There’s a little story behind The HedgeGod. It all begins with Velcro. Velcro is an African Pygmie hedgehog, and lives in our den. He’s my daughters’ super cute little pet, and he’s very shy. His favorite pass time is rolling into a ball or freezing and avoiding eye contact when we come into the room. I swear he freezes with a paw in the air and will hold it there, even in the middle of a good run on his wheel.
The story continues with a stuffed hedgehog my mother-in-law bought at a sidewalk sale. My daughters placed it on the top of Velcro’s cage, peering down on him, because they thought he might like some company. One night, my daughters were speculating on what we thought Velcro might be thinking when he gazed up at this giant, puffy version of himself. And that’s when the line came out: he must be asking himself, “Is there really a HedgeGod?”
The HedgeGod was not in the first version of Blank, but emerged later when I went through the editing process with Sarah Harvey, my editor at Orca. I needed a quirky twitter site Jessie might follow, and played with several ideas. The first one was the QuoteGoat. Turns out, that was already taken on twitter! One night, tired and plugging away on the manuscript, it hit me like a gift from The HedgeGod himself: of course! Who would be better to dish out words of wisdom than Velcro’s one deity. And thus the HedgeGod was born. (Velcro, however, was carefully selected from amongst thousands of handsome candidates to serve as the model for The HedgeGod.)
Check him out. Can you see why we call him “the dude”?