All my daughters love to read. The first 3 read almost perfectly by age 3 – in both English and Spanish. The little one already loves books and pretends to read, too!
They are all also writers and my oldest two are bestselling authors and content creators in several capacities. Of course, their mama is a proud word nerd!
We recently received an autographed copy of “The Adventures of Rockford T. Honeypot” for the whole family to read and I gotta tell you that Eliana wouldn’t put it down.
She is 6 years old and she actually read the whole novel in just two days!
I enjoyed watching Eliana read this lovely book. She giggled, laugh out loud, and had a wide range of emotions showing on her face as she read.
“The Adventures of Rockford T. Honeypot” tells the tale of a young chipmunk: shy, bookish Rockford T. Honeypot had dreams of thrilling adventures across the forest.
However, timid of danger and germs, his only adventures were found in books and his imagination.
When his family abandons him after a mistake that destroys their hazelnut business, Rockford sets off on a legendary journey beyond his wildest dreams.
From exploring cuisines with a famous chef, training with ancient warrior monks, flying on giant hawks, finding true love, and much more, Rockford recounts his epic origin story of hardship, perseverance, and fortune.
Eliana Interviews Josh Gottsegen
When I told my six-year-old daughter she would get the chance to interview the author of The Adventures of Rockford T. Honeypot, she was jumping up and down with excitement and screaming so loud I got a headache.
Eliana wrote a list of 20 questions to ask Josh Gottsegen and she wanted to dress up and look professional for the occasion.
Los Angeles native Josh Gottsegen has a background in filmmaking and digital media and is the author of “Joosh’s Juice Bar,” an early elementary school children’s book series that encourages healthy eating habits through vivid illustrations and Dr. Seussian-style rhymes.
Earning his BA in Film Studies at the University of California Santa Barbara, Gottsegen has won numerous awards for his short films and video productions.
Starting professionally at NBCUniversal Interactive, later Josh Gottsegen moved into editing as well as other creative projects for the Walt Disney Company, Fox Corporation, IMG, and the NFL.
Eliana also typed up the questions after the interview so I could just copy-paste them into this post. I am so proud of her!
What lessons do you want people to learn from your book?!
I think the most important thing is that you never give up. A little chipmunk made the biggest impact, and he never gave up. That’s what I want people to learn.
Who is Rose and why did you dedicate the book to her?!
Many years ago I wrote a couple books called Joosh’s Juice Bar, about a family who runs a juice stand in the forest. I wanted to make a bigger book.
Rose is a friend of mine, and she got sick and had to go to the hospital, so I wrote a couple stories for her while she was in the hospital. And one of those happened to be “The Adventures of Rockford T. Honeypot”.
Over the years, when she was recovering and getting better and doing treatments, I would write a chapter of the book for her.
Now she’s 100% happy and healthy and strong, and the book is done, so that’s why I dedicated it to her.
When you have inspiration, like Rockford, everything is possible.
HOW IS APPLE SO SMART?!
I wanted Apple to be like Rockford, but smarter and to have more energy… to keep the fun of kids in the book.
HOW IS THE BOOK SO AMAZING?!
He was pleased with this question and said a big Thank You to her.
I tried to make it amazing, funny, with a lot of adventure and at the core a lot of heart and truth. Even though they are chipmunks, they go through the same struggles and happiness that we do as humans.
Why did ….(spoiler question I removed)?!
Sometimes in life, you have to make hard decisions and hope for the best. This taught us to “Live a life worth loving.”
When did you know the time was right to be an author?!
I’ve always liked to write, even when I was your age I would write stories. I would watch TV shows, and think, “it would be so cool if there was another character doing certain things.
I went to college and went to film school and kept writing. When I did my Joosh’s Juice Bar books it is like Dr. Seuss, it all rhymes, and this is my first novel.
Were the Unshelled Diamonds unshelled pistachios?!
The unshelled diamonds is a metaphor to remind us to reach for the stars.
What was your favorite book when you were a kid?!
I had a lot of favorite books when I was young. When I was pretty young, I loved Dr. Seuss.
When I got older, I liked adventure stories, like James and the Giant Peach. As I got older, I read books like The Alchemist.
I liked to read fun books about characters that go on big adventures and learn about life and learn about themselves.
How long did it take you to write your book?
It took me probably 2 years to write the book, and then at least another year to go back and edit and revise and make sure everything is proper.
It’s one thing to write, write, write, and another to edit it.
In total, from the time I started writing it to when we’re holding it together, was 4 years.
I am writing a book and making a movie. What is your advice for writing a book?!
Writing a book takes a lot of discipline, like when you work out a lot to build muscle and get strong, but with your brain.
My advice would be to stay focused and try to write every day.
Write every day as much as you can, because the more you’re focused, the more you remember about your story.
What did you learn while writing the book?!
Writing a book is really hard.
When I was writing it, I would read through it and think ‘I can’t believe I wrote that’ and I’d be laughing at my own jokes. Sometimes I get so into the mind of a character.
What inspired you to write this book?!
I always wanted to write a book, but when I had an intention behind it, that’s when I realized this could be a real novel.
Rose’s story was the inspiration behind wanting to start writing and continue writing and publish the book.
Was the book based on a true story?! Was the character inspired by a real person?!
It wasn’t based on a true story, but I wanted to write a story about overcoming obstacles and that everything was possible.
I wanted to give my friend Rose a story about a character who could do anything.
I wanted her to know that nothing was impossible, and she is now 100% healthy.
If you put your mind to something, your mind is very powerful. If you truly believe certain things it could come true, so you have to believe in yourself.
Is there a movie for your book coming out or already out?!
There are other characters and other stories that I want to write that I’d love to make into movies or TV shows!
I learned to read when I was 3 – How old were you when you started reading?!
I started reading at about your age.
When I was writing the book, I wanted to write a book for kids and adults, you’re a little bit younger than I thought, but the fact that you read it so quickly means that you’re first of all, really smart, and I hope others will read it too.
I am vegan – What are your healthy eating habits?!
I got a certificate two years ago in plant-based nutrition. To me, healthy eating habits is not eating a lot of sugar, eating fruits and vegetables.
I like to say that if you look at the ingredients and see something you can’t pronounce, then you probably shouldn’t be eating it.
I eat plant-based it. If I eat certain foods I get stomachaches, and I’d rather not get those.
When you eat healthy for a really long time, your body gets used to it.
Growing up in my house, we had carrots and celery instead of cookies.
Eliana and Josh started chatting about ants on a log. She has a video teaching kids how to make that recipe, and Josh told her that one of the 18 recipes in one of his Joosh’s Juice Bar books is actually ants on a log.
Eliana was so happy to learn that Randy, one of the characters of Rockford T. Honeypot, is also in the Joosh’s Juice Bar series!
Josh was so kind and told Eliana he would send her the Joosh’s Juice Bar series and she screamed and jumped! I am so grateful!
What is your biggest dream?
When I was younger I told all my family and friends that one day I would be the President of Disney.
I have a big poster right here on my wall with all the Disney characters.
When I started doing Joosh’s Juice Bar and Rockford, I want them to be made into movies and TV and follow in the footsteps of Walt Disney and have a big world of characters.
What was your favorite thing about your school or homeschool?!
I liked learning about history, I was always interested in that.
When I was your age, the internet wasn’t really around.
(Eliana was really surprised to learn this!!! )
My parents bought me encyclopedias, after school, I would read about animals and history and everything.
Who do you think is your biggest fan?!
Your excitement makes me excited – you are my biggest fan!
Can you imagine Eliana’s happiness when he told her that? She told me this was the best experience of her life and it really showed.
She was really professional and serious about the interview, with her little cards, and everything.
She kept typing in the chat and she made sure Josh had all of her social media handles and the address to her YouTube channel. She’s such a marketer, like her mom.
We all love “The Adventures of Rockford T. Honeypot”, but it is very important to me to spread the word about Eliana loving it, because I think the messages in this novel are critical in the early years.
If we wait until our kids are tweens and teens to teach them positive lessons, the world would have already given them a distorted message about who they are and what they are capable of.
“The Adventures of Rockford T. Honeypot” is such an engaging novel for little ones, and Josh did a great job in not making it “too cheesy” for older kids or adults, but make it fun, through a real story.
As he said, “these characters have real problems, even though they’re chipmunks.”
I’m so excited to also share a fun “The Adventures of Rockford T. Honeypot” themed craft projects that were created by the amazing Amy Fulcher of As The Bunny Hops to help get you to get excited about the book!
Rockford T. Honeypot Crafts
Eight Poem Garden Terrarium
Rockford’s Favorite Soap
Tropland Rainforest Vines
Rockford T. Honeypot Recipes
Rockford’s Nutty Nuts
Mini Apple Pies
Rockford T. Honeypot Coloring Pages
I highly recommend getting your copy of “The Adventures of Rockford T. Honeypot” and read it with your family.
You can also follow RockfordTHoneypot on Facebook and Instagram and RTHoneypot on Twitter. Use #RockfordTHoneypot to join the conversation!
Elayna is a homeschool educator, single mom of 4, founder of the Positive MOM Community, award-winning Storyteller, Story Strategist, and Student of Pain. She’s a bestselling author, internationally acclaimed keynote speaker, and 3x TEDx speaker. To receive a gift from Elayna, click HERE.
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