The Adventures of Rockford T. Honeypot is a labor of love from author Josh Gottsegen. If you’re looking for a great summer read for middle grade readers, then check out my daughter’s review of The Adventures of Rockford T. Honeypot. To learn more about this heartwarming story of adventure, this interview with Rockford T. Honeypot author Josh Gottsegen will answer some of your questions about the book!
Where Did the Idea Come From?
Josh: “In 2014, I wrote a children’s book about a family who runs a juice bar in Tropland Forest with the intention to make healthy eating “cool.” After completing three books in my “Joosh’s Juice Bar” picture book series, I decided to dedicate a full story of another character in Tropland.
As I was brainstorming ideas, a close friend of mine fell ill, so I wrote a collection of short stories for her while she was in the hospital, all of which had messages of never giving up in the face of any obstacle. During her recovery, I continued to write and developed one of the stories, “The Adventures of Rockford T Honeypot,” while sharing each chapter with my friend during her path to recovery. I was motivated and inspired to write something filled with laughs, love, perseverance, and excitement for both of us. She is now 100% healthy, happy, and strong.”
This makes the book mean even more to my family!
How Would You Describe Your Book to the Younger Generation?
Josh: “An epic origin story of the most successful animal in Tropland Forest. No taller than a banana and timid of germs, Rockford T. Honeypot proves that even a small animal, such as a chipmunk, can overcome fear, travel the world, make new friends, and live a life full of adventure.”
What Character in the Book do you Identify with the Most? Why?
Josh: “I identify with Rockford the most, which is why I probably added many traits to his character. I’m not the biggest fan of germs, but I love to explore. From an early age, Rockford had a gut feeling to ‘change the forest’ in some way, shape, or form. I have always wanted to to be a storyteller and create stories (from books to movies) that entertain and inspire others.”
Your Dream Movie Cast
Josh: “I would love to see Rockford and friends as a series or movie. That was my intention from the very beginning! An absolute dream cast would be:
Kelsey Grammer, as an older Rockford recounting the story from Green-Hut Market 39
Ewan McGregor as a younger Rockford
Emma Watson as Jewel
Jeff Bridges as Chuck
Rami Malek as Billy Fence
Constance Wu as Sora
Whoopie Goldberg as Eve
Meryl Streep as Rockford’s mom
John Goodman as Rockford’s father
Chloe Colman as Apple
Benedict Cumberbatch as Braxton McFudden
Al Pacino as Don Ribbit
That does sound like a dream cast!
What Lessons Do You Want Families to Take Away?
Josh: “There are two messages that I’d like readers of all ages to take from the book. First, never give up on your dreams, even when people tell you it’s impossible. If you have a goal in life and work hard towards reaching the “unshelled diamonds” on your path, anything is possible. Secondly, Rockford’s communication with all animals throughout the book, no matter the species, comes from a place of respect, gratitude, and kindness. It didn’t matter if it was a squirrel or rabbit; he treated others the way he wanted to be treated.”
Who are Some of Your Heroes?
Rockford wanted to be just like Captain James. Who are some of your heroes? It was fun to see that one of my heroes is the same as Josh’s heroes!
Josh: “Growing up, I read about Walt Disney and how he set out to create the impossible. I’ve always been drawn to people who innovate and build something from the ground up. Aside from fictional heroes, I always looked up to my father and grandfather. My grandfather was always happy, even when he first woke up in the morning! He encouraged me to find happiness by doing whatever I enjoyed, as long as I respected everybody. Period.”
Thank you so much, Josh! If you love stories about adventure, pick up your copy of The Adventures of Rockford T. Honeypot on Amazon, Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble, and more!