Chris Sarracini has been working in the comic book and film industries for over 15 years. In addition to writing for a number of successful comic book favorites including TRANSFORMERS, STREET FIGHTER and DARK MINDS, his own creations include FATE OF THE BLADE and CASA NOSTRA. As a screenwriter, he has worked with Universal Pictures, Disney and Nasser Entertainment. His most recent publication is the children's picture book WHERE WISHES GROW...
Chris lives with his family in Toronto where he continues to create and write.
Website Address: www.chrissarracini.com
Twitter Address: www.twitter.com/chris_sarracini
Thanks for this interview, Chris. I’ve always wanted to write children’s books. When did you determine that writing for children was for you?
I have been writing for the comic book and movie industries for several years and, throughout that time, I always found myself wanting to write a children’s book. I had several ideas in mind I kept coming back to that I thought were really special. Ideas that I felt could have a strong impact on younger and older readers alike. “Where Wishes Grow…” is my first children’s book and working to bring the book to life with Pauline Aksay, the book’s illustrator, was a very fun and cathartic experience (especially considering the story we told).
What was the inspiration behind your children’s book, “Where Wishes Grow…”?
I wanted to write a book that felt timeless. I wanted to tell a story that would have a powerful emotional impact not just on the kids enjoying the book but also on the parents or grandparents who might be reading it with them. “Where Wishes Grow…” focuses on the unbreakable bond of love between a young girl (Maggie), her mother and her grandmother. Maggie’s grandmother is bedridden and Maggie has some wishes she desperately wants to come true; wishes that would help her grandmother enjoy the vibrant life she once had. And so, Maggie’s mom comes up with a plan to help those wishes to grow. I wanted the story to remind readers, young and old, just how powerful the bonds of family are and how important it is to cherish the shared memories between generations because time with family is precious.
How do you get into the mind of a child to create a fun reading experience? Are you around kids? Are you a kid at heart?
I think I am a kid at heart! Working on certain comic book projects (like “Transformers” and “Street Fighter”—two of my childhood favorite franchises) has definitely helped me hone my youthful sensibilities when writing. Working as a high school English teacher also keeps me feeling young as I have to always keep my finger on the pulse of what my students are feeling and what they think is trending. But most of all, my two-year-old daughter reminds me everyday of the innocence and wonder of seeing things and experiencing things for the first time.
What was your favorite book as a child?
So difficult to choose! Some of my favorites included “The Fantastic Mr. Fox”, “James and the Giant Peach” and “The Giving Tree”.
What kind of advice would you give writers who would like to write children’s books?
Try and bring rhythm to your sentences. Vivid description is important, but I think that when it comes to children’s books, the musicality of the language might be even more important.
What are your goals for the future? More children’s books?
I continue to write graphic novels, comic books and movie scripts. I would love to publish some more children’s books in the near future and am in talks with some illustrators I would love to collaborate with. Stay tuned!
About the Book:
Where Wishes Grow… is the story of eight-year-old Maggie, a pensive and courageous dreamer, whose big heart starts to break when her grandmother becomes bedridden and sick with no recovery in sight. Fortunately Maggie has some wishes in mind to breathe life into Nana and is about to learn the secret for making them come true.
Watching Nana’s health fail has been difficult for Maggie and so now much of her time is spent dreaming up wishes for ways she can help her. Maggie conjures up three wishes for Nana she desperately wants to come true: for Nana to see again to enjoy her favorite beautiful things, for her to walk again to visit her favorite places, and for her to speak again so that she and Maggie can sing their favorite songs. The problem is, with wishes this important, Maggie wants to be sure she can realize them; wishing upon stars that may be long dead or relying on birthday candle hoopla just won’t cut it. Thankfully, Maggie’s mother knows the secret for turning wishes into reality…you’ve got to write each wish down and then go plant each one in just the right place. And, as Maggie discovers, retelling the story of how each wish was planted turns out to be the most magical part.