Henry Potty FAQ

Whatís a Harry Potter parody?

Itís a silly novel with its own storyline and charactersÖthatís a thousand times funnier if you know who Harry Potter is.  There are some original characters like Henryís fairy godmother (pictured on the cover) and Miffie Muffet, but there are also incredibly familiar ones.  In addition, I make fun of dozens of popular kidsí books, from Narnia to Oz to Sesame Street (okay, not a book) within the pages.  Basically, itís a novel that makes fun of Harry Potter in its own light way.

Makes fun of Harry Potter?!  Thatís shocking, thatís horrific, thatís (insert adjective)!  How do you really feel about Harry Potter?  

Oh, I love it, I really do.  But doncha think it can be a bitÖ(ominous noise) overdramatic?  Not to mention long?  And it certainly has sold far more copies than books that have been entrancing children for hundreds of years.

Why did you write this book? 

Because Iím a writer.  Thatís what I doówrite books about whatever I think is a good idea.

What's different about the special edition?

The Special Edition contains the identical first book FOLLOWED BY scenes from books 2-6. We get the secret history of Lord Revolting and the spiders scene from book two (Why are they spelling out "Some Pig"?) We get them time-looping through book three until they plonk down onto a famous starship from another franchise and start a Star Trek parody. We get the Try WIzarding tournament between sparkly vampires, Henry Potty, and Taffy the Vampire Slayer. We also get to see the battle at the end of book five (fought at the headquarters of the Order of the Takeout between Revolting, Bea Strange, and all the cuddly green puppets from Sweat the Ogre to Yada to the Grunch to Kumquat the Frog.

There's also bigger font, a new Afterward by the author, and a shiny new cover. Put it this way: The first edition's 112 pages; this one's 218.

Okay, then what's Henry Potty and the Surplus Scenes?

Many loyal fans had the original book one, but also wanted books 2-6. So I released an ebook of just those through Scifi Cafe with a lovely new cover.

So how do I get the WHOLE ENTIRE SERIES?

Either buy Henry Potty and the Pet Rock: The Special Edition (2010, brown cover) and Henry Potty and the Deathly Paper Shortage, or buy the original Henry Potty and the Pet Rock from 2006 (blue cover), the ebook Henry Potty and the Surplus Scenes, and Henry Potty and the Deathly Paper Shortage.

It sounds exciting.  Can I read it for free?

Sure, why not.  Thereís an excerpt here.  Plus contests, giveaways, trivia, and goodies all over the site.

What's the age range?

2 to 222.  So far a number of babies and 223 year olds have protested, but I'm standing firm.

Isn't two too young?

Well...I live with a two-year-old who just snatched the book from me. She made me chase her to get it back, identified the pineapple on the cover nearly correctly, and made me read it to her. Oh and correctly identified the author photo inside. I can prove it (well, not the pineapple part)! So there's a two-year-old who enjoyed it. Now if any 222-year-olds could step forward, I'll balance the spectrum.

Could you narrow it down just a bit?

I'm picturing the same age range as Harry Potter:  Rowling's publishers suggest ages 9-12, but younger and older readers also enjoy the series.

Where can I find the book?

Aside from this site?  Almost everywhere.  Amazon.  Barnes and Noble.  Half.com.  eBay.  Plenty of "brick and mortar" bookstores have it, and those who don't can easily order it.  Happy shopping.  The eBook is also out in about forty stores.

What about autographing?

That comes from the Latin roots "auto," self, and "graph," write.

No, what if I want my book autographed?

Oh, okay.  I'm always happy to mail out personalized autographed bookplates.  Or there are signed copies available here on my site. Just ask.

What house would you be in?

Among Dummies, Scumballs, Heroes, and Leftovers? Isn't it obvious?

Oh, you meant in the rather-higher-grossing world, not the just-plain-gross world.

Definitely Ravenclaw...in Rowling's world. In mine, I think I'd find a school that isn't fourth-rate.

The parody has a lot of British/American references.  Have you ever been to England?

Yep.  In fact, I wrote this in England.  Iím American, but I spent my junior year of college studying at University of East Anglia, Englandís finest creative writing school.  I thought the British girls were gonna throw me out of the dorm and hurl me into the snow in my pajamas when they found out what I was writing.

Whatís the moral of the novel? 

Isn't it obvious?  If a walking pile of garbage tries to steal your pet rock, fight!  In fact, donít let a walking pile of garbage get away with anything at all!

What else have you written?

Quite a lot, really.  Iíve completed over 150 short stories, and published about seventy stories and reviews in magazines and anthologies.  I do quite a lot of book reviewing, mostly fantasy.  www.calithwain.com, my personal site, has links to a lot of this.

Whatís a Calithwain?

So glad you asked.  Calithwain is the made-up name of my magical world.  The website features an interactive map with photos and short stories from all over this imaginary place (please donít ask how I got the photos).  Iíve been fashioning it and writing novels and stories in it since I was sixteen so itís very elaborate by now.  Not to mention bulging at the seems from the pressure of all those tales.

Any of those funny?

A few.  My mermaid story, One Wish, has been reprinted about eight times, so I guess fans like the twist ending.  And thereís a silly cat story and a Dick and Jane parody for older readers (maybe PG rather than G).  Thereís also an entire collection of Chelm stories (Jewish folklore humor) Iím seeking a publisher for.  Many of these are on my website.  But I really, deep down, enjoy serious fantasy.

 Do you have a ďday jobĒ?

Ohhhhh yes.  Havenít made enough money at writing yet.  I teach Composition at San Jose State University.  In the summers and after class, I tutor in English all over the Bay Area.  I also teach some creative writing and SAT classes.

 Whatís it like mixing academics and fantasy?

Well, itís a real juggling act.  But since I believe the best way to excel at English is to read your favorite books, I can find some overlap.  Plus I guest lectured in the Fantasy and Science Fiction class this semester.

 Do you have kids?

Just other people's.  Quite a lot of those, in fact.

Have you won any awards?

A few.

Care to elaborate?

Henry Potty and the Deathly Paper Shortage: Ninth Annual Dream Realm Awards Winner 2008 for Young Adult.

Henry Potty and the Deathly Paper Shortage: Ninth Annual Dream Realm Awards Finalist 2008 for Cover Art.

Henry Potty and the Deathly Paper Shortage: Honorable Mention in Humor/Satire for the Fall 2009 Written Art Awards from Rebecca's Reads

INDIE Award 2008 First Place for the Henry Potty and the Pet Rock eBook version.

National Best Books Awards 2007, Henry Potty and the Pet Rock was an Award-Winning Finalist in the "Children's Novelty & Gift Books" category.  Awarded by USA Book News.

"Henry Potty and the Pet Rock" excerpt.  Phelan Award 2004 First Prize for humor.

Henry Potty and the Pet Rock nominated for Preditors & Editors TM Readers' Poll Jan 2006.

ďTea and Company.Ē  Nominated for 2003 Origin Awards.  

ďThe Fire Rose.Ē  Bestselling author Juliet Marillier's websiteóReview of the Month Award.  June 2002.

"Gilgamesh."  Olympiad of the Arts 2000 Honorable Mention.

 Do you regularly attend any major conventions or conferences?

Baycon, the SF Bay Area sf and f convention.  I also try to go to one or two fantasy conventions and maybe an academic convention each year.  This summer, I plan to speak at Book Expo America and several Harry Potter conventions, just like I did last year.  My calendar is posted; please join me for any and all events.

What about a blog?

I have a small one up on this site.  I also have pages on livejournal, facebook, and other locations.  When do I update all this stuff?  As with every other writer in the world, whenever I get around to it.

There are rumors you have a collection of singing potatoes keeping you sane...

I'm sorry, that's not a question.

Who did the cover?

That would be my college roommate, Anica Moss.  Sheís very talented. 

Anica Moss is a graduate of UC Davis in design, visual communications and Spanish. She has written and illustrated books in both English and Spanish. She accepts commissions for book illustrations and covers. Contact anicamoss@yahoo.com.

What advice would you give to new writers?

Just write, every day.  And read.  There arenít any shortcuts out there.  There's a great collection of markets to submit to if you want to Write and Publish your own Stories.

 Will there be a book 2?

Iím not sure.  Iím certainly open to writing about ďThe Chamberpot of SecretsĒ or something equally ludicrous.  Those evil coloring books can be so cumbersome!

Update: I got so many questions on this one, I couldn't resist.  My list of probable titles and blurbs for future HP parodies is right here.

Can I link to you? 

Sure, I've got great banners right here.

Can you sign my copy right this minute?

Absolutely.  I have lovely, custom-made Henry Potty bookplates I can mail.  Or you can buy an autographed copy here on the site.  I'd be happy to write you a personal message, too.  Just email me and...wait for it; this is important...let me know your address.

And now the big one: Book Seven? Where are books 2 through 6?

The novel, book seven, is the sequel to Henry Potty and the Pet Rock. Some might think that after book one would come book two, and then three, and so on in some logical fashion. Those people lack imagination. This author, on the other hand, has a chorus of singing potatoes to guide her.

Truth be told, some books invite a certain spoofiness, whereas others just don't have the gaps that make parody authors want to stick long fingers in and twist...I wrote this book in ten days, after I popped out of bed one morning with the great idea. For years I'd considered parodying book two, but it never happened. However, the instant I considered taking on book seven with its myriad of items and deaths (some more poetically just that others), I had to give it a try.

There's certainly the potential for another book, a sort of 2-6 combined. I have some scenes already in mind. Still, many characters and events I've always wanted, like the Order of the Takeout get a nod in book seven, so I feel I'm ahead of the game. Which characters are coming, you ask? Check out the brand new HP-Laughicon.


More questions?  Please, let me know.