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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Hickory Daiquiri Dock: Tim Federle, Nursery Rhymes, and Some Light Apéritifs

There’s this fellow I know. Tim Federle is his name. You might know him from his rather extraordinary and charming middle grade books BETTER NATE THAN EVER and FIVE, SIX, SEVEN, NATE. Both books focus on a theater kid finding his way on Broadway. They are charming, effervescent, and irresistible, much like their author.

In my book WILD THINGS: ACTS OF MISCHIEF IN CHILDREN’S LITERATURE, my co-writers and I tackled the notion of children’s authors doing adult things, living adult lives and the reaction from the public on the matter. Very much what Tim’s doing here.  Then there’s the fact that years ago SLJ fielded complaints when they published a picture of me with some children’s literary bloggers in a bar.  Needless to say, when Tim suggested I do a post with him that talked a bit about his adult, but still children’s literature related, book HICKORY DAIQUIRI DOCK, I felt this was definitely a topic I wanted to visit.

Betsy: So you traipse between the world of writing children’s books and the world of drinks with children’s book names.  Do you find them intersecting in weird ways at all?

Tim: Not so much weird ways as unexpected ones. I was planning my tour for Five, Six, Seven, Nate! when the owner of Inkwood Books in Tampa suggested we do school visits in the daytime and a cocktail event for the parents at night. It was a big hit.

Betsy: Historically, whenever a children’s book author tries to do anything adult they get chastised mightily.  There’s this understanding that writers for kids can’t have adult lives.  With that in mind, have you gotten any pushback against TEQUILA MOCKINGBIRD?

Tim: Knock on wood — so far, I’ve actually had lots of librarians quietly slink up to me in signing lines for my middle grade books and slide over their personal copy of TEQUILA MOCKINGBIRD. I’m always happy to advise them to “read responsibly.” HICKORY DAIQUIRI DOCK is a board book featuring cocktails inspired by classic nursery rhymes, so I’m hoping the crossover audience expands even more. Provided they are at least 21, obvi.

Betsy: Is there a BETTER NATE THAN EVER inspired drink in there?  If not, could there be?

Tim: Ha! Maybe chocolate milk spiked with Red Bull, for a teenage boy needing focus and energy to perform on Broadway. (Note: do not try this at home. Or ever.)

Betsy: Where did you get the names of the drinks?  Are they all from you or do you have to credit some folks with a couple of them?

Tim: Most of the HICKORY DAIQUIRI DOCK drink recipe titles — from “Ring Around the Rosé” to “Bloody Mary, Quite Contrary” — came from a combo of my own little head and also crowd-sourcing on Twitter. I asked my friends and followers for suggestions and got a happy deluge. And I had a nifty cocktail consultant help make sure the drinks weren’t just funny but also delish.

Betsy: Do you have a favorite?

Tim: The book is beautifully illustrated (by the fabulous Eda Kaban) and my favorite is probably “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Bar,” which features a new dad pressing his face against the glass of his formerly favorite bar.

Betsy: And will there be a follow-up?

Tim: I’m cooking up a TEQUILA MOCKINGBIRD sequel, whereas HICKORY is more of a companion book. I’m in my mid-thirties, and so many people in my life are having babies — I wanted to create something cheeky and sweet to mark the occasion for my friends; I’m hoping HICKORY DAIQUIRI DOCK will be the premiere baby shower gift for generations to come :) Or a Holiday gift — it’s out this December.

Betsy: Thank you, Tim!

By the way, I’d be amiss in not mentioning that Tim’s first cocktail book got a mention on an obscure little television program by the name of Jeopardy.  As such . . .

Thanks for stopping by, Tim!

Tim Federle is the author of TEQUILA MOCKINGBIRD: COCKTAILS WITH A LITERARY TWIST, which was named the 2013 Goodreads Cookbook of the Year and called “a joy” by the London Evening Standard. Tim’s forthcoming cocktail book, HICKORY DAIQUIRI DOCK: COCKTAILS WITH A NURSERY RHYME TWIST, has been declared “more fun at a baby shower than a Diaper Genie” by the Tampa Bay Times. Though Tim is not a parent himself (that he knows of), he is a very cool uncle. Say hi at TimFederle.com and connect on Twitter and Instagram @TimFederle.

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About Elizabeth Bird

Elizabeth Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.