Interviewing Carolyn Watson Dubisch and An Introduction of Her Book “Andy and the Mask of the Dead”
Interviewing Carolyn Watson Dubisch
Today, we have the pleasure to interview Carolyn Watson Dubisch, author of “Andy and the Mask of the Dead.” Carolyn is the author and illustrator of thirteen children’s books. Her first book, Andy and the Flying Toaster Tangerine was released in November of 2001. She has written and illustrated thirteen children’s books three of them are books about Andy from the same series. She has also illustrated five children’s books by other authors and numerous ESL textbooks for children. She creates award-winning comics for kids and young adults. Her webcomic series “The Dragon in The Closet” is currently running on the Comics Fury site and updates each Saturday. She is also a sculptor and mask maker and has created props and costumes for film, TV, and theater productions around the world.
Originally from New York, Carolyn has been haunting the Mexican Pacific coast these days where she lives with her husband, Mike, her youngest daughter, Naomi, an old dog, and four Mexican street cats. She is thrilled to share with young children a story about Day of the Dead.
Below is our interview, and let’s get to know more about her.
What is this book about?
Andy’s off to a costume party. As he waits by the car a mysterious girl with a skeleton mask appears with a special gift that opens his eyes to the phantasmic world of The Day of The Dead. A children’s picture book told in verse for ages 0 to 5.
What motivated you to write this book?
I was inspired by the local traditions and celebrations of “Dia de los Muertos” or “Day of the Dead” as it’s practiced here in our adopted city of Mazatlán, Mexico. The beautiful altars in the cemetery, the parades and decorations are truly spectacular. I put information about the holiday in the back of the book to help children understand how it’s different from Halloween even though it falls a day later on the calendar.
Where did you get your information or ideas for your books?
Much of my information was from firsthand experience. When I first moved here to Mexico I worked with some students at a local secondary school and painted a mural. They were so thrilled to work on this project that they invited me back as a judge for their school altar contest on Dia de los Muertos. As a judge I needed to learn the history and traditions related to the Day of the Dead holiday. The teachers and students were wonderful to work with.
What is your favorite part of the book? Why?
My favorite part of this book is the double-page spread in the middle where Andy is joining the party of ghosts as he walks down the street. Visually, the ghosts flying around Andy as he walks down the street is probably the most dynamic and engaging illustration in the book.
How long did it take to write this book?
Writing children’s books usually only takes me a few days as picture books tend to have a very low word count. Illustrating my books takes several months, however. This book was no exception, it took about four months to complete all the art and design that went into it.
How did your book get published? Why did you choose to publish your book in this way?
My book was published by Abigail Books, a small publisher that used to be based in Southern California, but has recently relocated to North Carolina. They have published my last seven books and will be publishing my next book as well.
Is there anything you would like to share in the interview?
This particular book I dedicated to the memory of my father, Rev. James Watson. He was always very supportive of my career as a writer and illustrator and he loved to spend time in Mexico and in particular Guadalajara.
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