Author Interview & Book Giveaway: The Butt Book by Artie Bennett

Welcome to author Artie Bennett.

I just reviewed The Butt Book by Artie Bennett. Artie has agreed to do an interview and giveaway for his book.

Bio:

Artie Bennett is the executive copy editor for a children’s book publisher and he writes a little on the side (but not the backside!). He wrote a couple things when he was a much younger man, but The Butt Book is his first mature work. He and his wife, Leah, live deep in the bowels of Brooklyn. He is pleased to share the visionary promise of The Butt Book with a wider audience.

What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?
I love ice cream (my only vice–vice cream???) and I go bananas over Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Monkey. They used to make a flavor–coconut almond fudge chip–that I found absolutely irresistible. But I’ve not seen it in a while and fear it may have ended up in their “flavor graveyard.” I’ll just have to move on with my life.

What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?
Flapjacks–and lots of them! Tall stacks with real maple syrup! I don’t get to eat my dream breakfast that often, but I do fantasize about it. I especially love buckwheat pancakes. Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. I wake up famished, and my breakfasts generally consist of a mixture of leftover grain dishes and fruit. I like a hearty, healthy breakfast to kick off the day. Since I swim most every morning after breakfast, I need a big one to get me going.

Night owl, or early bird?
I’m definitely an early bird, though it wasn’t always that way. I took up bird watching some years ago and consequently needed to reset my own internal alarm clock. If one wants to see our avian friends, one needs to get up early, when birds are most active. There’s no excitement like early-bird birding during spring migration, when waves of mellifluous, brightly colored birds come through these parts. Bird watching transformed me into a morning person. I wake up shortly after 5 am on weekdays so that I can get in a restorative workout and swim before my workday begins. And twice a week, I’m up at 4:30 am for early-bird squash (the racquet sport, not the vegetable). I love getting up early, for it gives you more day to appreciate, though I have to say I do grow sleepy in the evenings.

How do you react to a bad review?
Good question. You know, I don’t believe I’ve gotten a bad review yet for The Butt Book. In fact, I’ve been bowled by the unbridled enthusiasm that’s greeted my book. Were I to get a bad review, I’m sure I would react with my customary composure and equanimity. And then I would vow revenge and take hostages. 🙂

Favorite cartoon?
I’m a huge fan of The Simpsons, but who isn’t? What’s remarkable is how it’s remained fresh and uproariously funny for more than 20 years! My favorite cartoon as a boy was Beany and Cecil. I particularly loved the clever wordplay. I can recall how they journeyed in one episode to (shudder!) No Bikini Atoll, and in another to Howe’s Bayou. I’m sure this cartoon had an influence on my early love for words and language, and there may never have been The Butt Book without Beany and Cecil.

What’s your favorite music genre? Favorite artist? Song?
Music plays a big part in my life. I’m partial to jazz, classical, show, and folk music. Among my favorite artists are Frank Sinatra, Joni Mitchell, Miles Davis, and Johnny Hartman. My absolute favorite composer/lyricist is Stephen Sondheim, a true genius. If I had to pick a favorite song, perhaps “In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning,” sung by Sinatra. It’s a tender, touching ballad that packs an emotional wallop. My love of music has been a factor in The Butt Book’s success. Many people have remarked about the perfect rhythm of the book’s verses (making it so much fun to read aloud), which I have to attribute to my musical ear.

Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.
You should read my book because laughter is truly the best medicine and the gift of laughter is a great thing to share with a child. Oh, and you just have to see the eagle’s butt on page 24!

What is your favorite quote?
My favorite quote is from Emily Dickinson, who rarely ventured out of her Amherst, Massachusetts, home. There is no frigate like a book. To take us lands away,” she wrote. It speaks to how a good book can stir the imagination like nothing else. And for anyone who loves reading, the quote embodies that love.

Is there anything you need in order to write? (ie Chocolate, quiet, music)
The one thing I need is inspiration. Verses come pouring out of me when I’m inspired. But when I’m not, it’s tough sledding. I actually find I come up with some of my best verses when I’m swimming. But after toweling off, I need to record them lest they slip away. So perhaps I need inspiration . . . by the poolful!

One food you would never eat?
Scorpions! Though I understand they’re a delicacy in much of China, where they’re served on a skewer, kebab-style. Yum!!! And maybe you can use the stingers to clean your teeth.

Skittles or M&Ms?
Neither has great appeal to me, but I did have a small boy at one of my readings ask me to inscribe a book to him (David) and his cat, Skittles. So I believe I’ll have to go with Skittles. I hope li’l Skittles is flourishing and continuing to enjoy my book.

What is your guilty pleasure?
My guilty pleasure is milk and cookies. Every night I have a glass of milk with a cookie before going to bed. I read many years ago that milk was a rich source of L-Tryptophan, which many tout as a sleep aid. Armed with this knowledge, I’ve been able to justify my nightly indulgence in this guilty pleasure. Though I blissfully ignore any havoc the cookie may wreak.

How did you celebrate the sale of your first book?
I’m sure I celebrated by jumping high in the air upon being told Bloomsbury was interested in my book. I don’t believe I’ve come down yet. The good news is that I’ll have a second act with my brilliant, award-winning illustrator, Mike Lester. My next book will be coming out in spring 2012, though from a different publisher.

Artie has a fun website you are invited to visit:
http://artiebennett.com/start.html

The Butt Book by Artie Bennett:
Make way for the butt!
Tall butts, short butts, round butts, flat butts.
Butts on mummies and butts on mommies.
Butts on giraffes and elephants and dogs and… FISH?

Yes, even fish butts are celebrated in this tribute to backsides, rumps, tushies, keisters, heinies, and derrieres. Dozens of funny rhymes and pages of laugh-out-loud pictures pay homage to a body part that keeps kids and grown-ups giggling with glee.

The Butt Book on Amazon.com

Giveaway Details:
1 Copy of The Butt Book
Open Internationally
Last day to enter is 1/31/11

Optional Extra Entry:
+1 Visit Artie’s Website: http://artiebennett.com/book.html and have a look around. 
+1 There are currently 54 names for “butt” listed.  Come up with an additional name for an extra entry.

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