I had the great pleasure of meeting Heidi at BEA this past spring and after I met her, I was so excited by her enthusiasm for the book and for the subject matter. She told us all about it and handed out tattoo's that said "Tick Tock" on them. I knew as I talked to her that my boyfriends little sister would love this book. She is absolutely obsessed with pirates and when we went on our cruise a few summer's ago, she sang the Pirate's of the Caribbean song hoping that Pirate's would descend on our ship.
Haven't heard of Hook's Revenge? Beside the fact that you should have heard of it already, you can find out more below! I had the pleasure of interviewing Heidi and you can read more about her inspiration and how she developed Jocelyn's Story.
feisty daughter hits the high seas to avenge her father's death at the
jaws of the Neverland crocodile in Heidi Schulz's spirited middle-grade
Twelve-year-old Jocelyn dreams of becoming every
bit as daring as her infamous father, Captain James Hook. Her
grandfather, on the other hand, intends to see her starched and pressed
into a fine society lady. When she's sent to Miss Eliza
Crumb-Biddlecomb's Finishing School for Young Ladies, Jocelyn's hopes of
following in her father's fearsome footsteps are lost in a heap of
dance lessons, white gloves, and way too much pink.
Jocelyn receives a letter from her father challenging her to avenge his
untimely demise at the jaws of the Neverland crocodile, she doesn't
hesitate-here at last is the adventure she has been waiting for. But
Jocelyn finds that being a pirate is a bit more difficult than she'd
bargained for. As if attempting to defeat the Neverland's most fearsome
beast isn't enough to deal with, she's tasked with captaining a crew of
woefully untrained pirates, outwitting cannibals wild for English
cuisine, and rescuing her best friend from a certain pack of lost
children, not to mention that pesky Peter Pan who keeps barging in
The crocodile's clock is always ticking in Heidi
Schulz's debut novel, a story told by an irascible narrator who is both
dazzlingly witty and sharp as a sword. Will Jocelyn find the courage to
beat the incessant monster before time runs out?
What was the inspiration for Hook’s Revenge?
have always loved Peter Pan. I remember watching the Disney movie as a
kid and wishing that I could go to Neverland and that I could have a
fairy of my own. It wasn't until I was a young adult, however, that I
finally found my way to J.M. Barrie's original Peter and Wendy. It was completely charming.
handful of years later, after my husband and I had a daughter, I chose
it as the first longer-than-a-sitting book to read to her. If I was
charmed, she was bewitched. She was not quite three years old, but that
story took hold of her little imagination and held it tight. Peter Pan
became both her imaginary friend and alter-ego for the next few years.
We spent many hours in our own version of Neverland fighting "those
nasty pirates” together.
One day, when she was about five, I came
down with the flu. All I wanted to do was sleep, but I couldn't leave
her to her own devices. So I made myself a little nest on the couch, put
out some Goldfish crackers and juice boxes, and loaded a couple DVDs in
the player: Hook and the live action 2003 Peter Pan.
she watched, I drifted in and out of sleep, half-listening to the
movies. When they ended I woke with a question in my head: What if Captain Hook had had a daughter?
had a clear picture of Jocelyn—wild hair, mud on her hem, and wearing
the too-large, iconic red jacket of Captain Hook. The girl pretty much
demanded I tell her story.
What was your writing process like? Did you ever get writer’s block?
meandered my way through most of a first draft, working in fits and
starts, mainly for my own entertainment. I knew that Jocelyn would be
attempting to avenge her father on the Neverland's crocodile, and I knew
how I wanted the story to end, but that was about it. The rest, I made
up as I went along.
before completing the draft, my family and I decided to move 3000
miles, back home to Oregon, in order to spend time with my ill
father-in-law. Once we were settled I decided to begin homeschooling my
daughter. Hook's Revenge began to gather dust.
took me another five years before I felt I was ready to finish
Jocelyn's story, and work with a serious eye toward publication.
certainly had difficult days writing, both with this book and on other
projects, but I'm not sure I'd call that writer's block...maybe writer's
crimp. If I keep at it, it will eventual straighten out.
Do you have any quirky habits or rituals you do when you write?
I live in Oregon, where it rains at least nine months out of the year. You would think I might tire of it, right?
I write, I almost always wear headphones so I can listen to rain
sounds, complete with thunder and heavy winds—even when it is actually
raining outside! I layer the sounds over any music I am listening to. It
helps me block out any outside distractions and really focus.
Are there any characters you would have liked to write more about, but didn’t have the chance?
was really intrigued with one of Jocelyn's pirate crew members, Dirty
Bob. I felt like there was more to his story than I was able to tell in Hook's Revenge.
Lucky for me there will be a sequel...
About the Author:
Heidi Schulz is a writer,
reader, and giraffe suspicioner. Her debut novel for middle grade
readers, HOOK’S REVENGE, will be published by Disney•Hyperion on
September 16, 2014. A sequel, HOOK'S REVENGE: THE PIRATE CODE, will
follow in fall of 2015. Bloomsbury Kids will publish her picture book
debut, GIRAFFES RUIN EVERYTHING, in 2016. She lives in Oregon with her
husband, their teen daughter, a terrible little dog, and five irascible
Heidi is represented by Brooks Sherman of The Bent Agency.