The Secret Zoo book series is about a group of children that live next door to the zoo. Mysterious events ensue and the suspense thickens as the children get entangled in the magic and mystery of The Secret Zoo. Author Bryan Chick resides in Clarkston, Michigan with his wife and three children, and has currently written three books for his popular The Secret Zoo series. I interviewed Bryan Chick about The Secret Zoo.
Oakland County Moms: Are you a life-long Michigan resident? How are you enjoying Clarkston?
Bryan Chick - Author of The Secret Zoo Series: I've lived in Michigan all my life. I grew up in Waterford and moved three miles away to Independence Township, which is just a great area with great schools. I've lived in my home for something live 15 years now. Michigan is an awesome place. I'm a fan of the different seasons, and I'm one of those strange sorts who enjoys 12-inch snowfalls and breaking my back shoveling the driveway. The past winter was a big disappointment!
Oakland County Moms: Was the Detroit Zoo in Royal Oak an inspiration behind your writing The Secret Zoo?
Bryan Chick - Author of The Secret Zoo Series: Definitely. The primary components of The Secret Zoo (the settings, the characters, the premise) was imagined in my childhood during trips to the Detroit Zoo with my mother and grandparents. My overactive imagination reassembled the basic elements of the zoo into a wild fantasy world. You could say I sort of 'lived' the Secret Zoo when I was growing up. People from Detroit can easily pinpoint the zoo exhibits that inspired some settings in The Secret Zoo, especially in the first book.
Oakland County Moms: You say that since you were nine years old, you wondered what it would be like if zoo exhibits had secret passages that allowed kids to get in and animals to get out. How did this initial thought formulate into several books?
Bryan Chick - Author of The Secret Zoo Series: Everything about the Secret Zoo world was developed from this question. More and more ideas kept coming to me—and still continue to come! Now the book series is outlined as 15 books, and I have a spinoff series in the works as well.
Oakland County Moms: The Secret Zoo is meant for children aged 9-12. How many do you have currently in the series and do you plan to write more?
Bryan Chick - Author of The Secret Zoo Series: I'm currently reviewing the copyedit for Book 4, Traps and Specters, which is scheduled to be published on Sept 25. Book 5, Raids and Rescues is written and scheduled for publication in 2013. I'm working right now on the first book of the spin-off series, tentatively titled, The City of Species. I have plans for another Young Adult spin-off, but that one is a long way off.
Oakland County Moms: What kind of response have you gotten from The Secret Zoo series from kids and parents?
Bryan Chick - Author of The Secret Zoo Series: Just incredible. I've visited more than 200 schools now and the teachers really love the books. Kids like them because the stories are fast and fun, and parents appreciate their kid-friendliness. It’s a great book for relunctant readers, espcially boys. In a publishing world where too much emphasis is focused of reaching professional reviewers, I opted to target the readers instead. I think it was a great choice.
Click here to read how Bryan Chick succeeded in writing by self-publishing.
Click here to read about Bryan's experiences visiting schools.
Click here for Bryan Chick's The Secret Zoo website.
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