They say that getting children interested in technology and STEM is crucial for their development. Most likely beneficial for the future of the world too. What better way to do that than by reading to them about a drone that wants to fly and doesn’t give up on its dreams while meeting new friends and having the time of its life? Enter Dewey the Disassembled Drone – a children’s book about drones that is slowly but surely getting into the hearts of many kids.
To tell us all about himself and his book, we’re chatting with the creator – the author himself – Gregory W. Brock.
The Man Behind the Book – Gregory W. Brock
Gregory W. Brock is a drone pilot in his free time and a fan of drone tech. He comes from a small town in Kentucky and works as a customer support specialist within the child nutrition software industry. Besides that, our speaker enjoys writing and filmmaking. From until recently, Gregory is an author of a children’s book about drones called Dewey the Disassembled Drone. Furthermore, that’s his ultimate goal – one day to have a career as a children’s book author.
On a private note, he says, “I am married to an amazing and supportive wife, and father to four incredible children.”
Kicking Off With Drones
He told us he’s usually around drones quite a bit. Plus, Gregory is an independent filmmaker, too, and he’s still fascinated to see the world from a new perspective thanks to drones. “I feel that drones add production value to any [movie] production,” he adds.
What’s more, it’s understandable why he is a great fan of drones and all the features they offer. “If you’re just a beginner, you can allow the drone to practically fly itself. I enjoyed getting to know my drone with the Active Track feature.”
Once the drone pilot has gravitated to nearly full control, the possibilities are close to infinite. “When I’m flying with my DJI Mavic Air 2 drone, it opens you up to new possibilities and it becomes a skill that can be important and beneficial to anyone that comes into contact with them,” Gregory adds.
Flying a Drone for the First Time
Naturally, drone pilots have plenty of interesting and memorable stories with their drones. Gregory shared one of those with us about his first flight.
“My heart was beating one hundred miles an hour, I was extremely nervous as I didn’t want to crash it after just buying it. I kept it very low for the first few minutes, understanding the controls and how it operated,” he says.
Even though he watched countless hours of instructional videos of other drone owners showing what they can do, (which he found very informative), he believes that they truly don’t prepare you for the experience of flying a drone.
But, after getting the hang of it, drone flying was an amazing experience for him. “Once I felt more and more comfortable, I tested out the features and allowed it to rise to new heights. The more I flew it, the more fun I was able to have with it.”
While authors for children’s books about drones aren’t very often found, Gregory has admired a lot of authors that write for kids.
He mentioned he always looked up to Mark Twain. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer have always been near and dear to him. “It allowed me to open up my imagination at a very young age when my parents would read to me,” he remembers.
The authors he admires and their works (Images source: Goodreads)
From the more recent authors, he admired the work of Adam Wallace. To be more precise, he is a fan of Wallace’s ability to open up a child’s imagination. He says, “I enjoy seeing my daughter’s face light up when I read her one of his How to catch a… book series. I hope that it carries on with her as she gets older.”
Dewey the Disassembled Drone Helps Children Nurture Love for Drones
TDW: Now, you are promoting your children’s book about drones. It’s called Dewey, the Disassembled Drone. How did the idea come into your mind?
G.W.B.: The story of Dewey came to me on Christmas Day this past year. I was taking my drone out of its box, and there it was, a drone that wasn’t all together.
It was just an empty shell, without its propellers attached and battery not installed. It dawned on me – if this inanimate object was brought to life and all it wanted to do was fly, how amazing that journey could be, but what if there was an obstacle that prevented him from accomplishing his dreams, and he had to overcome it.
That’s when Dewey’s first story was born. I have been a fan of books practically all my life, my parents would read to me often, until the point where I began reading on my own and my love for them grew rapidly.
I can remember climbing up in my grandfather’s lap and reading him Tod and Copper, The Fox and the Hound and Pinocchio. That was a memory I will never forget and I was only three years old.
TDW: Fantastic. And after all those years, the dream is becoming a reality. What is the book about? What’s the key message that young readers can get from it?
G.W.B.:Dewey the Disassembled Drone is a story about a little drone who dreams of flying, which proves to be an obstacle as Dewey is missing some of his parts. It’s a story of hope, believing in yourself, and never giving up on your dreams.
TDW: A very relevant and timely message, indeed. It must not have been easy writing a children’s book about drones. What was the process like? You have an idea, that’s awesome, but what comes next?
G.W.B.: The process of writing a children’s book is exhilarating, it allows you to connect with your inner child and open your imagination up more and more.
After writing the story, it is important to go through it with a fine-tooth comb. Making sure that it is devoid of spelling and grammatical errors, there are some instances where I may go over it 5-6 times before I send it off to an editor to help strengthen the story.
Once that process is complete it is time to find an illustrator whose artistic ability matches the tone of the story.
TDW: As you mentioned, since it’s a children’s book, illustrations are, naturally, a very important aspect of the entire story. How did Dewey get its illustrations?
G.W.B.: My journey to find the right fit with Dewey’s story was an extremely positive one. Once I sent out a notice that I was looking for an illustrator, my DMs became bombarded with talented artists who wanted to be a part of the project.
I looked through many portfolios until I came upon one artist who seemed to breathe life into inanimate objects. My illustrator came by way of Ukraine, Viktoriia Mychalevych, or as she prefers to be called, ‘Victoria Mikki’ and she signed on to join me on the journey of bringing Dewey to life.
It began with the initial character sketch, and I fell in love with the character that she had created. She initially sketched out each sketch of the page and once I gave the thumbs up, she then began to digitally paint and bring to life the complete story.
TDW: It’s beautiful when people and energies come together and collaborate to create something amazing. Now, we don’t want to spoil the book, but we’d like to ask do you have a favorite quote or a favorite moment from the plot that’s close to your heart?
G.W.B.: Of course. My favorite moment from the book is when he [one of the book’s characters] felt all hope was lost, then someone intervened to help him on his journey and he comes to the realization that his dream is finally coming true.
What’s Next for Gregory and Dewey
TDW: With your book, you’re a real advocate for using drones for good. How do you think drones can be used more for the well-being of others? How can we inspire the rest to use drones for good?
G.W.B.: I feel that we will reach the point where drones will be a part of our everyday lives, from search and rescue use, package delivery, to being able to access places no person would ever dare set foot.
They will truly open up many possibilities and doors for many people that take an interest in technology and other STEM-based careers. I feel that the earlier someone takes on technological advancements, the brighter our future looks.
TDW: Very well put. Is that one of the goals that you’d like to achieve with publishing Dewey’s story?
G.W.B.: My ultimate goal with publishing this story is if I can only reach one person, whether it inspires someone to buy a drone, or accomplish something they thought was not possible, but they never gave up hope, I will truly feel accomplished and that my journey was well worth it.
TDW: And to achieve that, what are some of the lessons that you’ve learned along the way regarding using drones or throughout the process of writing the book?
G.W.B.: The biggest lesson that I have learned is to open up your mind to new possibilities, pick up a new trade, read a new book, or reach out to others to inspire and show them the world from a new lens.
Eventually, we asked him what’s next for him professionally. Can we expect more books in the future? In return, he was so sure of his dreams and plans. Moreover, he intends to write and publish more Dewey the Drone books and countless other children’s books which he’s already written or at least has the outlines for. “I hope to open up my marketing plan and work toward realizing my dreams of having a career as a children’s book author.”
We’re here to follow Gregory’s every step. And we can’t wait to read more stories with Dewey the Drone and the next great children’s book about drones. We thank Gregory for his time and for chatting with us about his writing endeavors. As he demonstrates, it’s important not to give up on your dreams. Even if that’s flying as it was in Dewey the Drone’s case.
To provide the best experiences, we use technologies like cookies to store and/or access device information. Consenting to these technologies will allow us to process data such as browsing behavior or unique IDs on this site. Not consenting or withdrawing consent, may adversely affect certain features and functions.
The technical storage or access is strictly necessary for the legitimate purpose of enabling the use of a specific service explicitly requested by the subscriber or user, or for the sole purpose of carrying out the transmission of a communication over an electronic communications network.
The technical storage or access is necessary for the legitimate purpose of storing preferences that are not requested by the subscriber or user.
The technical storage or access that is used exclusively for statistical purposes.The technical storage or access that is used exclusively for anonymous statistical purposes. Without a subpoena, voluntary compliance on the part of your Internet Service Provider, or additional records from a third party, information stored or retrieved for this purpose alone cannot usually be used to identify you.
The technical storage or access is required to create user profiles to send advertising, or to track the user on a website or across several websites for similar marketing purposes.