Behind the scenes of our JONNIE ROCKET COMIC with author John Chapman
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- Published on Sunday, 27 July 2014 19:00
- Last Updated on 17 July 2014
- Monica Costa
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Now that we are at the last installment of Comic Jonnie Rocket that London Mums magazine has been publishing exclusively in the last 4 issues, I chatted to the creative mind of its creator. You can read all comics in our exclusive series in our magazine archive here.
Q: Where do you draw inspiration for your books from?
JC: I drew my inspiration for the creation of the character of ‘Jonnie Rocket’ from my childhood experiences. I’m dyslexic, but unfortunately this wasn’t diagnosed until much later in my life; as a consequence my school years were very difficult. My only escapism at that time was riding my bicycle and staring up into the sky at the stars, thinking: ‘I can’t wait for my school days to be over – as there must be something better out there!’ I then put these two concepts together, the bike and the stars and created ‘Jonnie Rocket’.
As a result of my childhood experiences, I was absolutely determined to try and help other young people today, so they wouldn’t suffer like I did. The ethos of Jonnie Rocket therefore focuses on giving young people self-belief and confidence.
With this in mind it’s very easy to find good educational, moral and spiritual messages to include in my stories. However, I always make sure that each of Jonnie’s adventures is told in an exciting and entertaining way, to capture the imagination of young people. I’ve published 4 books to date and plan to write 12 altogether in the series.
Q: Have you always dreamt of being an author?
JC: No, definitely not! In fact, prior to setting up Jonnie Rocket Ltd. in 2009 I was a Project Manager within the Construction Industry. Becoming an author was just a natural process, following the creation of my character. This enabled me to try and fulfil my ambition of really making a difference to young people’s lives, in a positive way.
Q: Are there any other children’s book authors that you particularly admire?
JC: There are so many good children’s authors out there doing wonderful work; but if you pinned me down I would have to say Beatrix Potter, AA Milne and Herman van Veen, the creator of Alfred the Kwak.
Q: Tell us all about your experience as an actor in ‘Star Wars’…
JC: Wonderful! I feel very privileged to have been part of this iconic movie. Working with George Lucas, Mark Hamill and Harrison Ford was an amazing experience and one to be treasured.
Q: Do you think characters such as Jonnie Rocket are figures kids can relate to?
JC: I believe so. Over the last few years I’ve been working with primary schools delivering various workshops – and I’m really pleased to say the feedback I’ve received from the young people has been very encouraging – and certainly inspires me to keep going.
Monica Costa founded London Mums in September 2006 after her son Diego’s birth together with a group of mothers who felt the need of meeting up regularly to share the challenges and joys of motherhood in metropolitan and multicultural London. London Mums is the FREE and independent peer support group for mums and mumpreneurs based in London https://londonmumsmagazine.com and you can connect on Twitter @londonmums