Today was super fun! We had the pleasure of meeting the author of “Chicken Boy”, Michael Thompson, who at one point used to attend school here. 😳
Our mural, of his book, came at a surprise as he walked in for a live reading with staff and students. During our brief convo he pointed out a few details about the cover and answered a few of our questions about his creative process. Check out the transformation of our mural below and find out more about Mr. Thompson on his official website here.
Who or what inspired you to become an author?
My fourth grade teacher, Mr. Aracich, had a big focus on creativity in his classroom. It was the first time I had been encouraged to draw during class—and to add stories and origins to the characters I drew. I wrote my very first book, Chicken Boy and the Wrath of Dr. Dimwad that year. When he shared it with the other students and put a copy in his library, Chicken Boy became our class mascot. It was then I realized how much I loved sharing my stories, and I decided that when I grew up, I wanted to be an author.
How did “Chicken Boy” come to life?
I was always a big fan of superheroes and animals, so I wanted to make an animal superhero! The key would be picking the perfect animal, though. I was watching an animal rescue show one day after school, and a baby vulture appeared on the screen. Inspiration struck, and I dashed for a sheet of paper to cartoon the bird wearing a cape. I thought it would be cool for such a small creature to be capable of saving the world! I gave him super strength, speedy flight, and a sharp sense of humor. When it came time to name the character, Vulture Boy didn’t feel right, so I named him Chicken Boy, and the star of my first book was hatched!
What were your initial thoughts on seeing your book painted up on the wall?
When I saw the mural, I was honored and overjoyed. It’s awe-inspiring to see these characters transcend into another medium. The artist, Stace, did an amazing job bringing them to life in stunning vibrancy. When I learned the students had taken a vote on which literary characters they’d most want featured on their library’s walls, it was so moving and heartwarming to see Chicken Boy alongside the likes of Arthur the Aardvark, Harry Potter, and the works of Dr. Seuss. I originally made these characters as a student at this very school, so to see them immortalized here is a dream come true. It doesn’t get any cooler than that!
What advice would you give to other aspiring authors?
Follow your passions. Keep a writing journal of all your characters and the adventures they go on. If there’s a story calling out to you, that’s a signal that it’s meant to be told! And, no matter what, write what you love. If you write what you love, that passion will show on the page, and there will be readers out there who will love it too!
Where can readers go to purchase a copy of your book?
You can find my latest release, Chicken Boy and the Might of the Monkey Man, and a complete list of all my books here.
“Thanks for chatting with us Michael and for autographing copies of your newest book!” – MMOTW