In Captain Bling’s Christmas Plunder by Rebecca Colby and illustrated by Rob McClurkan, the captain and his merry crew set off to find treasure, but they get blown off course and end up at the North Pole. When they spy the elves carefully wrapping presents, the pirates think they have found the ultimate booty! They quickly steal the presents and make their way back to the ship. By the time Santa Claus catches up to them, the pirates are well on their way to escaping. But Santa has a surprise for Captain Bling and his crew!
We were lucky enough to sit down with Rebecca to discuss the creative process, holiday traditions, and Captain Bling’s Christmas Plunder.
Q. What was the inspiration for your title?
A. I love playing around with juxtaposition and putting two things together that don’t normally go together. In this case, pirates and Christmas. I thought it would be fun to feature a gang of pirates that steal Santa’s treasure of toys, and I envisioned the captain of this gang being draped in jewels—hence the name, Captain Bling.
Q. Do you have a regular routine while creating a book?
A. I do, and it involves a lot of day dreaming. When first thinking up ideas, I tend to go for long walks. This helps to clear my mind and bring out those harder to reach ideas that don’t always surface when I’m sitting in one place.
Once I have the idea, I will flesh out the story line in prose and then slowly piece it together in rhyme. And I do mean slowly! I often spend a full day working on just one or two stanzas, while going cross-eyed rifling through my rhyming dictionary.
Q. What’s the easiest and hardest part of creating a book?
A. For me, the easiest part is coming up with ideas. The hardest part is writing the book, as so many ideas sound good on the page but just fizzle out as I try to write them. Thank goodness, I find it easy to come up with lots and lots of ideas.
Q. Why write children’s books?
A. Because I’m still seven years old in my head, and I don’t want to grow up. Also, children’s books introduced me to new worlds as a child and they instilled in me a life-long love of poetry. Not to mention that I love humor and I find children’s books appeal more to my funny bone than books for adults.
Q. What makes your book stand out?
A. Probably the juxtaposition mentioned above—mixing pirates and Christmas. But also, the message behind the book. What we expect out of others and/or ourselves is usually what we get. Expect positive outcomes and you’ll get them. Expect negative outcomes and the Universe will provide them also. Thankfully, Santa believed in the pirates when they didn’t believe in themselves, and that changed the outcome of their story.
Q. What books did you like to read as a kid? What type of books to you like to read now?
A. I was a big fan of children’s poetry and Dr. Seuss, books on the paranormal, and humorous books. That hasn’t changed a bit. As an adult, I’m still into the very same things: children’s poems, life beyond the scope of accepted scientific understanding, and books that make me laugh.
Q. What you are your favorite holiday traditions?
A. Do you mean besides trying to run off with all the “treasure” under the Christmas tree? My biggies are making (and drinking) homemade eggnog and working on jigsaw puzzles with my daughters. The eggnog is gone in seconds but the puzzles give us days’ worth of quality time together.