Welcome travelers. We have had the wonderful luck to promote the works of Terance Shipman on three separate occasions at this point. And while we primarily stick to his illustrated superhero family, The Robinsons, he’s got a lot of interesting and uplifting projects that he’s worked on over the years. We were fortunate enough to be able to interview him recently, to find out more about his process, and what is coming next for him. Read on to learn more about Terance, and his growing catalog of books.
Tellest: Hello Terance! You and I have worked together a few times, but this is the first time that I have been able to perform a proper deep dive into all the incredible work you do. It’s clear that you’re a very busy fellow, always grinding toward the next project. Thank you for sharing some of your time with me so that we can talk about your books and the way you uplift your community. I’m eager to reveal that a little better to our audience.
I always like to start an interview by learning about what set someone on their literary journey. You’re an educator, so I’m sure that had a huge part to play, but when it came time to write a story, were you influenced by any authors, or members of your community?
Terance Shipman: I taught kindergarten for 11 years. That experience was one of my best years of teaching and learning. I talked with many of those students over the years. I decided to put those stories on paper and now books.
T: The book that you and I have talked about the most is The Adventures of Mahalia and Malcolm: The Robinsons. It’s a little bit superhero, and a little bit scientific ingenuity, but you can tell another focus is presenting a loving family that rely and depend on one another. What was the inspiration for this super family?
TS: I have read comics all my life. I have a huge comic book collection. My sons and daughter grew up reading them. I wanted to write about a family (African American) that inherit superpowers. The powers are not the focus, but the love and relationship of the family.
T: While The Robinsons has no doubt earned you a lot of accolades of its own, you’re also known for a series called Mr. Shipman’s Kindergarten Chronicles that helps to educate young readers. That’s a wonderful feat, and you can see the joy on your face in pictures of you bringing those books to fairs and conventions. How did you get started on that project?
TS: During the summer, six years ago I told my now wife that I was going to write these stories I have been carrying around in my head for years. I did and that was the start of the Kindergarten Chronicles.
T: Part of what makes your projects pop so well is that they’re absolutely stunning to look at. A lot of folks who want to make some sort of illustrated project need to tap others for their talents. What was it like finding the person (or team) that meshed perfectly with you for your projects?
TS: Milan Ristic is the best. I auditioned about twenty-five illustrators. His work was one of the first I saw. There was something special I saw in his work. I knew we could make a great team. He is amazing. The books are getting better and better each time. I am truly best to have one of the world’s best.
T: Back to The Robinsons. Obviously, the book itself is incredible, and you and Prudence have been able to capture a lot of magic in it. One of the things that’s true about superheroes and young adult fiction is that they have a penchant for longevity. Do you see yourself following up with a sequel, and if so, when do you think we’d be able to learn more about it?
TS: The sequel is in the works. I have written the outline for the next three books. I was just talking with my son today about the next two books. Hopefully, we can get the next one out in 2023.
T: If someone wanted to know more about your Kindergarten Chronicles, or The Robinsons, or to learn more about you, where would they go? Where on the web is the definitive place to find out about the things you’re working on?
TS: The best place to go is to my website www.teranceshipman.com. I am in the process of updating the website. I also have a new Kindergarten Chronicles that is about to be released in August. It will be the sixth book in the series.
T: Terance, I wanted to thank you once again for your time. I know that you’re an incredibly busy person, and I appreciate having the opportunity to talk to you about the world that you’re crafting here. I do hope that you’ll come back when you have the availability. I feel as though we just scratched the surface, and I’m sure the audience will love to hear more about you and your books.
Folks, if you’re interested in picking up Mister Shipman’s book, please hurry to add it to your collection. Check out The Adventures of Mahalia and Malcolm: The Robinsons on Amazon today!
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