I am thrilled to present the interview with Kevin Diller and Justin Lowe, creators of the book, Hello My Name is Octicorn. This book was a huge hit in my house for number of reasons. It was engaging, interesting, funny and can teach an important lesson about being different and accepting others. Hello My Name is Octicorn is an excellent book for repeated readings and to expand discussions on specific topics such as feeling left out and seeking friendship with others. My daughter had some technical questions about how Octicorn’s parents spend time together when one lives on land and one lives in the ocean. Justin and Kevin answered this question with a fact I didn’t even know! To learn more about Octicorn, check out my review here.
Author Kevin Diller started out as a screenwriter and playwright before turning to producing TV commercials. Fatherhood brought him back to writing, and he now happily works on children’s books from his home in Portland, Oregon, where he lives with his wife and two kids.
Illustrator Justin Lowe is an artist and filmmaker, who somehow entered adulthood with his child-like imagination entirely intact. Justin was raised on a steady diet of Dr. Seuss, Jim Henson and apple juice, which he’s pretty sure is what led him to make this book.
1. What inspired you to create the story, Hello My Name is Octicorn?
Justin gave our daughter an Octicorn pillow and — it was love at first site. Octi became her best friend and security blanket and she kept asking me to to tell her bedtime stories about him. So, what inspired me to create the story was pretty much sheer desperation to get my daughter to sleep.
2. What do you want children to learn from the main character Octicorn?
That it’s great to be different because being different means you can do things no one else can. For example, remember that time Rudolph saved Christmas?
3. My daughter wants to know how Octicorns parents spend time together when one lives in the sea and one lives on land.
According to Wikipedia,”Octopuses can survive out of saltwater from 30-60 minutes or so, depending on atmospheric conditions.” So I think the answer is: In 30-60 minute increments. But it’s quality time.
4. Are you planning on writing a sequel?
Did our publisher tell you to ask that? And did she sound angry? Um, yes. I’m working on it now and definitely not trying to decide what show to watch on Netflix. (OK, we really are working on it and, with any luck, it should be out by the end of next year.)