Interview with Katie Cook: 'Little Big Benny: The Wicked Itch' Special

Posted Aug 25, 2013 by Markos Papadatos
Katie Cook is best-known as the media personality from Country Music Television (CMT), but what people may not know about her is that she is also a published children’s author, who has penned the “Little Big Benny” books.
CMT media personality Katie Cook talks about  Little Big Benny
CMT media personality Katie Cook talks about 'Little Big Benny'
Nora Canfield
Her third book in the “Little Big Benny series” is entitled “The Wicked Itch.” “Just like the first two books, we follow Little Benny’s daily life and the lives of all the many characters that live within him on a microscopic level. Benny still has strong feelings for Lora Lee, and by the third book, it is firmly established that she feels the same way; however, young love is never easy. Benny’s neighbor, who happens to be the class bully, is Leo Grainger. Leo and Benny are still at odds over Lora Lee, but in this book, we start to see Leo pay for some of his actions. They say what goes around comes around, and in Leo’s case it is coming like a freight train,” Katie shared.
She continued, “There has been a great deal of drama in the worlds within Benny too. He continues to have a great effect on them, and vise versa, but as before they are all still completely unaware of each other’s existence. The growing tension has them ready to turn on one another, but we start to see that there has been many a misunderstanding. We can’t judge a book by its cover, and this theme reveals itself more and more by the end of The Wicked Itch.”
On the evolution of the character of Benny throughout the series, Katie remarked, “Little Benny has had many challenges from day one between dodging Leo to admitting his feelings to Lora Lee. While he has set-backs along the way, we are seeing him develop into a more confident boy by the end of ‘The Wicked Itch.’ He is often his own worst enemy and still has many lessons to learn, but with his parent’s guidance and the incredible loyalty shown by his best friend, Harmony, he is on track to grow into a fine young man. The other characters that live within Little Benny develop along the way too. Even Pooshy and Tufty, the Floof brother and sister in Lintopolis who can find anything to argue about, are learning more about each other and coming to a place of compassion and understanding. We find out by the third book, the Zuzus from Jamaland have been greatly misunderstood and that even the Waxmen aren’t as bad as they seem. There might not be much hope for the Zetas, Zoogle and Zagne, though. These aliens sent to Earth to monitor Benny are still up to no good, and that isn’t likely to change anytime soon.”
Although it is extremely difficult for Katie to select a favorite book from the series since they are all her “babies,” she does love the first book “The Boy Who Didn’t Know He Was the Universe,” since it introduces all the characters and how they are all linked to one another. “It was a huge challenge to write and it was very satisfying to see it come together. ‘The Wicked Itch’ might be my favorite because of the plot twists and turns. It's nice to see Leo get a taste of his own medicine, but I won't say too much for anyone who hasn't read it yet. My hope is that all the books stand alone as good stories in their own right, but as a whole make one great ride.”
On her future plans for “Little Big Benny,” she shared, “I am currently in talks with a literary agent and would like to pursue a publishing deal that can help me get ‘Little Big Benny’ into larger markets. I have had so much fun putting the books out myself, but it would be wonderful to see it in the hands of even more kids. Ultimately, my goal is to see ‘Little Big Benny’ animated and on the big screen. It’s a very visual story to me, and I would love to see these characters really come to life that way.”
Particularly impressive about Katie Cook is that she created a Twitter account for “Little Big Benny” where the animated literary character can interact with his fans and reading audience. “Benny enjoys chatting to people and sharing his astronomical musings. There is a rumor going around though that Leo is thinking of getting a Twitter account just to mess with Benny. This could get very interesting,” she said.
“I really enjoy getting feedback from readers,” Katie concluded. “If they enjoy the books, I hope they will consider recommending them to a friend. ‘Benny’ and I would both appreciate it.”
For more information on the “Little Big Benny” book series, visit its official website.