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Sunday, April 7, 2019
Interview with Authors Dennis and Wendel Kind
Scouts and The Lost Leonardo
What really inspired you to write your book, to force you from taking an idea
or experience and conveying it into a book?In the time between June 1476 and
January 1478, nobody knows what happened to Leonardo da Vinci. His
disappearance puzzles historians to this day—especially because after this
hiatus, Leonardo conceived numerous revolutionary inventions and ideas,
including a bridge that could only be built in the 21st century.
Another was the unique design of a helicopter—450 years before it took flight.
How did Leonardo know what the world was capable of centuries before its time? This
intriguing historical mystery is one of many that inspired us to create an
invigorating children’s tale with chapter-ending cliffhangers that combines
friendship, art, and history in a gripping cultural quest.
What is it about and whom do you believe is your targeted reader?In
an attempt to unveil the meaning of a 15th century codex filled with
da Vinci’s sketches, calculations, and writings, a discovery made by a group of
best friends tests their friendship and presents them with an impossible choice:
reveal their secret to the world – and become millionaires – or put da Vinci’s
extraordinary ideas to the test, risking their lives for a walk on the wild
side. Secret Scouts and The Lost Leonardo is today’s version of The
Goonies and The Da Vinci Code for the imaginations of young readers
and teens to get lost in.
What do you hope will be the everlasting thoughts for readers who finish your
book? What should remain with them long after putting it down?We
have fond memories of the 1980s—a time when feel-good “friends for life” groups
were common themes among favorite films and novels. A unique feature of the Secret
Scouts series is that the 80s-inspired, feel-good adventure stories are
based on intriguing and strange facts from history, which make them very
informative. But because fact and fiction intertwine in very realistic
storylines, Secret Scouts is just as entertaining and easy to read as
other well-known, accessible, and popular fantasy stories.Featuring ten full-color images from
famous da Vinci artworks, anatomical sketches, and other discoveries throughout
the book, readers will delve into this wonderland and come out with a newfound
knowledge of art history, inventions, political milestones, historical
mysteries, and much more. Although the stories are set both in the present and
the past, the protagonists are very gadget-savvy… also in the 16th
century! (Some apps really do work without a network!) They travel from
Renaissance Florence to modern-day Venice and Paris, and in part 2 their
adventures take them from Aachen to Los Altos and from Washington to Amsterdam,
to name but a few of the far-flung destinations.
What advice or words of wisdom do you have for fellow writers?We’ve
written two novel so far, working on our third, don’t know if we’re already in
the position to give advice. The only thing we could say is follow your heart,
and put time and energy in writing, there’s no shortcut.
What trends in the book world do you see and where do you think the book
publishing industry is heading? Wethink we see more and more self-publishing,
and thus self-promoting and marketing, with quite some success, but the
majority will find out it’s not as easy as it looks. On the other hand however
publishers will also see difficulties in having lots of successful books as the
industry has to deal with the fact there’s only so much time (for reading) with
so many options and distractions.
What great challenges did you have in writing your book? Making time for writing, it took us
a year to complete the book and it took us every night, every weekend, and every
If people can only buy one book this month, why should it be yours? Both
the first and the second book of the series have already been published in the
Netherlands and the Dutch media has given the Secret Scouts series an extremely
enthusiastic reception. The books have been featured on national television and
have also been the subject of more than 200 five-star reviews. And we also
received hundreds of positive letters and emails from parents, grandparents,
teachers, librarians, and, best
of all, from the young readers themselves!
and Dennis Kind form one of the few writing duos in children’s literature.
Writing from their home in Amsterdam which they share with their three young
kids, they transform a fascination for art, culture and history into compelling
literary stories. Feel-good stories that revolve around friendship, adventure
and mystery, set in fascinating cities and time periods across the world.For more information, please consult: www.secretscouts.com