As I worked on my forthcoming picture book Attack! Boss! Cheat Code! A Gamer’s Alphabet — which will be published by POW! this October, with illustrations by Joey Spiotto — I was struck by similarities between adults who have tied their love of video games into their careers and those who create books for children and young adults.
Among those in the gamer camp that I’ve spoken with, or read essays by, or listened to interviews of, or just followed on Twitter, I’ve noticed a lot of the same passion for creativity, thoughtfulness about their audience, and concern for diversity within (and represented by) their field that I’ve long seen among other children’s authors and illustrators.
There’s been some crossover — video games playing roles in fictional stories, children’s books being reimagined in digital form, individuals I know who have worked in both fields — but I wanted to see more.
That’s what inspired me to begin this “Games & Books & Q&A” series of simple interviews with authors/illustrators about their gaming experiences, and with gaming folks about their reading tastes while growing up. I think these will be enlightening and fun, and I hope you enjoy the parallels and cross-pollination between the two fields.
Let’s get started with middle-grade novelist Greg Pincus and Carly Kocurek, who teaches college courses in game studies and game design. I’ll continue next week with Tracy W. Bush, who composes music for video games, and YA novelist Tanita S. Davis.