Interview sponsored by BookLogix
The Children’s Book Review | July 15, 2016
The Children’s Book Review: What inspired you to write Get a Move On, Neuron!?
Dr. Phil Kennedy: My children! I wanted to explain the brain to them and so I took a course in writing children’s books. The result was a somewhat long-winded, not-so-colorful book written twenty-two years ago. A cartoonist made this book what it is today, and this inspired me to get it out there to more than my own children.
Brains can be complicated to explain to children. How did you decide what to explain and what to leave out when writing this book?
One thing I learned is that action and a storyline “carries” a book. Just to describe the brain would soon be boring, so I made up a narrative that would involve major aspects of moving, and so the title Get a Move On, Neuron! evolved from that. I knew I would have to describe the fundamentals of the brain in a few chapters, so I wrote that first, and then added the more difficult-to-understand chapters on movement.
How did you decide which parts of the story needed to be illustrated?
Each chapter needed an illustration.
What is your favorite illustration?
In the original version, I used a line drawing (on a Mac!) to make illustrations, and the present cartoons derived from those. My favorite is the “train tracks” describing the cerebellum.
What goals did you have in mind when you began writing this book?
Simply to explain it to my children.
How long did it take you to write it?
About two years. The recent cartoon rewrite took another year. I wrote it as a play and as a teachers’ manual also, which took another year. The play is hilarious, but no one has been interested in it.
What is your writing process like?
Torture!! Actually, I write scientific articles and they can be even more tortuous.
Do you write full time or only when time allows?
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I still don’t consider myself a writer. No one has ever written anything right off the cuff. Some famous writer said “all writing consists of multiple corrections.” My writing is never good enough, but I won’t torture myself over it. No one ever reaches the goal of being a writer (in the pure sense), but we simply strive toward that goal.
Who are your favorite authors?
I prefer realistic authors such as Mark Twain.
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers? What is your favorite motivational phrase for writing?
Write about your deep experiences and write from whatever is emotionally strong with you. Write from your expertise. My motivation was to teach my kids, and that was deeply felt.
What is your next project?
That’s my secret!
Is it related to science or other STEM subjects?
I would like to write about the brain. Yes, definitely a STEM project.
Get a Move On, Neuron!
Written by Dr. Phil Kennedy
Illustrated by MR Herron
Publisher’s Synopsis: “Get a move on, Neuron!” was born out of my desire to impart to young people, my excitement and fascination for the workings of the human brain. And instill in them a pioneering spirit and vision for future exploration. I’ve simplified, as best I could, the incredible complexities of voluntary and involuntary reasoning and function that occur in virtually every split second of one’s day. By illustrating the role of our lovable neuron, I’ve taken a routine event like Mom’s call to dinner, to provide a rudimentary glimpse into this amazing chain reaction. I hope you enjoy the journey.
Ages 8-12 | Publisher: Your Child’s Neuroscience Press | 2016 | ISBN-13: 9780963570116
About the Author
Dr. Phil Kennedy is a well-known researcher in the field of neural prostheses. His website is www.neuralsignals.com. In 1998, he was the first to implant a paralyzed and mute human with a long-term electrode that provided control of a computer directly from the subject’s brain. He is now working on restoring speech to the locked-in person. He received his MD degree in Ireland and his PhD and Neurology training in the USA where he now lives in Atlanta, Georgia.
The Author Showcase is a place for authors and illustrators to gain visibility for their works. This interview with Dr. Phil Kennedy about “Get a Move On. Neuron!” was sponsored by BookLogix. Learn more about marketing books and finding an Author Showcase book marketing plan that is right for you …
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