Kw-logo-smaller

Gregory Kemp Interview

First-time YA author Gregory Kemp tells Kidzworld how his adventurous, heartwarming novel, The Legends of Vinny Whiskers, came to be.


Bookmonster: Your book is based around a bunch of different animal species, specifically black-tailed prairie dogs and rats. What inspired you to write about these characters?

Gregory Kemp: I guess it started at the zoo. I’ve always found the prairie dogs to be one of the most entertaining zoo animals. They are active. They are social. Also, I felt the prairie dog deserved some attention. The prairie dog has been an unrealized hero in animal stories.

So why rats? I wanted an enemy that people would be quick to despise. Rats fit the bill. It seems cliché to make the rats the bad guys, because there is such a negative stereotype about rats. My goal is to challenge the stereotype. Is the villain the rat, or people’s disdain for rats? Is it possible to change our opinions about things we hate?

Bookmonster: How do you know so much about these wild creatures? Did you ever work at a zoo?

Gregory Kemp: I never worked at a zoo, nor do I have a degree in wildlife management, veterinary science, or zoology. I do have a PhD in BSology, which is far more important when writing fantasy. That’s the truth of it. I didn’t do much research. I read a few animal books and I visited the National Zoo in Washington, DC. Then I started to write. I’m probably in dangerous territory because while most of the information about the various animals is factual, I made up a lot of stuff also.

Bookmonster: Do you have a favorite children’s/young adult author? If so, how have they inspired you in your writing?

Gregory Kemp: Piers Anthony. His writing is crisp, funny, and imaginative. That’s what I’m trying to do.

Page 2 of our Interview with Gregory Kemp


Related Stories:

  • The Legend of Vinny Whiskers Book Review
  • D.J. MacHale Interview
  • Julia Golding Interview
  • More Great Authors!
  • 0 Comments

    latest videos

    F1106271117796

    What's Your Fave Kind Of Book?

    • Mystery.
    • Scary.
    • Romance.
    • Fantasy

    related stories

    Dive into the exciting, heartwarming and unforgettable adventure of The Legend of Vinny Whiskers ...

    Random in the forums

    Victoria132
    9.9/10
    reply 4 minutes
    hugebear
    hugebear posted in General:
    41
    reply 6 minutes
    hugebear
    hugebear posted in General:
    Congratuations BR :D
    reply 8 minutes
    urifour11
    "I'm sorry!" He screamed. He could apologize all he wanted. It still didn't change the hurt in my heart. I couldn't even look at him. My face was blank but my emotions were still there. It was all there. I think he knew.  "Kathryn look at me. Kathryn!" He shook me like i was a dead body. "Stop it! Stop it! That hurts!" The tears finally came slowly. His expression changed from anger to realization of how much he really hurt me. "Kathryn. Please...what are you thinking." I pause. What was i thinking? Was i thinking that he betrayed me? After all i sacrificed he lied?  "I'm thinking your father was right. I should have never trust you." He blinked. "What..." It must have hurt. What i said. Him and his father haven't spoken for years. He begged for approval from him. It all seemed so sad now. I didn't want to deal with this. I felt tired, but i always felt tired. But this was different. The kind of tired that drags at your body, your lungs, your every movement. I had to sit down. I took my oxygen mask and breathed in from it. "Drake..." I whispered. He dropped on his knees and looked at me. "Remember that time. When i...i gave you all my power, just to give you your life back." I remembered that day. My bod was flame. I am flame. It is my power. I man had been trying to kill me ever since i was a little kid. I thought he killed my parents, but i finally found out who really did it, me. I blew up. Exploded. Fire everywhere. I was only five. The man had come while me and Drake were talking. He put something in me. Poison? Drake had panicked, but then he gave me all his power. He had dark, dark, power. In fact, we were destined to be against each other. No one expected us to fall in love. I gave it all back to him and he turned fine. "I'm surprised you remember. Yea, i do." I looked at him sadly and put my forehead against his "I'm gonna die Drake. It's because what i gave to you. Your life. A life for a life." He froze, shocked. Tears fell from my eyes and they were filled with fire. "And my last memory will be of you cheating on me!" I stood not even realizing that was a bad move. I fell but Drake caught me. He cried. Hard. I looked at him and said "Sorry's just a word Drake. So is love. But it depends on who's saying it. And if it's real. For you. It wasn't. Not for anybody. But i will say it anyway. I hate you Drake. But i love you too."   
    reply 9 minutes
    Princess_KeeKee
    100/10
    reply 15 minutes

    play online games