Excuse the Pun, But for This Guy, the Sky Is the Limit–Interview With Author Sky Danley + Giveaway

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Today, I’m thrilled to share a Q&A session with children’s author Sky Danley. His fascinating background ranges from aeronautical engineering to a commission with the US Air Force to flying commercially for TWA to the Hollywood film industry! Danley, these days, is the author of two award-winning picture books, but he isn’t stopping there. To learn about his work, and to find out how you can win one of his books and a plushie moose that the kids will adore, read on.

Q. Hello, and thanks for joining us. You’ve got an impressive background in science as well as in visual storytelling. Can you give us a snapshot of your career and how it led you to this point–where you decided to write books for kids?

A. Sure, I’d love to. Many years ago, while working as a young engineer on a contract with NASA, I was trained to use a computer to model jet airflow. Since then, I’ve continued to play with computer modeling, which led to my learning 3-D character modeling at the Gnomon School of Visual Effects in Hollywood, which led to developing my own characters.

Additionally, I have two boys, and while they were young, I enjoyed reading them the entire catalogue of Bill Peet’s picture books, which are very strong in both story arcs and character development. Bill Peet, by the way, was a story man at the original Walt Disney Studios, probably the most talented of all Disney’s story men, with whom I studied while a film student at Harvard. Interestingly, Walt ended up firing Bill for writing children’s books outside of the studio.

Q. What great stories. Thanks for sharing. So, what was the inspiration for this particular book?

A. In my book, My Friend Moose’r McDan, an aggressive Hunter Bear meets a gentle Moose, asking to be friends, and the Bear decides to abandon his aggression and instead accept friendship with the moose. The friendship turns out to be a lot more fun than the aggression.

This book relates to my background in the military. While a young pilot, I once flew an Air Force jet, with a Moose painted on its tail because the jet was based in Maine, to intercept a Russian Bear bomber that was threatening our coast. The Bear Bomber was acting aggressively and we went out to greet it in our “Moose” jet. During the cold war, the Russians were our adversaries, and we would get intelligence briefings about how evil they were, but I always imagined their pilots were a lot like us, that they were just trying to get by, caring for their families just like we cared for ours.

I thought about how insane it all was (they actually called it MAD–Mutual Assured Destruction), and how the world would be better if would could just all become friends. The world is always better when people choose friendship over aggression. This book highlights that message.

Q. Wow, that’s a great story, too! It’s amazing how our experiences can lead to ideas for books, even decades later. How would you describe your books to first time readers?

A. The story arcs in my books are told completely through the illustrations, so that the young reader can completely follow the story visually. The words only support the pictures, a technique which allows the child to learn the words in context.

I also play a lot of visual games in the illustrations. For example, in the Moose’r book, there are 4 ants, 3 birds, and one squirrel in every illustration. It’s a little ‘inside’ game to see if the child can notice this pattern and point out the ants, birds and squirrel on each page. It’s been my experience that children are better at picking up this pattern than adults.

At the story’s end, I also visually transform the “outside woods” into the “child’s room,” like the whole story happened in a child’s imagination. Children have such wonderful imaginations.

Q. What’s been your biggest challenge in regard to the process of writing, publishing, and marketing a book for children? 

A. My biggest challenge is the time I can devote to the book projects. I’m a trained commercial pilot, and aviation is one of my life’s passions, so I still fly part time to keep my nose in it. I also run a film production company, with several projects in the works, so my time is definitely challenged there, too.

I should add that one of my upcoming film projects is an animated cartoon about a moose that overcomes adversity to successfully build a flying machine, in this case a child-like flying bicycle.  This cartoon should be released in early 2020.

Q. How exciting. We will definitely look for that! So, who do you feel is most likely to connect with the topics you write about?

A. For the moose book, I think it’s the parents that are concerned with the amount of aggression that is increasingly occurring everywhere in our society. Children should be allowed to be children, and not have to worry about such things as taking shelter in school.

If the moose book can help reduce this increasing aggression, just a tiny bit, then I feel it’s all been a success. Therefore, those most likely to connect are fellow parents that share these same concerns and hopes. As for the children, I just want them to be entertained, and I think the visually inclined child will be the most likely to connect.

Q. A worthy theme, indeed. Thanks for spending time and sharing your passion with my readers today. We wish you all the best in your present and future projects!

A. My pleasure. Thanks so much for having me.

“…A distinctively original and thoroughly entertaining picture book…“–The Midwest Book Review

GIVEAWAY

Enter for a chance to win a copy of My Friend Moose’r McDan and a plush moose!

Three (3) grand prize winners receive:

  • A copy of My Friend Moose’r McDan
  • A plush moose

How to Enter

  • Fill out the required fields in the form at this link. It may take a moment to load.
  • You can also gain daily bonus entries through the entry form below.
  • See below for giveaway rules.

Giveaway begins December 6, 2019, at 12:01 A.M. MT and ends January 6, 2020, at 11:59 P.M. MT.

Open to legal residents of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia, who are thirteen years of age or older in their state or territory of residence at the time of entry. Void where prohibited by law.

Sky Danley Productions is responsible for prize fulfillment.

Giveaway Rules

  • NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER TO WIN.
  • My Friend Moose’r McDan, by Sky Danley | Awareness Tour giveaway. Sponsored by Sky Danley Productions.
  • Enter between 12:00 AM Mountain Time on December 6, 2019, and 11:59 PM on January 6, 2020.
  • Go to https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/3d5cb282158/ on a computer or wireless device and complete and submit the entry form pursuant to the on-screen instructions.
  • Three (3) grand prize winners receive:
    • A copy of My Friend Moose’r McDan
    • A plush moose
  • Odds of winning will depend upon the total number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.
  • Winners will be selected at random on or about January 8, 2019.
  • Important Notice: You may be charged for visiting the mobile website in accordance with the terms of your service agreement with your carrier.
  • Open to legal residents of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia, who are thirteen years of age or older in their state or territory of residence at time of entry. Void where prohibited by law.
  • The Children’s Book Review is not responsible for prize fulfillment.
  • Prizes courtesy of Sky Danley Productions.

Socials and Links

www.skydanley.com

https://www.FACEBOOK.com/skydanleyproductions/

https://www.INSTAGRAM.com/skydanleyproductions/

https://TWITTER.com/SkyDanley

About the Book

My Friend Moose’r McDan

Written by Sky Danley, Illustrated by Alli Coate

Publisher’s Synopsis: An aggressive hunter bear meets a gentle moose who is looking for a new friend. The moose is so friendly that the bear decides to drop his gun and stop hunting altogether. Instead, the bear learns that it’s more fun to just hang out with a new friend, playing games and enjoying nature. However, after the fall colors change, it’s time for the bear to go back home. The gentle moose is sad because he lost his play friend, so he is again looking for a new one. He invites whoever is reading the book to become his new friend.

Ages 5-6 | Publisher: Sky Danley Productions | October 8, 2019 | ISBN-13: 978-0997345100

Book available for purchase on Amazon

Thanks for following along with us on the My Friend Moose’r McDan awareness tour, sponsored in partnership with Sky Danley Productions and The Children’s Book Review. See below for more tour dates and locations.

My Friend Moose’r McDan Tour Dates

Friday, December 6, 2019
The Children’s Book Review
Tour kick-off and giveaway

Friday, December 6, 2019
Over Coffee Conversations
An interview with Sky Danley

Monday, December 9, 2019
Younger Family Fun
Book review of My Friend Moose’r McDan

Tuesday, December 10, 2019
Word Spelunking
Book review of My Friend Moose’r McDan

Wednesday, December 11, 2019
Barbara Ann Mojica’s Blog
Book review of My Friend Moose’r McDan

Thursday, December 12, 2019
The Children’s Book Review
Book review of My Friend Moose’r McDan

Friday, December 13, 2019
The Fairview Review
Book review of My Friend Moose’r McDan

Tuesday, December 17, 2019
icefairy’s Treasure Chest
Book review of My Friend Moose’r McDan

Thursday, December 19, 2019
Rosco’s Reading Room
An interview with Sky Danley

Friday, December 20, 2019
Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers
Book review of My Friend Moose’r McDan

Send Sky Danley Productions over the moon by sharing this post on your socials with the hashtag #myfriendmoosermcdan 😉

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