In our second interview we interviewed Jean Dickinson about her premium book “The Adventures of a Mythical Cow and Horse” and its origin.
What inspired you to write this book? How did it come about?
Thank you for asking that question. One night, in 2007 I believe, I was upset about something and couldn’t sleep, when out of the blue the phrase, “the cow sat on the running board, the horse sat on the hood,” arrived. I thought that was so funny that I got up and wrote it down. It seemed that I should do something with these two. Why they arrived, I had no idea. I have never known a cow or a horse, but there they were, and they invited attention.
Since I have always written rhyming poetry, they seemed to fit right into that genre, and it seemed to welcome them and invite them to stay. I thought they should have a true explanation of their meeting, so the cow and the horse and the poems took shape.
I was taking a writing class at the Montpelier Senior Activity Center and read the new poems about The Horse and The Cow to them. (By then my cow and horse had told me their formal names.) The Cow and The Horse started by exploring close to home, and fellow class members commented quite often that I should publish their story as a children’s book. They always looked forward to hearing more about the two. However, when children were introduced to them at the library, they didn’t seem to enjoy them!
One morning The Cow realized that since they were imaginary, their car could fly where ever they wanted to go. As many people have not had the chance to travel much, and I knew The Cow and The Horse could fly and visit anywhere, I suggested they visit a bit of the United States. And since I have visited many places around the world, The Cow and The Horse asked to visit some of those (and I could revisit them). They willingly tied their seatbelts tight, and always got back before dark.
Members of the writing class always perked up and paid attention when I brought The Cow and The Horse to the writing class. When I read about their visit to the Midi Canal in France, and the friend next to me said, “I feel like I have just been to the Midi Canal!” that’s when I thought maybe I should get them published.
Since The Cow and The Horse and the beat-up car belong to each person reading the book, notes were compared in class about the color of the car and the breed of cow and horse. Those will always be the reader’s choice.
I do hope that people will have fun reading the adventures of The Cow and The Horse. I thoroughly enjoy writing them.
More information on Jean Dickinson’s book you can find here.
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