Special adventure, where they meet two new pups on a spooky ship. That book is filled with tons of ghostly action and two silly dogs called The Weirdos (they have a theme song!).

The Puppy Pirates series is so good at engaging young readers...what’s your secret, lol?! In your opinion, what elements do early middle-grade/chapter books need in order to captivate and entertain their audience? 

Wow, thanks – so glad to hear you think it’s engaging! I love writing books for this age level for a couple reasons – one, my own kids are in 2nd, 2nd, and 4th grade, so they get to help me brainstorm, write, and edit these books! I love getting my kids involved in the process. Also, I think stories for this age level are most appreciated and enjoyed when they’re filled with humor, silliness, and fun characters. I love that I don’t have to be serious with these stories and get to make up silly and ridiculous things. Writing them is so much fun, and I hope that shows on the page.

Fill in the blanks:
I’m really awesome at Writing bad jokes and dog puns.

I’m really embarrassed to admit That cats really do kind of creep me out.

The last great book I read was Crenshaw! Even though it’s about a giant cat…

If you were to create and bake a cupcake inspired by Puppy Pirates: Catnapped, what would it look and taste like, and what would you call it? 

Oh, boy, there are so many ways you could go with this…and some could be really gross and inappropriate. How about something like Meaty Mudslide or Steak Surprise? They would be made of beef (not chocolate, since it’s bad for pups) and the design would be inspired by a bag of steaks that create some big problems for the puppy pirates in this story.

Thank you so much for stopping by, Erin!

Erin Soderberg lives in Minneapolis with her husband, three adventure-loving kids, and a mischievous goldendoodle named Wally. Before becoming an author, she was a children’s book editor and a cookie inventor, and she also worked for Nickelodeon. She has written many books for young readers, including the Quirks series. Visit her online at

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