Argyro Graphy Interview Published on: 20, May 2020

Born and raised in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, which was your favorite childhood memory?

I had my issues of bullying and harassment but kept quiet, and I turned to humor to mask away pain. So I tried to engage in the activities most children participate in. My parents raised us to have good values, respect people and be kind, polite individuals who placed family as the centre of it all.

Who was your favorite children's book author?

Dr. Seuss all the way !!!

Did your parents ever read you bedtime stories? If so, which one was your favorite?

No, as English was not their primary language, but shared life stories

Why did you choose to write children's fantasy/adventure books?

I Always wanted to write or draw for children, and after a number of traumas and life experiences etc I chose to relay my message through an adventure series

Who was the first person to read your first book? What did he/she say?

My first book was a parent of 5 children who loved the message and encouraged more stories like this, as well as reviewer that stated my messages are very important, showcased in a wonderful manner with an adorable and lovable character that every child should read

What are some books that have really impacted you and your writing?

I can’t really say that there is any particular book or books, but in an effort to try to get through my own life struggles and challenges, while maintaining a level of professionalism, I listen to several audiobooks about positive thinking, goal setting, setting my intentions and goals

How do you think kids will learn about sharing and friendships in "The Adventures of Bentley Hippo: Inspiring Children to Share"?

Parents and Grandparents have commented that after reading the story, their child/grandchild shared a fruit stating “just like the monkey” and so as any author would question if their story will resonate with their audience, this is validation enough and worth my journey to this date. I am not the one teaching the lessons – a bubbly hippo is teaching not “preaching” and so I try to add some humor to the story as well.

How do you usually get new ideas for your books? Do you use any tricks to get "in the zone" and get your creative juices flowing?

The Adventures of Bentley Hippo is a 5 book series, whereby I write from my experiences and not from “educational training or schooling” My characters have some challenges that are revealed in book 3 and 4. The reason why I did not introduce them with their challenges is to show children that after 2 stories of adventures, the characters were able to still move forward despite their challenges. As well, it is a clear example to not judge others without knowing “their story”

Who inspired the character of Bentley?

During my flashbacks of some of my life’s obstacles and challenges, I found myself doodling. I continued to refine and each time I looked at him, Bentley, I found “comfort” and he put a smile on my face. In a sense he is a version of me, laughing and giggling. Lets face it, everyone is use to getting a big bear hug, but now, there is a bubbly hippo that everyone want to hug.

Aside from the bullying and harassment, that scarred me, I recently underwent a routine eye procedure and woke up blind in my left eye. And so Bentley who also survived bullying, is also blind in one eye, BUT, he is going on his adventure to inspire children to never give up no matter what challenges you face, and so what role model would I be, in trying to convince children to never give up, if I quit? SO although I now have additional daily challenges and struggles, Bentley keeps me going.

What challenged did you face while writing the Greek Edition of The Adventures of Bentley Hippo: Inspiring Children to Share?

The challenge was more of finding someone to translate while keeping the humor, but most translators were writing in a professional “business” type format, and it took quite a few translators. I could pick up on this as I speak, read and write Greek but not fluent enough to translate

How did you plan in advance to make The Adventures of Bentley Hippo a 5-book series?

Bentley was originally a 7 book series, as I wanted to keep teaching lessons, but my mind often runs away from me and the thoughts of my next book distracted me from the current work, so I decided to stop at 5 books for the first series, then introduce a separate series of another 5 books, still teaching lessons.

What are some things that haven't been done in the Children's genre that you hope to introduce through your books?

I am hoping to build my “Bentley brand” to expand beyond books. Though I will always write to continue teaching lessons. I want Bentley to be a recognized face around the globe as the face of change. Bentley will be every child’s “comfort” or sense of hope and security. As he put a smile on my face (and continues to do so) I want children to know that they have a friend in Bentley, and that no matter what, they are not alone.

How are you utilizing your time while staying home during this pandemic (COVID-19)?

Bentley now has a fan club and so aside from offering free downloads to my coloring pages, Bentley is answering fan mail, working on some other “inspirational” items to add to the collection

What are you currently working on? Which place in the world would you like to set your next story in?

For the rest of Series 1, Bentley makes his way to the space centre where he will eventually fulfill his dream of going to the moon as wished for in Book #1. The second series will explore the world to learn about cultures etc.

When did you join AllAuthor? How does this site measure up with respect to others that you've come across?

I joined a few months ago.

Truthfully, because Bentley is becoming more popular and keeping me busy I have not had a chance to fully explore and utilize all the benefits, features and services but hope to very soon, as I am reaching the point where it is becoming way to busy for me to handle alone. But, it is a fun journey thus far.

Share Argyro Graphy's interview