Following my most recent batch of school visits, I received a bundle of cards from Bradfield Elementary in Dallas. Including these:
In addition to a lot of nifty artwork, they had a few questions that I hadn’t addressed in previous installments of In which I am interviewed…, so I thought I’d answer those. Thank you, Bradfield, for the creativity and the questions!
How does it feel to be an author of fiction and nonfiction books?
It feels like I’ve lucked into having the best job in the world, and I love that I haven’t had to choose between writing fiction vs. writing nonfiction, because they both make me happy.
What’s it like writing books for the world?
I haven’t thought of it that way. My books go into the world, and the whole world is welcome to enjoy them, but I write my books for a more specific audience — readers your age!
Are you ever under any pressure while you write?
Most of the pressure on me comes from myself. I have high expectations for the books that I create and the work that I do, and I’m always striving to meet those expectations and make the best books I can.
What’s it like being a famous author?
I wouldn’t say that I’m famous, but being an author has meant that I get to spend my life interacting with people who love books or have stories to tell, and that makes me feel like I’m right where I’m supposed to be.
Were you scared of going on stage?
Nope! I was well prepared, and I also knew that everyone else in the room I wanted me to do well. That’s a pretty good combination. What was there for me to be afraid of?
What was your childhood like?
Slow-paced, safe, generally happy. Not perfect, but populated with good people who kept an eye out for me.
Do your children read the books first?
My kids used to be the first audience for my newest stories, but the youngest is now 13, and he and his siblings seem happy to wait until the book is finished. Now, Jennifer is usually my first reader, and it’s always exciting for me to show her a new story nobody else has seen yet.
How old were you when The Day-Glo Brothers came out?
On its publication date, I was a a few days away from my 38th birthday.
At what age did you truly decide to become an author?
I was 29 when I realized I wanted to write children’s books. I’m glad nobody told me it was going to be eight and a half years before my first book was published, though the wait sure turned out to be worth it.
Any tips for escaping writer’s block?
Go for a long walk, pay attention to the world around you, and when you get home, write about something you saw, heard, smelled, imagined, etc., while you were out.
When will you write another book?
I plan to work on one tomorrow. Or maybe right now, since I’ve answered the last of these questions…