Interview: Author Danielle Kirrane

Danielle Kirrane

Author of The Fish Who Swam Too Far

 . . . . . . . . . . . . .  .  .  978-1-61777-937-4

Hi, Dianelle.  Your children’s book The Fish Who Swam Too Far was recently reviewed here at Kid Lit Reviews and some thought Harry, the main character, looked like Nemo, the most famous clownfish.  You were unhappy with this and felt some might think  you want to ride on the fins of Nemo.  I did say in the review Harry reminded me of Nemo.  To be fair, Danielle is here to answer a few questions and set the record straight exactly how Harry and his story came to be.

What inspired you to write The Fish Who Swam Too Far?

My inspiration for this particular book was my oldest daughter. One day as we were sitting on the couch, she asked me to tell her a story about our goldfish Harry. As I started to tell her, she suggested that I write it down. After I did, she loved it so much that she convinced me to publish it. I have always been a writer and a storyteller, since I was just a little girl.

As you know, when I first saw the cover, in addition to being excited to read the book, I initially thought of Nemo.  Did Nemo enter your mind at all?

Not at all. The story was originally intended to be a goldfish. As you know, goldfish do not live in the ocean. Both me and my daughter sat down and thought of all the different fish that Harry could be. We wanted him to resemble a goldfish as much as possible. No other fish seemed to fit right with us. Since I am not living in a sheltered world, of course I knew of Nemo. I have watched Nemo before with my kids. While creating Harry’s look, both me and my illustrator worked to ensure that there was no resemblance between Harry and Nemo (Other than them both being clownfish).

In addition to myself, a couple of comments mention Harry looks like Nemo.  Has anyone else thought this or mentioned it in a review?

All of my reviews have been very positive (thankfully) to date.  In both the reviews and interviews, Nemo has never been brought up (until now).

The one big question I have is this:  what is so different about Harry?  He yells to his siblings “you don’t understand that I am different!”  This seems important, what is Harry referring too about himself?

This is a very good question, although I am surprised that you feel it is not clear.  What is so different about Harry is that he (unlike his siblings and other fish in the ocean) was a scaredy-cat. He had no friends. He was scared of the world around him. He stood by his mother’s side everywhere that she went.

 I thought there might be a reason Harry was such a scaredy-cat.  When Harry swims too far, he hears yells for help, and he rescues a girl clownfish.  They parted quickly, even before Harry could find out her name.  Can you explain why she is anonymous, when one of the problems the family complained about Harry was his lack of friends?  Here is a possible friend.

Absolutely, that was in fact done on purpose. At a school visit, that same question was brought up. That is what I expected. Her name will be revealed in the next book.

How long did it take to write, edit, rewrite, find a publisher, and then get it off the printer, and what was the easiest for you to do?

The writing itself (first draft) took about an hour. That was definitely the easiest part for me. With each edit that I did, I did a little re-write. The editing process took a few months, I wanted to keep going back with fresh eyes to ensure that I did not miss anything. I always was a really good writer, all the way up until college. I got straight A’s on all of my papers.

What did you find to be the hardest?

Finding a publisher was the hardest for me. I was fairly new to the industry so I needed a lot of information. That took the longest. I got to know a lot of people which really helped me out.

What is the next for you?

I am currently working on a chapter book for older children which I started last summer. I also have a few children’s books in the works which I have not yet had time to begin editing. Hopefully I will get a lot accomplished this summer.

Is there anything you would like to know from your readers?    Anything else you would like us to know about you, your book, the future?

Yes, I would love to know my readers thoughts on the book, your review, or this interview. I would love to answer any questions that they may have.  For more information on my book, or scheduled signings, you can check out my website.  I also host contests and giveaways periodically.

The Fish Who Swam Too Far

Author:  Danielle Kirrane

Illustrator:   Caleb Irwin

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .  . . . Publisher:  Tate Publishing

. . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . ISBN: 978-1-61777-937-4

Thank you for taking the time to answers a few questions here at Kid Lit Reviews.  

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