Friday, October 13, 2017

A chat with TK Bethea on THE ADVENTURES OF DOC HOLLIDAY HENNGINGS



Be sure and check back for HRH Gwendolyn's video where she 
shares her thoughts on THE ADVENTURES OF DOC HOLLIDAY HENNGINGS. Her review will also feature a giveaway!

THE ADVENTURES OF DOC HOLLIDAY HENNGINGS was inspired by single father and author, TK Bethea and his search for a relatable story for his dauther aided by the lively illustrations of Corey Wolfe. Doc Holliday is an energetic pup in a cowboy hat runs away on a mission to find his biological canine family, with the aide of his surly squirrel friend. In the streets and further away from home than ever, they encounter a world of trouble as his human family attempt to reunite and bring him home. Based off experiences of TK’s own childhood dog, the story’s underlying themes include adoptive/blended families, mixed cultural upbringings, running away and bullying through fun stories, characters and situations.

TK Bethea is a songwriter and storyteller, he currently lives in Queens, New York.  THE ADVENTURES OF DOC HOLLIDAY HENNGINGS is a story that flows like an artitist painting on a canvas, written in the style of a nonconventional storyteller with a heavy background in music, and songwriting. Website: www.adventuresofdoc.com


1. How did the real Doc Holliday come into your life and who named him?

After years of begging, perfect grades and displays of responsibility my parents finally agreed to let me have a dog to help with the transition of my older brother going away to college - seeing how I cried when he got his own room. We went to an animal shelter in Long Island and perused the puppy section until I found eyes that I couldn't resist. Because he was so young at the time and was a rescue we didn't even know what breed he was, initially. Which actually plays a part in the story of the book.

Once we adopted him, I named him after Val Kilmer's Tombstone rendition of Doc Holliday. He was educated, well skilled at his craft and despite being in ill health, he would fight for his friends tooth and nail to protect them.

2.Parents often use pets to teach children about responsibility, and eventually, loss and death. From personal experience, pets teach so much more than that. What did Doc teach you as a child?

Doc taught me the importance of dependence. As a child you don't appreciate the things your parents or guardians do for you. You take for granted their hard work and sacrifices. Things as simple as feedings make you think twice before you turn your nose up at the carrots on your plate or snarl "spaghetti again" that someone cooked after a full day of work.

Not to mention, the co-dependency of making someone happy. You go from caring about yourself to concerning yourself with the happiness and well being of another and receiving what seems like an unconditional love in return.

3. Why did you choose Doc rather than another character?

Doc was always the driving force in my mind. The initial spark to the inferno that is my imagination. He was the realistic cornerstone of my experiences. As a child, I got to sit back and watch his interactions with a squirrel (or squirrels) and just enjoy running and jumping. In my mind, that was a playmate for him. Thus, the Penelope character.

However, the title could have just as easily become 'The Adventures of Jeffrey Hennings.' Jeffrey's relationships - whether with Doc or his father, Richard, are just important to the story and my concerns in life as well. Whether it was as a child or as a parent. I think Doc moved to the forefront because focusing on human characters forces a lot on outward appearances and narrows the mind.

4. How did you arrive at what you wanted to teach your daughter with Doc?

Necessity. That's the simplest way to put it. As changes came along in our life, they needed to be addressed. It's hard to think about having a "sit down" talk as a parent but if you could get the message through without the child knowing, its a win-win. I call it the Miyagi. Wax on, wax off!

5. The cover is precious and hints at what's inside. Who selected Corey Wolfe to illustrate?

Fate. I searched so many illustrators looking for a particular fluidity in style, then I came Corey Wolfe's work. Not only did his portfolio and resume to be praised but his own personal paintings and bio portrayed a depth I could associate with. When I contacted him, his communication and energy paralleled my own. He read the manuscript, we discussed the characters and scenes - we meshed.
6. Is Doc going to be a series or will you expand on another character in his book?

The website, www.adventuresofdoc.com, has a blog section that will feature a collective of short stories. It features the different characters in their own stories. Some are origin stories, others are side stories that connect to the book. As far as a full length, as you read the collective you'll see that there is potential to go in either directions. I guess, time will tell.

Appreciate your taking the time to visit. I'm looking forward to reading Doc with HRH, my granddaughter, and having her "read" his adventure back to me.


Thank you for having, me. I appreciate you reading the book the way it's meant to be, as a bonding experience. While I hope you BOTH enjoy the adventure, I take satisfaction in knowing it will forever be a memory and experience you share together. 

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