Several weeks ago, while scrolling through Facebook, I saw a post from a friend about a new book called, Dads Are Mighty, Dads are Strong by MT Hamilton. We love books with monsters, and this one had such bright colored monsters as the main characters, I knew it would be a hit. I’m excited to share my interview with author MT Hamilton today. Enjoy it! You can get Dads Are Mighty, Dads Are Strong by going here.
1. What/Who inspired you to write your book, Dad’s Are Mighty, Dads Are Strong?
MT: My son Caleb had a very difficult time staying asleep the first year of his life, every night every 2 hours he would wake up. Knowing from my experience with his older sister that the time would go fast, I loved/hated these moments. Loved because it was another chance to cuddle my little one. Hated because who want to live like this? It’s like your a crack addict or something. One night the words just popped in my head, “Dads are mighty, Dads are strong, Dads can go all night long.” Sound familiar? This was the genesis of the book and I took 3.5 years to make it what it was today. Originally, the lines were random with random illustrations, but I realized I needed to tie everything together with a stronger story. So, I began writing the story that would only be told through the illustrations. It was challenging to keep it kid friendly and not make the dad look like an idiot for getting too close to the train tracks. My goal of the book is to tell the story of every dad’s true identity. It is not who you are but who you are meant to be. It is all about the journey to get into alignment with your true self. Many books only point out how dads like to do silly things and break the rules that mom sets. I wrote the book as a well rounded perspective on who a dad is. Not only do they love playing, but they provide and protect no matter if they are a stay at home dad or a nine to fiver.
2. I loved that you used “monsters” as the main characters. Is there a reason why you chose monsters for your book?
MT: Originally, I illustrated the book with my white mug as the main character. I wasn’t planning on doing a book just having fun. I love digital painting. When I realized it was becoming something more, I started thinking about how the book can connect with any dad no matter who they are. I didn’t want to be political just relevant. I felt bears and animals were overdone. I love playing “monster” with my kids so I felt that was a great fit. Now, no matter if you are white, black or blue with polka dots, readers can more easily relate to the characters. Even for multicultural families, the kids are different colors than the dad.
3. What was your favorite book as a kid?
MT: remember my mom reading my brother and I “Swiss Family Robinson” and I loved that. The idea of living outside and beating the elements. Can you tell I love backpacking and the outdoors too?
4. What book are you reading now?
MT: Oh goodness, I’m reading several books right now. For fun, I just finished the “Ancillary Justice” series that won several awards. Very entertaining and extremely well written. For personal growth, I am reading “Hero”, “7 Habits of Highly Effective People”, and a book on relationships.
5. What’s the best thing to you about being a dad?
MT: Just my kids. Loving them and spending time with them. I don’t understand how so many dads are not intrinsically motivated to play with their kids. I love helping them become who they are meant to be and not giving a hoot if they don’t measure up. So many parents get obsessed with their kids being an assignment they have to pass. We have to give our kids room to fail that is what helps them become who they are meant to be.
6. How can kids who may come from a family where a dad isn’t present gain from your book?
MT: I think the book is a great model to aim for, so if dad is way out of alignment with who is meant to be, the book is an encouragement. Dads are mighty and dads are strong, but dads aren’t perfect and sadly sometimes good. You can’t control other’s actions but you can control reaction. So, you look towards model of what a dad should be for your future.
7. Do you have another book in the works?
MT: Haha, I always get asked that. I’m a product manager at a Fortune Top 10 company and one of the methods we practice is called agile/LEAN development. The idea is to not worry about creating perfection but to iterate your way to building a great offering. With each cycle, you are testing your customers feedback and changing accordingly. That’s why I decided to publish my book on-demand. As I receive feedback, I can update the book and add content. So, “Dads are Mighty, Dads are Strong” becomes a living growing thing. Right now, I’m working on a page set from catching fireflies with the kids. The lines go, “When night rolls in, Dads love hugs, and catching some lightning bugs.” I will update the book with this illustration sometime in 2017.
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