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Interview with Timothy Power, author of 'The Boy Who Howled'

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Timothy Power has written THE BOY WHO HOWLED, a middle-grade novel recommended for ages 8 and above. It is a humorous, contemporary story dealing with family and fitting in.

Tell us about your latest book.

In THE BOY WHO HOWLED, a little boy named Callum is accidentally left in the woods after a family camping trip. (His parents are extremely upset by it.) He is adopted by a pack of Timber wolves and raised by the rules of the Wild, but when he grows large enough to threaten the Alpha male, the pack kicks him out and he must travel to the city in search of his true family. It is a fantastical, funny, and occasionally touching tale. Not for the serious-minded! The book was published by Bloomsbury USA in hardback in 2010 and came out in paperback in 2013.

Henry: Not for the serious-minded? I’m your man! Kind of like a mash-up of Home Alone and The Grey?

What do you hope readers will get from reading that book?

I hope readers enjoy many laughs and experience some excitement and suspense as Callum, the “wolf boy,” faces unexpected challenges along the way to rediscovering his human pack in THE BOY WHO HOWLED.

Henry: It is also to be hoped that parents will learn to be more careful when taking their kids camping. Always do a head count before leaving. Always.

What aspect of writing do you find most challenging?

For me, writing is mainly problem solving, trying to make sense of a jumble of words by setting them in the proper order without using too many or too few. It is most challenging when the proper order is not readily apparent, which happens all too often!

Henry: I’m reminded of the scene in Amadeus when the Emperor critizes Mozart’s piece as having “too many notes”.

What is a powerful lesson you've learned from being a writer?

The most powerful lesson I’ve learned from being a writer is patience. For me, nothing good comes from rushing to make sentences, paragraphs, and chapters. Perhaps I am a little dense, for I have to sit with them awhile, long enough for light to dawn and the meaning to come through.

What has been a memorable experience that you never would have had if you had not been a writer?

Receiving fan letters from young (and old!) readers who have come across THE BOY WHO HOWLED in libraries around the world has been my most memorable experience as a published author.

Henry: What about the paparazzi crashing your nights on the town?

What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

My advice to aspiring authors would be to remember that the writing process—and the publishing one—is more akin to a marathon than a sprint. You mustn’t expend too much energy at the start, because the course is long.

Henry: So true. For more on this, read Einstein’s theory on time dilation.

Read the rest of this interview at Henry's blog on KidLit, Fantasy & Science Fiction.

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