Sixth grade student Joseph recently had the opportunity to ask Stacey Laura Lloyd, author of a new series of "Hospital Critterz" books, a few questions about her work. The first book in the series, The Prairie Pet (Strategic Media Group, January 2011 print and ebook editions), introduces Lily and Max, two eight-year-old patients at McPopper Children's Hospital, and their magical friends, the Hospital Critterz.
Photo courtesy Stacey Laura Lloyd
1. Did you pick the Old West setting and why did you pick it?
I picked the Old West because it’s an interesting time in American history, and I enjoyed incorporating new characters like Caleb and Tiny, as well as fun facts about farming, plowing, Buffalo Bill, and even buffalos!
2. How did you come up with the plot?
I wanted readers to go on an adventure with Lily, Max, and the Hospital Critterz that was full of excitement, riddles, humor, and fun. I also wanted to introduce readers to different characters and situations that they may not be familiar with, namely those in the hospital setting and on the prairie in the late 1800s.
3. When did you decide to be an author?
I have enjoyed writing ever since I was little. My mom is a children’s librarian and my dad is an author of business books, so I was always reading and writing. I also had wonderful teachers who encouraged me to write and instilled in me a love for books!
4. Who did you write this book specifically for?
Hospital Critterz: The Prairie Pet is for children ages 6-10, and the book speaks to young readers in many different ways. First, it’s an entertaining adventure with an exciting storyline and fun-loving characters that children enjoy. The book also helps ease children’s fears that they may have about the healthcare environment. And for children who are hospitalized, the book enables them to connect with Lily and Max on a deeper level because they share similar experiences, emotions, and surroundings.
5. When did you first meet Mike Singer?
I first met Mike Singer, the visionary behind the Hospital Critterz series, a couple of years ago, and I was truly inspired by his creativity, drive, and passion!