Q&A with Kit Feeny author Michael Townsend

This fall, the elementary school book group read Michael Townsend’s graphic novel Kit Feeny: On the Move. The story follows Kit Feeney as he moves to a new town and tries to figure out how to take his best friend with him. During their discussion, the book group came up with some questions to ask the author, which Youth Services Assistant Anne Creffield forwarded to him by email.

And he wrote back! The kids were thrilled to get his answers to their questions as follows:

Hello Anne, Meghan, Aana, Alyssa and the no ‘A’ in her name Sophie!
(It’s Okay Sophie don’t be sad, lots of people don’t have ‘A’s in their names…)

I am always happy to hear that my Kit Feeny books are being enjoyed! I am also, very happy to answer a bunch of questions!

Here I go.

Why did you think of the idea of putting Arnold in the box?

It was a simple decision because Arnold wouldn’t fit in most bottles or cans…

How did you come up with Kit Feeny?

Creating Kit Feeny was an interesting process… From the beginning I was pretty sure I knew who my character was and what he was going to be like (me and me) but I wasn’t yet sure what he should look like (me wasn’t really a choice here). So, I began to fill up my sketchbook with tons of different drawings. Next, I began to look at the drawings and ask them, “Hey drawing, are you my new character’s face?” None of the drawings responded so I continued to draw. After a lot of drawings were made I began to get some answers from the drawings and eventually Kit Feeny, the Potato, Hamster, bear like creature was born…

How did you come up with Hoff Hassel?

Hoff Hassel was actually named in honor of a wonderful musician named David Hasselhoff… (A rated ‘g’ music video below of his amazing talented talents): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJQVlVHsFF8

He was also the star of one of my favorite TV shows growing up called Knight Rider…  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nMB6eUujR7w

Knight rider was a show about a man who fought crime with the help of his awesome car (that could talk and think and jump over helicopters and stuff) named K.I.T.T…..

Kit Feeny actually got his first name from Knight Rider and his last name from another show called ‘Boy Meets World’. The 2nd show had a character in it called Mr. Feeny who, once upon a time did the voice of K.I.T.T. the talking car from Knight Rider. Thus, Kit Feeny the name was born. I also used a similar method to come up with the names of other characters in Kit Feeny. I liked answering that question…

Do you enjoy writing books?

I do enjoy writing books.

Why?

Because I always wanted to tell stupid and fun stories like the ones I grew up reading (in books and comics) and watched on TV (and in movies).

Perhaps one day I will be able to write something as awesome as a crime fighting show about a man and his talking car…. Someday…

Why does Kit Feeny make comics?

Because Kit Feeny is a lot like me… and I like drawing comics.

Why did Kit Feeny Move?

He moved because his dad got a new job… (sorry if this answer was boring… I wanted to make it interesting and say ‘They had to move because Robots were fighting the evil space cows and things were getting too violent for Kit Feeny and His Family to Stay’ but that would be a lie.)

Why do you have twin sisters in the book?

I gave Kit twin sisters because I thought he needed a challenge. I was pretty sure Kit could handle one sister but could he handle two twin sisters? That would be interesting to watch.

Do you go ninja fishing…?

I can’t answer this question because those who ninja fish don’t talk about ninja fishing… they just do it. But if you have ever seen fish jumping out of the water it’s probably just me quickly and stealthily catching a fish and then immediately releasing it back into the wild without being seen…

I hope these answers were helpful. As of now there aren’t any new Kit Feenys in the works but If you liked these books you may like a book I did where I re-told 9 different Greek Myths in a manor that would make Kit Feeny Proud…  http://www.amazon.com/Michael-Townsend/e/B001IXPNOG/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

Thanks,

Michael Townsend
Or
Michel Townsend (if Sophie wants my ‘A’)

Kit Feeny: On the Move was followed by Kit Feeny: The Ugly Necklace. Both books are available at MDL – find them in the library catalog, here!

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About Heather Sturm

Director at Manchester District Library
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