Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: Congratulations on the upcoming release of your all-ages novella, Boots and Pup: Toastbusters! For those who may be unfamiliar, how would you describe the book’s premise, and what inspired you to tell this story?
John Yuskaitis: When I sat down to write the book, my thoughts were on telling a fun Boots and Pup story. As I began to explore what drove the characters, I focused on the idea that "forbidden knowledge" could be dispensed in the most unlikely of places: morning toast. It wasn't even whether the knowledge could be trusted; it was the fact that Boots struggled with the concept that Pup could have found this fantastic talisman that solved all of his daily problems. He didn't trust the source. So, to answer the first question second, it's about a toaster that supposedly tells the future.
BD: This novella continues the world of Boots and Pup, which you created as an ongoing comic book series. What can you share with us about your creative process in continuing the series through a new medium, and what have been some of your creative influences?
JY: The creative process was somewhat similar to writing and drawing the comic. I knew what the rough plot would be; however, as with my previous work, the characters write themselves. I am continually surprised by the outcome of these stories. I think that's because on a subconscious level, these characters are me. I'm not reaching too far to walk in their shoes.
I tend to find creativity on a variety of levels. At the core, I am firmly raised on the Carl Barks school of storytelling. This will always be the concrete in my foundation. Beyond that, I love Futurama and can't get enough of shows like Aqua Teen Hunger Force. There is something about these cartoons that make me laugh quite a bit.
BD: The novella will debut at San Diego Comic-Con this year. Where will readers be able to find you on the convention floor?
JY: I will be in Small Press, booth K-06. I'm always interested in finding new readers and would love the opportunity to introduce them to the world of Boots and Pup. I also sport one of the thickest Boston accents you will ever hear, so stop on by and ask me to recite your favorite Good Will Hunting quote.
BD: What do you hope that readers will take away from your work?
JY: This is easy. I want you to laugh after reading one of my books. The laughter I'm going after isn't the gag strip, it's the familiarity with the way these characters conduct their lives. Everyone knows someone as high-strung as Boots or as carefree as Pup. As fantastic as the situation is, the stories are pretty resonating with everyday life.
BD: If given the opportunity to expand your series into other entertainment mediums, in what format do you hope to see it adapted?
JY: I've always felt Boots and Pup would do great in animation. There is something instantly recognizable about them that would make it a pretty solid fit.
BD: Are there any upcoming projects on which you are currently working that you would like to share with our readers?
JY: Following Boots and Pup Toastbusters, I am heading into their next story, Boots and Pup: Titanic Blunder. You heard it here first! This all-new story will put Boots and Pup at the center of a mystery on an intergalactic cruise ship.
BD: Lastly, what is the best way for our readers to find more information about Boots and Pup: Toastbusters and your other work?
JY: The best way to find out is by visiting bootsandpup.com or my Amazon author page.