Title: Night Buddies, Impostors and One Far-Out flying Machine
Author: Sands Hetherington
Page count: 320
Genre: Juvenile Fiction
I was born in 1939 in New York City and moved to Greensboro,NC in 1941, where I have lived ever since, except for short periods. I became a high school dropout at seventeen, and now hold degrees in history, English, and creative writing. I have been a hod-carrier, newspaper laborer, professional student, short story writer, financial advisor, sportsman, land speculator, and large dog breeder. I’m of a certain age now and live by a lake on the edge of town with my Saint Bernards, Dudley and Maggie. They would like to meet you.
Tell us about your current book:
It’s titled Night Buddies, Impostors, and One Far-Out Flying Machine. It’s the second book in the Night Buddies series featuring John Degraffenreidt, a young kid who isn’t ready to go to bed yet, and Crosley, a zany red crocodile who shows up just like in the first book to sneak John out on an adventure. This time, though, after they get outside, Crosley doesn’t know what to do. He can’t get in touch with his brother Crenwinkle to find out what the Program is. When they finally do find Crenwinkle, he tells them Crosley has been spotted all over the Borough committing thefts, vandalism and malicious mischief. Crosley is innocent, of course, and it’s clear someone is impersonating him. So the Program is obviously to get the business stopped before Crosley is run out of town for being an undesirable. (Meaning no more Night Buddies!)
Our two friends decide on a stakeout, and this means going to a fantastic Emporium and getting a fabulous flying machine. The deal is, Rodney Oglesby’s sauerkraut and jellybean hot dog cart keeps getting attacked by the fake Crosley, and our friends determine to fly over it and watch. Soon enough, an extraneous red crocodile sneaks up and snatches the cart and sails off down the sidewalk with it, causing general pandemonium. John and Crosley chase from the air, but the impostor turns into the adjacent park and escapes.
What’s going on? Why Rodney Oglesby’s sauerkraut and jellybean hot dog cart so often? When John and Crosley finally figure this out, the contest begins. It takes many twists and turns, and a night of magical flying around, and we meet lots of cool new characters who help along the way. It’s almost dawn when things get wrapped up—–
How long did it take to write the second book in the Night Buddies series?
For a writer of such zany stuff, I’m really rather deliberate. Maybe about ten months.
Besides the main characters, what other characters are from the first Night Buddies book?
The cash register woman with the purple lipstick.
The squatty little man in the token booth.
The old night watchman in the blue night watchman’s suit.
The tiny little orange-haired woman in the other token booth.
Big Foot Mae (via e-mail).
And the Iguana Gang. (But please don’t tell anybody! It’s supposed to be a big surprise in the middle of the book!)
Where did you come up with the idea of an impostor?
I wanted to use Crosley’s bad ol’ archenemies in a much longer story, and I wanted to be subtle about it and take my time and set up some tension and mystery. It occurred to me to have the iguanas running around in Crosley disguises committing execrable acts and making Crosley look bad. This let me get well into the book before trotting out my stock villains and it made their appearance that much more dramatic. It fuels the whole story. The whole thing comes down to restoring Crosley’s reputation, and this finally gets done with a lot of help from a lot of new characters.
What characteristics are different between the impostor and Crosley?
Except for exteriors, everything. And remember there are six identical-looking impostors. They wear perfect Crosley disguises, complete with Crosley voice recordings inside their fake Crosley heads. But Crosley is a bright-red crocodile and a neat guy, and the iguanas aren’t even crocodiles. Not only that, but they’re bad!
Tell us a bit about Crosley’s relationship with his brother Crenwinkle?
First off, Crenwinkle runs the Night Buddies Network and, as such, is Crosley’s boss. Crenwinkle tells Crosley what to do professionally, and Crosley does it, because (as we all know) Crenwinkle has an IQ in the low four-digits. Beyond that, the two are typical brothers. They know each other’s weaknesses very well and enjoy fussing and being rivals. At the same time they are very close and dependent.
Both Night Buddies books have wacky foods within the story line. What is the inspiration for these types of foods?
The staple is pineapple cheesecakes. They are the heart and soul of the first story and essential to the second. They are a huge part of Crosley, and I put them in because I wanted Crosley to be wacky, and what isn’t wacky about a red crocodile addicted to pineapple cheesecakes? (Actually I love the things myself!)
The Fro-Madges were a matter of making do with what was there: that’s what was in the treat machine, and they had the main ingredient that goes into pineapple cheesecakes, after all.
The jellybeans go on Rodney Oglesby’s dogs because they provide a main clue to what’s been going on. (Everyone knows the iguanas have horrible taste!)
The steamed root beer is there for Crenwinkle’s proclivity and hiccups. Crosley has his pineapple cheesecakes; Crenwinkle has his steamed root beer. It’s a family with food addictions, in a harmless sense.
All of the other things are to show the fantastic qualities of the treat machine, and to supply ordnance to drop on the iguanas.
What do you hope your readers come away with after reading the second Night Buddies book?
I hope they are entertained and want to go back for more.
Where can we go to buy your book?
Amazon.com, BN.com and all fine bookstores. The books have national distribution through Delphi Distribution (www.delphidistribution.com)
Any other links or info you’d like to share?
Your favorite excerpt from book:
(From pages 21-23)
There was this really fancy man and woman that came walking along—–
“Oh, look at the little boy with the red crocodile,” said the woman.
Crosley stopped and snorted: “He ain’t little, madame!”
The woman smiled at me: “I’m so sorry. Of course he isn’t.”
The man pulled her by the sleeve but she didn’t move—–
“You know, Freddy, I used to ride ponies with a crocodile friend just like that when I was a little girl in Palm Beach. Except that my crocodile was green and imaginary and wore jodhpurs.”
Crosley grinned at her: “How do ya know that, lady?”
“I don’t understand,” she said. “How do I know what?”
“How do ya know he was imaginary?” grinned Crosley.
The fancy woman hesitated: “—–Why, just because he was,” she said. “Because I imagined him. On purpose.”
“But how do ya know he wouldn’ta been there whether ya imagined ‘im or not?” grinned Crosley. “I’m thinkin’ he might be my cousin Crockford from what ya said.”
“But—–Whenever I stopped imagining him he disappeared,” explained the woman.
“Yerk! Yerk! Sounds like Crockford, awright. Always there when ya want ‘im, an’ gone in a half a second when ya change your mind.”
The man frowned and pulled on her sleeve again: “Dear, you probably haven’t heard—-?”
“I—–No. Oh, all right.”
They turned to go.
“Jeeks, lady, ya might just as well say I’m imaginary! I can disappear too! Here, lemme show ya—–” Crosley reached for the I-ain’t-here doodad.
“Elnora—–?” frowned the man.
The fancy woman waved a little wave and they walked on, with the fancy man trying real hard to tell her something.
“Ain’t that right, buddy?” Crosley said. “Yerk! Yerk! Yerk! I can disappear too, right?”
“Ya sure can, Cros.”
It was great sharing time with you today and finding out more about you Sands! Good luck with all your future writing projects!
Thanks for having me!