Monday, June 8, 2015

Russ Cox

Russ Cox has just released his first picture book, Faraway Friends.

What are your ties to Maine or the Boothbay Peninsula?

We moved up here from Pennsylvania 7 years ago. We had come up several times, including honeymooning here, and fell in love with the state. We decided when are kids were grown, we would move up here and that is what we did.

What is your favorite thing about writing (or illustrating) in Maine?

You cannot beat the scenery here. It is so inspiring. One has a bit of everything that is seen in other parts of the country. Also, Maine has a ton of children’s book writers and illustrator so there is a wonderful network of support and help if you need it. Besides, the long winters have you locked into your studio so you might as well be creative.

What are the most important themes in your work?

My stories seem to have an underlying friendship theme with the odd ball character is usually very creative and has an over active imagination. Plus lots of monsters and robots. And Chuck Taylors.

Tell us about the book you will be signing at Books In Boothbay this year?
I will be signing my first picture book, Faraway Friends, that I wrote and illustrated. It is a story of friendship lost and found through a “space adventure.” Sheldon’s imagination helps fight off that lonely feeling when his friend moves away. With his sidekick Jet, Sheldon builds a spaceship to see his friend again only to find that a new friends was right under his nose.

What do you hope readers will discover in your book?
Besides the obvious friendships can be found right under one’s nose, to be creative and use their imagination.

What do you feel about the future of our local libraries?
I think local libraries are thriving again. They have become, like brick and mortar bookstores, a social place for people to gather and converse. Plus they are offering more activities for grownups and children. People are craving the need to get away from the computer and social media so the library is now a meeting hub.

Come meet Russ Cox and dozens of additional writers and artists at this year's Books in Boothbay festival on July 11!

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