LITERARY TITAN Uncle Bill’s Missing Tooth takes readers on a fun rhyming journey to find out how uncle Bill lost his tooth. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?
GRANT S. CLARK It literally came to me in the middle of the night! I suddenly woke up and the idea flashed into my mind, escaped through an ear but then luckily jumped back in. I thought it might be a sign I was about to lose a tooth, but fortunately I’ve managed to hold on to my entire set since then, despite a fondness for cake.
LITERARY TITAN I loved the art in the book. What was the art collaboration process like with illustrator Lizzie Nelson?
GRANT It was wonderful, even though we were on opposite sides of the world. Lizzie is in the U.S. and I lived in Singapore then London during the book’s creation. I say wonderful mostly because Lizzie is lovely, funny and smart (we’ve known each other since school days) and came up with all the good visual ideas! I’m proud to be part of a publication that includes probably the first ever illustration of a tooth that breaks wind.
LITERARY TITAN There were lots of humorous scenes in the book. What was your favorite scene from the book?
GRANT I enjoyed the idea of dastardly animal poachers getting their comeuppance. Instead of making off with an elephant’s giant tusk, they ended up with Bill’s piddly tooth. Lizzie’s beautiful safari illustrations were the icing on the cake. Did I mention that I like cake?
GRANT Lizzie and I are almost done on another fun rhyming story called The Extra-Gifted Mr Fripp about a teacher who shocks his class by revealing a sixth finger on one hand. It’s an amusing look at how we daftly judge people based on appearances, so has something of an important message. I read it at a kids’ book festival in India and lots of people asked for a copy, which was a good sign. It certainly has more of a message than Uncle Bill’s Missing Tooth, although I feel it’s important to remind people who have a gap in their gums that they can save the effort of picking up drinks by using a very long straw.
Interview was published here