HomeChildren’s BookQ&A With Kacen Callender, Moonflower

Q&A With Kacen Callender, Moonflower

Q&A With Kacen Callender, Moonflower


By Tamara Ellis Smith

Today we’re pleased to invite Kacen Callender back to the WNDB blog site to talk about center quality story Moonflower, out September 6, 2022!

Moon’s anxiety is frustrating. Treatment does not assist, and also Moon hesitates that their mama dislikes them since they’re unfortunate. Moon’s only retreat is taking a trip to the spirit worlds every evening, where they wish they’ll never ever go back to the globe of the living once more.

The spirit world is where they have their only close friend, Wolf, and also where they’re delighted to experience a boundless variety of journeys. When the world is intimidated, it’s up to Moon to conserve the spirit globe.

With the aid of holy beings and also guardians, Moon fights beasts and also darkness, and also via their trip, they start to find out that an enchanting journey of love and also approval awaits them on the planet of the living, as well.

moonflower cover art

I’m constantly interested concerning an author’s innovative procedure and also I’m specifically delighted to become aware of your trip with Moonflower C an you speak with the advancement of this fish story?

Thanks! I would certainly laid out to create a tale concerning enduring anxiety and also recognizing that this publication’s objective can not be to “recover” or “conserve” any type of viewers, since each private trip is so deeply individual. I determined to create this tale for the more youthful me with every little thing I would certainly’ve wished to claim to them, with the hope that the tale and also words of love could reverberate for various other young visitors, as well.

This objective initially came, in addition to wishing to discuss the spirit globe– yet one misstep I encountered beforehand was desiring the spirit globe to really feel genuine to me: really ungrounded and also dreamlike. Pictures like Wolf and also the seeds in blossoms concerned me, and also I wished to weave all of it with each other to make sure that the tale really felt climatic. Responses recommended that guide required to be based in a typical story for visitors, and also Moon’s present journey was birthed.

Just how much does the globe you developed (spirit worlds and also guardians, particularly) originated from your creative imagination?

Originally the spirit globe originated from my creative imagination, consisting of the suggestion that creative thinking originates from the spirit worlds– and also it was as I composed guide that my very own link to spirit thrived, and also in lots of methods was opened up many thanks to creating guide.

The framework of Moonflower is impressive– actually. As Moon returns and also forth in between our globe and also the spirit globe, as they loophole back to the Keeper/Monster, the Darkness, Wolf, and also their mom, and also as their partnership to every one of them modifications, I really felt Moon’s anxiety. Just how did you produce this framework?

This framework duplicates my very own interior recovery procedure: understanding that, via the anxiety, I am and also have actually constantly been so unconditionally enjoyed just since I exist; that individuals I could consider bad and also dangerous like the Caretaker have actually been via their very own harms, similar to I have; that also individuals that are close to me, like Moon’s mom is to them, have actually acquired a lot discomfort that creates them to inadvertently hurt the ones they enjoy– which the means to recovery is to quit ranging from every little thing I have actually found out to despise concerning myself and also encounter my very own darkness with genuine love, as well.

What do you think of the suggestion that exactly how we inform tales is as essential as what we inform? One more means to ask that, probably, is to ask: just how much did you think of kind rather than material as you composed Moonflower?

This solution modifications with every publication I create, yet with Moonflower the material was crucial due to its objective of sharing recovery words to my previous self, with the hope that it could reverberate for others. Occasionally the power of words and also tale and also personalities leaves a much longer enduring impact than kind.

Why did you select to title your phases after plants, blossoms, and also trees? Just how did you determine which title attached per phase?

Each plant either has recovery residential properties that are shown in the phase or are enjoyable easter eggs attached to Moon’s journey.

Moonflower author pull quote

Moon relocations from desiring to disappear in our globe, to wishing to release the worry of being various, to seeming like they could be worthy of love despite that they are, to ultimately really feeling actual love for their specific self. Why did you highlight those components of their advancement?

These are the highlights that have actually assisted me most in my very own recovery. These lessons have actually been intermittent and also turn up time and again to assist me find out at an also much deeper degree than before to allow go of the worry, to recognize I am deserving of genuine love, to really feeling that exact same love for myself.

Anxiety is among those topics that is in some cases viewed as taboo, specifically for more youthful youngsters. “Do not discuss it, it’s as well extreme” or “What happens if you trigger somebody to come under anxiety by speaking about it?” Moonflower is impressive in its head-on technique to anxiety (you do not make it smaller sized than it is, and also you do not chat around it) while likewise being so child-like in Moon’s lived experience of it. Can you discuss the factors behind those options?

Whether gone over and also discussed or otherwise, anxiety will certainly still exist. Youths will certainly still have anxiety and also self-destructive ideas and also pass away by self-destruction. Averting from this truth and also attempting to conceal it away is much more concerning ourselves as grownups– our very own convenience, and also not wishing to really feel unpleasant with one more individual’s discomfort. I wished to beware not to set off young visitors, and also to have consistent persistence from beings like Wolf that Moon’s discomfort is actual and also legitimate– it needs to not be disregarded– which there’s likewise a lot love and also delight waiting on them on the planet of living.

Why did you consist of Moon’s tale concerning Blue and also the Illusionist?

Moon gets suggestions and also tales from the spirit world and also understands that the Caretaker’s tale has actually been the one that Moon was creating in their journal the whole time. Moon understands that the Caretaker is still the innocent Blue that requires recovery and also love, as well. It’s been very important for me in my very own recovery to understand that individuals that have actually damaged me, that I have actually taken “beasts,” likewise have an internal youngster like Blue that have actually not obtained what they required to recover. While liability continues to be essential, pitying for individuals I have actually taken beasts in my life has actually provided me launch.

In one more meeting below at WNDB, you claimed, “ I do highly think that, if craft is examined and also recognized and also an individual is creating from their heart, for a particular objective helpful others really feel seen or find out compassion, absolutely nothing will certainly quit that publication from making its means right into the globe.” This reverberates for me deeply and also I ask yourself if you can chat much more concerning the partnership in between creating from your heart and also aiding others really feel seen or find out compassion. Just how do those converge?

I rejoice! Composing from the heart for me indicates creating from the viewpoint that we’re all worthwhile of genuine love and also the understanding that we are all representations of each other. To create with the awareness that no person is a beast– that all of us have innocent, wounded kids within– which, despite the requirement for liability, we are all worthwhile of love is compassion. For me, anything that links people to each other with love and also compassion touches something that reverberates deeply within each people, and also those tales often tend to climb.

Exist any type of various other publications you advise for checking out anxiety?

Yes– Some Type Of Joy by Claire LeGrande was one more MG checking out anxiety I discovered while creating Moonflower



kacen callender headshot photo
Credit History: Gemini Digital Photography VI

Kacen Callender is a successful and also acclaimed writer of numerous stories for kids, teenagers, and also grownups, consisting of the National Publication Acclaimed King and also the Dragonflies and also the successful story Felix Ever Before After Kacen delights in playing RPG computer game, exercising their art, and also concentrating on recovery and also development in their spare time. They presently stay in Los Angeles, The Golden State.


Tamara Ellis Smith headshot Tamara Ellis Smith is a kids’s publication writer that stays in Vermont with her beautiful big family members– containing people, canines, felines, poultries, and also a computer mouse. Her center quality unique One more Type of Storm was a Financial Institution Road Finest Publication of the Year and also a Vermont Publication Honor Finalist. Kirkus kindly recommended that her image publication Below and also There is “required anywhere.” Her 2nd image publication Sorrow is an Elephant is originating from Chronicle Books in 2023. When Tam isn’t creating, she can be located working on a river path with her canines. See her online at tamaraellissmith.com or on Instagram at @tamaraellissmith.




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