Kelowna couple Deanna Kent and Neil Hooson announced a second book deal with Macmillan USA’s Imprint. (Deanna Kent and Neil Hooson)

Kelowna couple Deanna Kent and Neil Hooson announced a second book deal with Macmillan USA’s Imprint. (Deanna Kent and Neil Hooson)

Kelowna couple gets second book deal with Macmillan USA

Deanna Kent and Neil Hooson’s worked with the publisher for their “Snazzy Cat Capers” series

Local creatives Deanna Kent and Neil Hooson are exploring more worlds.

The Kelowna couple have secured their second three-book deal with Macmillan USA’s Imprint. Their first one was for the middle school book series “Snazzy Cat Capers”.

Kent said the adventure towards the second series started in October of last year.

“I always say that if I can’t distill my idea into one sentence, then I don’t have it,” she said.

“We called our agent and I was telling her how I couldn’t get my idea out. She happened to mention a book about vehicles and she laughed and said ‘do you want to just write about vehicles?’”

She said no, but inspiration grew anyway.

“I wanted to write about mermaids but then I also had ideas about monster trucks, and we just started rattling that off,” Kent said.

From there, “Glam Prix Racers” was born. Hooson said it’s a 224-page graphic novel for students six to nine years old.

Hooson is the graphic novel’s illustrator and designer and Kent writes the story.

The series will explore magical creatures and their lives on Glittergear Island, where they’re all getting ready to race and win the coveted Glam Prix Cup.

Kent and Hooson said the plan is to have the first three books in the series explore the major races the characters have to do in order to win the Glam Prix Cup, including tracks in magical realms and side quests and challenges.

“We grew up with Mario Kart and so we’re just really inspired by that whole genre of racers and the idea of extra challenges and secrets to find,” Kent said.

When it comes to balancing full-time jobs and their family life, Kent and Hooson said it’s all about making the most of whatever time you have.

“We’re not really sure sometimes (how we keep the balance). It’s all a labour of love. Yes, we go to the kids’ activities but when it’s time to be home, we sit down and work,” Hooson said.

“The kids are all really busy. I can’t tell you how many books in total I’ve written on the stands of volleyball and basketball bleachers all over the city and the province. There’s just no wasted minute,” Kent said.

Kent added they’re thankful for the creative community in Kelowna.

“We worked for Club Penguin and Disney for almost ten years and the people who started that and all the tech companies now here now and that are staying and working here and choosing to start companies here – we’re just finding more and more support in this community,” she said.

“Everybody is trying to lift each other up right now in the creative community and we’re just so grateful for that every day. It’s so special and I think it makes Kelowna a unique place.”

The first book in the Glam Prix Racers series is set to hit shelves in spring 2021.

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Twila Amato
Video journalist, Black Press Okanagan
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