Jeffrey Brown is a Michigan native so I knew he would be a quality guy! I really wanted to talk with him initially because it seemed our histories coincided in that I too am a Michigan native who relocated to the Chicagoland area. The fact that Jeffrey is also a New York Times Best Selling author and illustrator may have also factored into the desire to interview him for the Storyteller Station podcast.
If, by some chance, you do not know who Jeffrey Brown is, let me tell you a little bit about him. He is (in my mind) most famously known as the creator of the Darth Vader and Son series. His works are mostly geared toward the middle grade reader and include, but are not limited to: Lucy and Andy Neanderthal, Jedi Academy, Cats and Kids and Change-Bots to name a few.
On a sunny quarantine day in April I had a conversation with Jeffrey about his creative process, who he imagines he is writing for, as well as how he connects with his readers. I have to be honest, I was nervous for this interview. As I edited the podcast episode it was hard to cut out all of the "um's" and anxious laughter on my end. But honestly, to talk to him Jeffrey is a soft spoken creative with an relaxed, calm way about him. At least that's how it seemed over the phone! He was kind enough to give his time for the interview and I really appreciate our conversation.
Being an author myself, and by no means an illustrator, it was interesting to learn that for Jeffrey the story comes first then the characters and illustrations emerge as a way of telling that story. Oddly, I am often able to picture my characters or a setting before I even have a story to put them in. However, I lack the skill to draw them.
Jeffrey said he imagines he is writing to a kid similar to who he was in middle school. He has also found that parents are able to connect with his books, especially the Darth Vader and Son series. They are the adult children who grew up on Star Wars and are now sharing the experience with their children. Kids and parents alike can enjoy these books. My four boys are not yet in middle school but they love the Jedi Academy books and can already start to identify with the characters and story. They have seen the Star Wars movies and enjoy the humor of the Darth Vader and Son series as well as my husband and I.
To learn more about Jeffrey Brown, you can find the latest on him and his creative work at www.jeffreybrowncomics.com
And if you’d like to see what the man behind the comics is up to, you can follow him on instagram @jeffreybrownrq
Last but not least, his newest series Once Upon A Space Time can be preordered here.
If you’d like to hear my full interview with Jeffrey Brown, head on over to Storyteller Station Podcast and have a listen!
I look forward to talking to you again soon, friends!
In the meantime: create something great!