I am @chadsell01 on Twitter and Instagram, and the official CK account is @thecardboardk on IG and Twitter.
– When you were my age (9), did you like to read?
Yes! Although I read all kinds of things, I was obsessed with comic books! I would eagerly seek out the comics section in every book store (if they even had them) and beg my parents to take me to comic shops whenever we took trips!
– What was your favorite author or book?
Since I was such a huge comics nerd of the 90’s, my favorite comic was probably Chris Claremont’s run on X-Men!
– how do you get your story ideas?
I think a lot of my writing naturally emerges out of whatever it is I’m thinking a lot about. But it can be hard to take those big ideas and make them into a story! It takes me a long time to work through different options for a character and many drafts of a script. Sometimes I get stuck on something, or I don’t know how to resolve part of the plot. Most of my breakthrough moments are during long walks that I take to clear my head!
– is it hard to write a book?
Yes! Very! That’s why I had a team of ten writers to help me with The Cardboard Kingdom!
– what authors do you like right now? Any lesser known ones you can recommend?
Oh wow! Well, I still read a lot, so I have several recommendations. I loved The Stars Beneath Our Feet by David Barclay Moore. One of my biggest author crushes of the past several years is on Leigh Bardugo – I love all the books in her two different Grisha series! And Molly Ostertag wrote the wonderful graphic novel The Witch Boy.
– what is the best part of being an author?
Being an author can be very difficult. It can also be very lonely! But the best part is seeing my work spark a reaction in another person – whether it’s my editor, my collaborators, or the kids who read it!
– What do you use to complete your illustrations?
Most of my work is done digitally. I have a desktop computer with a tablet monitor hooked up to it, which allows me to draw right on the screen! I use a program called Clip Studio Paint – 99% of my work on The Cardboard Kingdom was done with that software!
– any advice for a kid who wants to be an author?
Creativity is wonderful! If you are a creative person, you should treasure that about yourself. You should seek out opportunities to develop your craft, but you should never expect perfection. Don’t let your own self-criticism or the negativity of anyone else keep you from making what you want! The important thing is to keep developing as a person, an artist, and an author. You are capable of great things!
– If you could portal into any of your works, which would you portal into?
That’s a good question! Although I love all the kids in The Cardboard Kingdom, I feel like I already live in their world of creativity and cardboard. Especially since I see so much of them in their creators, whom I get to chat with all the time! Maybe the world of THE CLOUD (https://chadsellcomics.com/thecloud/) because it’s about a cloud who becomes an adorable superhero, and I think he would be a great friend to have.