Jacksonville Magazine - March 2016
Nick Loren has been John Travolta’s stand-in and stuntman for 20 years, played roles in several movies and hosted local TV show First Coast Living for four years. He recently added children’s book author to his list of credits. Farful Foolong from Oolong Panshoo and the Grey Bubble-Goo is about an alien who brings color to his planet. We sat down to chat with Loren about the book, which was release in late-February.
Where did the inspiration for this book come from?
In 2005, my youngest child, Niki, at the time was two. I was out doing some yard work, and when I came in, he and my wife Denise were drawing this cute little furry alien with tennis shoes on. I went to bed that night with that image in my head and woke up at exactly 3 A.M. I got up, got some paper and wrote the title out. By 6 A.M., the story was finished. It was like it wrote itself.
Why did it take you so long to publish it?
When I was hosting First Coast Living, one day I saw on the schedule this gentleman by the name of Bill Dreyer who is the curator for the Art of Dr. Seuss. As a kid, Dr. Seuss was my inspiration – I had no interest in reading until, my mom read his books to me. I thought, I can’t have him on the show and not tell him the story. He said he wanted to send it to Audrey Geisel – Mrs. Dr. Seuss. A few weeks later, I got this letter in the mail. She said “People like you make reading fun.” That was my “Aha” moment. I don’t want to keep this in a drawer. I talked to some big publishers, but I just it just didn’t feel right. So we’re doing it the way we want to do it. We’ve created a whole show.
It’s like a play, where Farful and I tell the story. We’re creating a world, an experience for the kids. We’re taking it on a Children’s Hospital Tour. Starting April 21st, we’ll do Nemours and donate 200 books to the kids. We’ve adopted this as our community so we wanted to start it here. From there we start the Florida tour, and then we go to Texas. In January of next year, we’ll start the full national tour.
Are your kids into it?
They love it. They’re a part of this 100 percent. Niki is 12 now. My youngest, Destiny, is 9. We home school our kids, so we’re getting an RV and going on the road. That’s another good thing about being independent.
That sounds like it’s going to keep you pretty busy. Anything else on the horizon?
We start shooting a new film March 9. I’m also executive producing a movie called Other Men’s Women with Clint Eastwood. But this year it’s really about Grey Bubble-Goo. If it inspires even one kid the way I was inspired by Dr. Seuss, it’s wort it.