Author RONALD HARVIE Chat

Author Chat

RONALD ANTHONY HARVIE - Creator of Peter Potato

Ronald Anthony Harvie

For the month of November 2005, I chat with Ronald Anthony Harvie, the creator of Peter Potato and author of "The Adventures of Peter Potato and Friends" published by New World Publishing.



Have you lived in Australia all of your life?

Yes, I was born and grew up in a little town near Sydney the capital of New South Wales on the East coast I could see the Harbour Bridge from the top of my street, or at least I could when walking to school. I have travelled overseas to Europe but haven't been to America yet. I have lived in Cairns North Queensland for the past 15 years and love the warm weather the Great Barrier Reef and the Tropical Rainforest.

What got you interested in creating your own characters and writing children's stories?

My mum used to read me stories when I was a little boy and I was always fascinated by the characters in them. I have always had a vivid imagination and could see myself as being part of the stories. As for creating my own characters I wanted to write about the sharing of adventure between real friends and Peter, Lebo, Larry and Les certainly are friends. Children have a view of life that is to be envied for its honesty and simplicity and sometimes it's nice to be a Peter.

When did and how did you go about creating Peter Potato?

Peter was created about eighteen months ago when I wrote a poem called The Garden Party. The poem was about all of these vegetables that wanted to have a big party before the farmer came to harvest them. Peter turned out to be not your plain old ordinary potato but was someone that yearned for adventure off the farm. I suppose you could say he just matured and grew into the adventurous potato he is today.

What's it like seeing your first book published and the reaction from friends and family?

I find even the idea of having a book published very humbling. Humbling because I regard the ability of having children reading and enjoying something that I have written, especially when the ideas just seem to come to my mind as a true gift from God. As for my family and friends they are all very excited and supportive.


PETER POTATO WEBSITE HOMEPAGE SCREEN SHOT
What should readers look for when coming to the Peter Potato website?

Peter is a warm and caring soul who would welcome them to the site with friendship. The fans should look to be able to talk to and ask Peter anything to which he will reply in an honest and caring manner, they should also look for news of his up and coming books.

What's it like seeing your first book published and the reaction from friends and family?

I find even the idea of having a book published very humbling. Humbling because I regard the ability of having children reading and enjoying something that I have written, especially when the ideas just seem to come to my mind as a true gift from God. As for my family and friends they are all very excited and supportive.


PETER POTATO AND LEBO THE CUCUMBER AND CAST OF CHARACTERS FROM THE BOOK.
Besides Peter and Lebo the cucumber, who are your favourite characters in the book?

Characters is right because they are certainly all characters; I can see a lot of people that I know in the characters in the book. As for favourites, it's a bit hard to choose a favourite, because I love them all but I suppose Hector is one even though he grumbles a lot he is always ready to help. Godfrey Goanna is a true friend to the guys and very wise as well, he has to be to control some of the others like Galah and Fruit Bat. Katy Koala is a warm and lovely lady and Charlie Crocodile even though he is a villain has a part to play.

How do you plan to get the word out about "The Adventures of Peter Potato and Friends"?

Well, I hope that people will want to read about Peter when they learn of him from his publisher Ron Kisner and from his illustrator Kevin Collier. We will be approaching Schools, Pre-Schools plus book distributors and other outlets to get the word of him out. In Australia we are planning to distribute promotional material as well as having a book launch in our local library.


THE OLD WIZARD, PICTURED ABOVE FROM THE FIRST ADVENTURE, WILL RETURN IN THE SECOND "PETER POTATO" BOOK DUE OUT AROUND SPRING 2006.
What will the second Peter Potato book about?

The second book has a mystical sort of theme, in this one the Old Wizard loses the seven Crystals from his magical crown and this means the end of magic and dreams until they are found. The Wizard goes to see Godfrey Goanna for help and Godfrey despatches Hector Crow to find Peter and his friends to send them on a quest to find the Crystals. The Crystals are scattered over the land and to find them Peter and his friends must face many obstacles until they are found. One Crystal has landed in Eddie Emus nest and he just thinks it to be a different coloured egg Lebo reckons that Eddie is a bit silly. The book has a lot of different characters and Peter and his friends have lots of fun and adventure finding the other six Crystals.

The Peter Potato series is rich with Australian creatures. Do you think the book has an educational purpose and brings awareness to your homeland?

I do certainly hope so, because a lot of the themes and characters in the book are things that I learned about as a child but some of the creatures have never been seen by the children today. I have tried to be as accurate as possible in the description of the animals and their habits some of which compare remarkably with our own. Peter and most of the animals are a happy lot and just live their lives.

Are there any plans to work on other book projects besides Peter Potato?

I have written four of the Peters Adventure books and will probably start very soon on the fifth but that doesn't mean that I can't write anything else, it's just that Peter is a lot of fun to create. Who knows what will come next? I do certainly love writing and there are other characters ready to leap from my imagination at any time! Ha-ha!

What lessons do you want children to take away from your book?

Whatever good things they find and it seems that people see different things in what they read. I can only hope that they see the loyalty, friendship and love that the characters in the books truly share. As friends they are always there for each other even when one of them stumbles as Lebo sometimes does, Peter Larry and Les are always his mates.


PETER POTATO WEBSITE
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