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Please Welcome Ambassador Ticklydung

RT: Welcome, Ambassador. I am so glad that you were able to join us for this interview. Can you tell us, how did you decide on Faiz Kermani to help you produce this book?

Ambassador: I actually bumped into him outside the Empire State Building in New York while vacationing on Earth. Somehow we got talking about our mutual interest in space creature wildlife and the environment. By the time we had bought our tickets we had agreed to work together on the book! I do hope we'll work together again.

RT: Clearly this has already proven itself to be a wonderful collaboration for you. Congratulations on earning a "Reviewers Choice Award" in the annual Reader Views Annual Literary Awards. You obviously put a lot of trust in him creating not only the narrative, but the illustrations, too. How would you rate him as an artist? Did it take him very long to create the sketches of the Alien space pets and wildlife that accompany the descriptions?

Ambassador: Thank you. To win an award on behalf of the Space Creature Sanctuary in book for young readers (8 to 12) is such an honor.

As for Mr. Kermani, I mean Faiz, his wacky, crazy style reminds me a lot of the artists on my home planet of Krobol, but he's only been drawing for a few years. I actually persuaded him to collaborate with the renowned space artist Marco Giollo (www.giollo.com) who took things one step further and transformed the drawings into paintings. We plan to exhibit these masterpieces in the Planetary Art Museum in Krobol City.

RT: Of the creatures listed in the guide, which one ...(a) fascinates you the most? (b) is your personal favorite? (c) was the most difficult to capture/obtain? and (d) is the rarest?

Ambassador: Fascinates? Oh, it is probably the grombulnooj as no one can decide whether it is a space beast, a space plant - or perhaps both. It is very odd and you must not get too close otherwise it will slap you!

The hardest to procure for the Sanctuary was a cross-eyed pilzoobeast. We had a huge problem in finding one, as it is a very dangerous shape shifter and can change into any creature it sees. The clue to recognizing it is its eyes as it is not very good at copying those. Luckily one of our observant park rangers spotted a space creature with uneven eyes on the planet Fingbool and guessed what it was. Now it is a star attraction, but for safety reasons we have to surround its enclosure with a force field.

The zoblong, which has very beautiful, multicolored eyes is the rarest. Sadly, inter-galactic poachers have been killing these creatures to extract chemicals to produce paints.

And my personal favorite ... well, I can't pick just one. I love the The qobit and the floob equally ... and it is why why we chose them for the book cover. The large qobit protects its small friend from predators, and in return the floob acts as a lookout for food. It is a good example of what you can do when you work as a team.

RT: Are there any other creatures you would like to see become part of the Ambassador Ticklydung Space Creature Sanctuary (ATSCS)?

Ambassador: My personal ambition is to add a few endangered creatures from Earth and we are talking to your wildlife experts about the possibilities. They would be a big hit with aliens as we hear so little about your planet!

RT: Is there one particular species that you can pinpoint as the inspiration for wanting to create the Centre?

Ambassador: When I was growing up, everyone used to complain about hairy fluckboos, as they used to raid the neighborhood garbage for food. It was only when I was a little older that I realized why we had destroyed the forest where they lived when our city had expanded. I decided there and then to try and create a home where no one could bother them. Now they happily run around our space creature sanctuary, throwing rotten fruit at the tourists.

RT: Could you tell us how your skills as ambassador came to play in creating the ATSCS? What types of negotiation were required?

Ambassador: Being an inter-galactic ambassador allowed me to make friends with many important aliens, from numerous planets and asteroids. Without their kind help I could never have managed to successfully negotiate with so many extraterrestrial governments in order to obtain the different space creatures. I think it also helps that I speak 109 alien languages, as this helped me to speak directly to the alien media and get the support of the inter-galactic public.

RT: My daughter thought both the nogflops and glods were adorable. Do you have either of these species as a personal pet?

Ambassador: Nogflops are delightful creatures but are very independent-minded and impossible to train! They will eat almost anything and are a nuisance around the house. I did have one once, called Pogolbitz, but it cost me a fortune to replace all the items he gobbled up. Cutlery, plates, coins, furniture, even my intergalactic-sized plasma screen ... you name it, he ate them! I was quite sad to see Pogolbitz go, but for the sake of my house there was no choice.

Glods are much easier to deal with and are known as "sn alien's best friend". I keep two at home, Trumbold and Zrumbold. They travel with me everywhere ... even on my inter-galactic trips.

RT: Which of the planets and moons that you've visited have the most diverse space wildlife?

Ambassador: Funnily enough, I think your planet Earth has some of the most incredibly diverse wildlife I've ever seen. I do hope that in years to come, your citizens will look after these creatures. You really don't know how lucky you are!

RT: Which planet/moon has done the best job of preserving natural habitats for alien space creatures?

Ambassador: I think the government of the planet Croggit has done a fantastic job of saving the endangered Moonrock hound. These sweet creatures normally live on several moons, but space tourists had been taking them away as pets for their children.

However, moonrock hounds are not suited to life in other environments and after a while these owners abandoned them. The government launched an advertising campaign "A moonrock hound is not just for the holidays, it is for life." Now the moonrock hounds are back on their moons, where they belong.

RT: Thank you so much for taking the time to educate us about life beyond our planet ... and for giving us something to think about in preserving our own resources.

Ambassador: Images used with permission.


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