Posted in Behind the Scenes, Meet the authors

Barbara Perez Marquez

BarbaraPerezMarquezHeadshot_512x512.jpg

Author website/social media:  www.mustachebabs.com or @mustachebabs on Twitter and Instagram

Tell me a little about yourself:

I was born and raised in the Dominican Republic, a small island in the Caribbean. When I was 13 I wrote a little poem about my mom and my little sister and it got published in an anthology, that was so cool! That was when I decided to become a writer and work really hard to create the kinds of stories I wish I could have read as a kid. So, that’s what I do now as an adult.

  1. When you were my age (9), did you like to read?

Not that much, actually! My mom always tried to make sure I was reading something, but it wasn’t until I turned 11 that I FINALLY started enjoying reading. Sometimes it takes time to find what we like and/or learn to like reading, but I think at the end of the day reading is SUPER important.

  1. What was your favorite story?

Even though I had a lot of trouble learning to like reading, I had this picture book called “The Dog & The Flea” about a small dog and his best friend, a flea. I would read it over and over again and I keep it by my writing desk still to remind me of the stories I want to create. Another type of story I really enjoy is fairy tales, my favorite one is Little Red Riding Hood.

  1. How do you get your ideas? 

I usually start with one element that I think is really cool or interesting and then build a story around it, because that way I get to learn more about the element and hopefully create something with it. Some other times, one idea will come to me and I’ll sit and think about “what kind of story can this idea make?” once I have some answers to that question, I start creating a story with those notes.

  1. Your book was done with multiple authors. Was that easy or hard? 

It was a lot of work for sure, I think creating books in general is hard work. However, when you get to do it with other really awesome creators, then it becomes easier. The most fun part of our process was when we all came together to combine our stories, we all got to meet each other’s characters and see how they’d be friends or play together or hod they’d interact.

  1. What author do you really like right now?

I’ve been really enjoying Jacob Grant’s books, most recently “Bear’s Scare”!

  1. Do you have any new or lesser known authors you would suggest?

I don’t know if they count as either of those but: Gabby Rivera, Thanhha Lai, and Annabelle Fisher are some awesome writers I greatly recommend.

  1. What advice do you have for a kid who wants to be an author?

Start writing down ideas now! In school, I would carry around a story notebook where I would write down any ideas (or even sometimes full stories!) that came to me. It’s a great way to make sure that good stories never escape you.

  1. As an author, do you hear from your readers? What do you like about that?

I hope it keeps happening more and more, being an author is sometimes lonely because we spend a lot of time writing by ourselves. So once stories and books are published, I love hearing what people think about them! My favorite part is hearing what their favorite character or scene was.

  1. If you could portal into any book (yours or another person’s), what book would it be?

Being Summer and all, I think it’d be really fun to visit Camp Half-Blood (from the Percy Jackson & the Olympians series) and go on a quest or two!

Posted in Meet the authors

Jess Keating

• Author website/social media:

-Web: www.jesskeating.com

-Tweet: @Jess_Keating

-Instagram: jesskeatingbooks

Tell me a little about yourself:

I’m an author, zoologist, and illustrator! I love writing books about animals, science, strong and funny girls, and creativity. When I’m not writing or drawing, I’m usually outside! A few random facts for you: my favorite season is autumn, because of the cool breezes and smell of leaves in the air. If I had to pick one meal to have for the rest of my life, I’d pick burritos. I also love Disney movies, cheese (any kind), and dogs. (Seriously, dogs are the greatest.)

1. When you were my age, did you like to read?

When I was your age, I liked to read everything, but I especially loved funny stories, or stories that had animals in them. I also loved reading comics—Calvin and Hobbes was my favorite!

2. What was your favorite story?

It’s so hard to pick a favorite book! One of them would definitely be Judy Blume’s Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing. I loved the humor, and could relate to all the craziness of having a brother! (Though my brothers are older than me!)

3. How do you get your ideas? 

Usually, my ideas happen when I combine several things I love into one big thought. I love mixing science and creativity, and especially when I can add humor! I got the idea for Pink is for Blobfish when I started realizing how many of the people my age still tell kids that pink “is for girls”. I knew it wasn’t true, and that pink was a color that anyone could enjoy. I decided to tell that story through lots of different animals. The easy part is getting ideas, the part that I always have to work on is making sure to write them down when I get them! I always think I will remember them, but it’s not true—you must write them down!

4. Your books are very science based. Do you have to do a lot of research for them?

I do! Every book I write involves research, even my novels (that are entirely made up!) For some books, I read research from many scientists. Sometimes I visit museums (virtual museums are wonderful!), and sometimes I speak to other scientists to get their opinions about what I’m working on. Research is one of the most important parts of my job, and it’s so important to get it right.

5. Did you get to see an actual blobfish when you wrote that book? What about sharks?

 

I have never seen a blobfish in real life! They live so deep underwater, I think I would need a submarine to do so! I have seen sharks, however, and they remain some of my favorite animals on earth. They are just so mysterious and powerful. I wish I knew what it was like to be a shark!

6. What author do you really like right now?

There are so many! Lately, I’ve really been loving Nicola Davies! She is a fellow zoologist and author (that doesn’t happen often!) so we are kindred spirits, for sure. Her book, “Song of the Wild” is absolutely beautiful—you should check it out!

7. Do you have any new or lesser known authors you would suggest?

I don’t know if she is lesser known, but I think that everyone should check out Carter Higgins’ books! She writes absolutely beautiful picture books and novels, and her work is like portable nostalgia. Everything You Need for a Treehouse is so stunning—I want to live inside of it!

8. What advice do you have for a kid who wants to be an author?

No matter what, keep writing. When you get discouraged (and you will!), keep writing. Keep a notebook for all your ideas, and don’t throw them away, even if you think they suck at the time. (That’s normal!) And most of all: follow every curious impulse you have, no matter how weird or strange it may seem. If you want to learn about something, do everything you can to learn about it, and write it down so you’ll have it for future reference!

9. As an author, do you hear from your readers? What do you like about that?

 

I am very lucky to hear from many readers! I especially love hearing from kids, because they always have such wonderful thoughts and ideas! I keep all of the emails and letters, and sometimes even tape them to the wall near my computer, so I can look at them for inspiration as I write. I’m grateful for the inspiration!

Posted in Illustrators, Meet the authors

Kevin Sylvester

My website kevinsylvesterbooks.com

I’m on facebook at facebook.com/kevinsylvesterbooks

I’m on twitter @kevinarts

and also check out neilflambe.com

Instagram @sylvesterartwork

check out my blog kevinarts.blogspot.com

1. When you were my age, did you read a lot? I was not a great reader when I was a kid. That’s actually only half true. I loved to read Spider-Man comic books, the backs of baseball cards and anything with images. But that also got me into reading Beatrix Potter and then the Hardy Boys and finally longer books such as the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings. Sp I loved to read, but wasn’t able to read the books more “word literate” kids were reading.

2. What was your favorite book? Spider-Man. Anything with Spider-Man. Also, the Tailor of Gloucester and then the Hobbit.

3. How do you get ideas for your books? By being a curious person.. The ideas for books often come from bits of unrelated ideas banging into each other like charged atoms. So, Neil Flambé is the Hardy Boys mashed together with celebrity chefs. MINRs is a space story mashed together with some of the bad things that happen in the real world around mining colonies.

4. What authors do you like right now? There are so many amazing authors that I love. Some are friends (such as Debbie Ohi or Jonathan Auxier) and others are people whom I only know through books. Nerd Camp was amazing for that. Dogman Dav Pilkey is amazing. I absolutely loved meeting Arree Chung and reading his amazing book Mixed: A Colorful Story.

5. Do you have any new or lesser known authors to recommend? Hmmmm.. Lesser known depends on where it is that people don’t know them. For example, I live in Canada and we have so many amazing authors here that aren’t huge in the US. Authors such as Heather Camlot (who just released her first book – Clutch – which is great!) I’ve got a new series coming out with Ted Staunton, Richard Scrimger and Lesley Livingston (link is here http://www.scholastic.ca/books/series/almost-epic/ ). They are all amazing and successful, and everyone should read their books.

6. Do you have any advice for kids who want to be authors? Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. And think about what the authors you like are actually doing. What verbs do they use? What images? What excited you about their plots? Steal that stuff for your own story.

7. Do you hear a lot from readers and what do you like? I hear from kids a lot (partially because I do a lot of school visits, and also because kids like to send me letters, and I answer them all). I like hearing why they like a boo AND why they don’t. Some things (like the ending to my book MINRs) can really make some kids angry! And that lets me know if I’m writing stories that actually mean anything to kids. The worst thing is to write a story that makes a kid shrug and go “yeah, that was okay”. Authors want readers to feel and think alongside their characters. Also, when we write a story (or draw pictures for them like I also do) we are often doing that alone in our studios. So we have no idea if there are real kids out there who will like our books.

8. If you could portal into any book, what book would it be? I want to eat at Chez Flambé and have Neil make me an amazing meal.

9. What do you use to make your illustrations? Everything and anything. I do a lot of my illustrations using pens and simple blank paper. Nothing fancy. But I do also do a lot of editing and even original drawing on my Cintiq tablet. It lets me fix mistakes really quickly and make edits (my editors always want changes) without having to start over from scratch.

10. Any advice for kids who want to be illustrators? Draw. Draw. Draw. Draw. Draw. Draw. And think about keeping your hand loose. Also, pay close attention to MATH. Knowing how shapes and spatial relations work will help you draw better stuff. The best book I’ve ever read that helped me learn those lessons? How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way.

Posted in Meet the authors

Josh Funk

_Josh Funk Headshot - Credit Carter Hasegawa.jpg

Author website/social media: www.joshfunkbooks.com @joshfunkbooks on Twitter & Instagram

Tell me a little about yourself: I’m a software engineer who also writes silly picture books and has somehow tricked publishers into publishing them. I’ve written books like the Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast series, How to Code a Sandcastle, Dear Dragon, Albie Newton, It’s Not Jack and the Beanstalk, and more!

  1. When you were my age (9), did you like to read?

No, not all that much. Occasionally I’d find a book or a series that I loved (From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, The Westing Game, and The Chronicles of Pyrdain come to mind), but I wouldn’t always find the next book and would have large dry spells where I didn’t read much at all.

It wasn’t until I grew up and spent a great deal of time reading to my own kids that I became a reader.

  1. What was your favorite story?

Despite not being a huge reader, I did have a lot of favorite books as a kid. I loved Morris the Moose, Caps for Sale, Corduroy, Sylvester and the Magic Pebble, Cam Jansen, The Chocolate Touch, & Matilda.

  1. How do you get your ideas? Like why turn food into lead characters?

I am not a visual artist. I can’t draw or paint or sculpt or … well, you get the picture (or maybe you don’t, cause I can’t draw it).

But I do have lots of silly ideas in my head that I think would be cool to see someone else draw. And so I just write down what I think would be cool to see a really talented artist draw – like a pancake and French toast racing through the fridge causing culinary chaos. Or a pirate-dinosaur. Or a boy and a dragon who are pen pals. Or a girl and her robot building a sandcastle.

If it’s something that will entertain me, hopefully it will entertain others!

  1. What author do you really like right now?

Wow. That’s a really hard question. I just discovered a couple of picture books at the library recently by Thao Lam. She wrote and illustrated Skunk on a String and Wallpaper. They’re both super cool stories and I love the cut paper art. You and your readers should definitely check her books out!

  1. Do you have any new or lesser known authors you would suggest?

Here are just a few debut authors and illustrators I’d suggest keeping an eye on:

  • Iver & Ellsworth by Casey Robinson & Melissa Larson is great story about an old man and a blow-up polar bear – and is the first book for each of them.
  • 100 Bugs! A Counting book is Kate Narita’s debut picture book, illustrated by one of my favorite illustrators, Suzanne Kaufman.
  • The Field by Baptiste Paul and Jacqueline Alcantara – a debut for both – is a lovely lyrical book about the love of futbol.
  • Twilight Chant by Holly Thompson is Jen Betton’s debut as an illustrator (she also just had her debut as an author/illustrator in Hedgehog Needs a Hug).
  • I Love You for Miles and Miles is Alison Goldberg’s debut, adorably illustrated by Mike Yamada.
  • Flying Deep: Climb Inside Deep-Sea Submersible ALVIN is Michelle Cusolito’s debut picture book, illustrated by the talented Nicole Wong.
  • The Breaking News by Sarah Lynne Reul is one of my favorites – and it’s her first of several books out this year!
  1. What advice do you have for a kid who wants to be an author?

There are only TWO things you need to know if you want to be an author:

  1. The Alphabet
  2. How to Tell a Good Story

So once you’ve mastered your ABC’s, how does one learn to tell a good story?

My best advice is to read a lot. The more good stories you read, the more you’ll learn about how to make up your own.

And then write a lot. And have fun with it. Share your writing with your friends and family. See what they like and what they think could be better, funnier, scarier, more emotional.

And then write some more. Just like playing sports or an instrument, writing takes practice. And the more practice you get at writing stories, the better each story will be.

  1. As an author, do you hear from your readers? What do you like about that?

Because of social media, I do get to hear from my readers (or at least their parents and teachers … and big sisters). And connecting with readers is the best part of the job. After all, that’s why I write – to entertain kids (and the adults that read to them).

  1. If you could portal into any book (yours or another person’s), what book would it be?

Definitely Corduroy. I’d love to spend the night in a department store jumping all over the mattresses. I mean, who wouldn’t? That would be the Best. Night. Ever.

Thanks so much for inviting me to chat, Bridget! Say hi to your little bro for me!

Posted in Author Meet Up, Meet the authors

Devin Scillian

Note: I interviewed Devin in person. He recorded it and Mom transcribed it below. He is a news anchor, musician and author!

New Anchor Website

What is it like to be an author and a news anchor at same time?

It is kind of fun because I get to dabble in two different worlds. When  I am worrying about the news world, I am worrying about real things.  When I have to focus on the truth and being accurate.  When I writing a story it can be whatever I want it to be. So it is kind of fun to write for news which is non-fiction,  though sometimes I write non-fiction for children’s books.  But most of the time they are stories I like to tell and I can let my imagination run wild.

How does being a news anchor help with writing or how does being an author help with being a news anchor?

  • Well the one thing I try to tell people, I don’t think they always think about it when becoming a reporter, they are really writers. Even though we talk a lot on television and that doesn’t feel like writing, [interruption for news check], but really a reporter is a news writer.  I first start writing stories long before I thought about being a reporter, so that got my writing skills together in lots of different ways.. I think to be a reporter you need to be a writer.

How many books have you written?

Umm.. 19 are out and 20th will be out early next year.  That will be Memoirs of a Tortoise. [Comments by that would be my brother’s favorite]

How do you come up with ideas for your books?

I wish I knew that. Because if I did, every time I sat down to write, I would hit the idea button and then all of sudden I would have a million thoughts for a book.  Sometimes what I have noticed, if I get a good title in my mind, then the ideas start flowing.  I got the idea of “Memoirs of a Goldfish” because my daughter came home one day and said “Dad, I think there should be a book called “Memoirs of a Goldfish”. I thought it was the greatest title I had ever heard.  I didn’t have a story. I just had a title.  And I started to write to that idea.  That has happened with a lot of my books.  Of my 19 books, I am going to say 17 or 16 started with the title first. I would say that is the reverse of a lot of authors. They think up the story first and then have to figure out the title.  Somehow it works backwards

Does the news sometimes help you with writing?

It can. More the idea of storytelling but sometimes an idea. If I see something on the news, it starts an idea. Lately we have done a bunch of stories on dogs that haven’t been treated very well. That’s made me think what would a story be if it was about a dog that hadn’t been treated well but found someone that was going to take care of it. That would be a pretty good story.  So sometimes the news does help me with stories.

As a kid did you read a lot?

I read a lot as a kid. Yes, I did. I loved Dr Seuss books. I love Shel Silverstein. My favorite book was My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George…  which I just loved. [Introduced me to Kimberley Gill]

I read a lot of encyclopedias, which no one has now because of Google.  We had a set of encyclopedias as a kid. When I was bored I would just take out one and read it.  I just loved learning little odd things about lots of things. Which is what  a journalist ends up being. A person who knows a little about a lot.

Who was your favorite author?

Ummm.. I guess Dr Seuss because I love the way he plays with words. There was the writer of My side of the mountain and that book meant so much to me, so Jean George would be up there for me. And there was also Shel Silverstein even though I was getting a bit older when he was out.  But Dr Seuss had a big influence on me.

What is your favorite place to read?

My favorite place to read… that is an excellent question… I like to read outside. I like to sit outside on a really nice day. We have a cottage up on the thumb about two hours  from here and I love to sit outside and read there.  I don’t know what it is about being outside and reading but I love that.

If you could open a portal into any of your books, which one would it be?

OOOO, wow what a fantastic question. Um.. I wrote a book called “Pappy’s Handkerchief” which is about the Oklahoma land run. So it is kind of a western, and I always been fascinated by the west. I also think it is my best book.  They fired cannon on this one day  and all these people were on horses and wagon and when the cannon fired, they all went out, crossed the line and claimed their land.  I think that is kind of epic American story to go find your farm and start your whole life brand new from nothing. And you would want to find the piece of land that had some water on it, some trees and a perfect spot if you could, but you had to do it quick because everyone else was doing it too.  So I would love to open a portal to Pappy’s Handkerchief.

That is a great question….

How did you become an author along with a news anchor?

Well, I was a writer as a kid. I became a reporter and was very happy to be doing that. But right about the time we had our first child, I wrote a story called “Fibblestaxs”  and I really liked it.  I would read it at schools and teachers would tell me how much they liked it.  And I thought I would try to get this published and little did  I know it would take me ten years to find someone to publish it. But I did. And then that kind of changed my life.  I wasn’t thinking about the next book, just wanted to get one done.  [ I shared how my teacher has that book] You gave me goosebumps that you know that book.

I got invited to the White House to read.  And Laura Bush, the first lady invited me to read at the Easter Egg role and I assumed it was for my A is for America book.  It is a really patriotic book and was sunder the White House Christmas tree. When  I showed up, they said I didn’t have to bring my book because they would have it waiting. When I showed up to read the book they had for me was Fibblestaxs.  They said please don’t take this copy home. It is Mrs. Bush’s personal copy. She used to be a teacher, so I was so moved and touched that was the book she wanted me to read.  That was my first book and I am touched you know it and your teacher has it. It will always be my favorite book because it was the first one.

Who the coolest person you’ve interviewed?

Oooo. The coolest person…. Man… thinking.. That is really tricky. Umm. I got a chance to talk to Neil de Grasse Tyson but I didn’t get to interview him. I did get to interview President Obama and he was pretty cool. Um, who else, Steve Yzerman, Red Wings.   Like him a lot.  Nick Cannon – do you know who that is? Host of America’s Got Talent. He’s pretty cool guy. There is a guy Willie Nelson. He’s a country music singer, like I am. I have gotten to interview him a few times.  I might have to put Willie at the top if I think about it.

We talked a bit about the photos in Devin’s office.

What do your kids think is cooler?

You know how kids are. It is hard to impress your kids. But I think if they ask them all, I think they might say author. I think they are glad I am on tv and all but all my kids love  books so I would think that is what impresses them most.

If you could interview anyone, dead or alive who would it be?

Living or dead. Well dead I would love to interview a whole bunch of people who aren’t alive… but Jesus.  It would be an amazing interview, don’t you think.

Living – uh, um, Vladmir Putin, no lets go with Pope Francis. He is fascinating to me.  Um, so how about that I don’t think of myself overly religious and there were two religious figures I mentioned.  Religion is o influential in our world and I would love to talk to both of them on how they feel about that.

Mom added “ How do you write your engineering jokes” ?

{Lots of laughter. Mom reveals she and Dad attend a gala where Devin tells bad engineering jokes and it is a key reason they like going.}

It is one of the hardest things I have to do each year to come up with new ones.  There are really about 13 or 14 jokes. { The grownups start talking about the event and how good the speaker was…..} All year long if I see an engineering joke, I copy it to myself in a folder. And this year I was in a mad dash with a  week to go.

So if you have good science and engineering jokes, send them Devin’s way.

Posted in Meet the authors

David DeMeo

FB_IMG_1532571764885.jpg

· Author website/social media:
instagram: @white_umbrella_dept
twitter: @popabyss
· Tell me a little about yourself:

I grew up in Midland Park, New Jersey where I spent a lot of my time writing stories and poetry into composition notebooks. I loved creating my own worlds and wacky characters and all I ever wanted to be when I grew up was a writer.
1. When you were my age (9), did you like to read?

I loved reading! Other than drawing and writing it was my favorite thing to do.
2. What was your favorite story?

I read a lot of Greek Mythology when I was a kid. My favorite collection was D’Aulaires Book of Greek Myths. My favorite story was of the hero Perseus, especially the part where he fights the Gorgon, Medusa.
3. How do you get your ideas?

They usually come from my everyday life or experiences. Sometimes I’ll see a picture that will give me an idea. Sometimes I’ll overhear someone say something that will inspire me. You never really know when inspiration will strike, you just have to be opened to it.
4. Your book (The Cardboard Kingdom) was done with multiple authors. Was that easy or hard?

It was surprisingly easy and truly a pleasure. Everyone in our group is very sweet and respectful. It was so much fun writing this book with them.
5. What author do you really like right now?

My favorite author has been Neil Gaiman for some time. I fell in love with his graphic novel series, the Sandman, when I was younger. I’ve read almost all of his books. I think my favorite one is “the Ocean at the End of the Lane”. It was magical, like all of his stories.
6. Do you have any new or lesser known authors you would suggest?

I don’t know if he’s necessarily lesser known, but I’ve always been a fan of Piers Anthony’s work. His books are very clever and funny!
7. What advice do you have for a kid who wants to be an author?

Keep writing and save everything you write! I still have ideas I wrote down when I was your age. You should never throw an idea away; you might need it someday.

8. As an author, do you hear from your readers? What do you like about that?

In addition to hearing from them, I’ve met some of them in person because I’ve been doing events with my local library here in Caldwell, NJ. My favorite part is hearing how happy our book has made people. Writing stories people enjoy is really everything I’ve ever wanted

9. If you could portal into any book (yours or another person’s), what book would it be?

That’s a tough one! There are so many stories I’d love to visit. I think I would probably portal into the Wizard of Oz or Alice in Wonderland. I always loved those books growing up.

Posted in Meet the authors

Katie Schenkel

My name is Katie Schenkel. I am @JustPlainTweets on Twitter, and the official CK account is @thecardboardk on IG and Twitter.

Tell me a little about you:

– When you were my age (9), did you like to read?

I loved to read when I was your age! My parents would bring me to the public library constantly during the summer. Their programs were so much fun and I liked discovering my next favorite story among the bookshelves.

The Scholastic Book Fairs at school were another highlight for me. I very carefully combed through the fair to find the exact books I wanted. It was the best. And I was a frequent visitor to my school’s library throughout the school year.

– What was your favorite author or book?

I loved a lot of different books growing up, but around your age I was a big fan of The Babysitter’s Club. My mom gave me a subscription to the BSC reading club, which meant I got the series mailed right to my front door, one book at a time. During the 90s, kids getting books mailed to them was a lot less common than it is now. That made each Babysitters Club book that much more special to me.

Another favorite book around that time was A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle. Her heroine Meg meant a lot to me and would eventually become one of my inspirations for Sophie in The Cardboard Kingdom.

– how do you get your story ideas?

My story ideas come from a lot of different places! For The Cardboard Kingdom, Chad had the basic idea of a neighborhood of creative kids, and that sparked my idea for Sophie’s Big Banshee. And sometimes it’s as simple as, “Oh, I wish there was a comic I could read about a girl visiting different planets and falling in love with an alien” and then remembering that I can make that book myself! And now the alien love story idea is my upcoming comic 100 Light Years of Solitude.

– is it hard to write a book?

It can be really hard to write anything, whether it’s a full book or a short story or an article! The hardest part for me is taking that original nugget of a story idea and building out from it. That’s when it’s easy to doubt your idea and want to give up. It’s important for writers to remember that their first draft isn’t going to be perfect, it just has to be finished. Once you have the draft, you can edit the heck out of it until it’s where you want it to be.

– what authors do you like right now? Any lesser known ones you can recommend?

When you and I met at A2CAF in Ann Arbor, I got to buy quite a few new comics. Lucy Bellwood’s book 100 Demon Dialogues is very cute and teaches readers to be kinder to themselves. I also met a young Ann Arbor comic creator named Bruno Hohn and got to read his minicomic The Adventures of Spenser the Ghost & Larry the Muffin. I was very impressed by how darkly funny and sharp the dialogue was. He’s got some real talent and I look forward to seeing his work in the future.

– what is the best part of being an author?

The best part of being an author is when your story is out in the world. For one, because it always feels better once the work is done. But also, that’s when you get to see its impact on readers! There’s nothing better than seeing how a story you made has touched someone’s heart.

– What do you use to complete your writing?

When I am ready to write my scripts, I use this Microsoft Word comic script template: http://oscarwildecomics.blogspot.com/2013/10/comic-script-template.html. The template sets up the formatting for me, and it’s easy for my artist, editor, and letterer to read.

When I’m brainstorming story ideas, I’ve been using the website 4thewords.com. It makes writing into a game, so the more I type, the more rewards I get in the game. It encourages me to keep writing without worrying about it being perfect during the brainstorming process.

– any advice for a kid who wants to be an author?

This is advice I often need to remember myself: read lots of different kinds of books. Besides sparking your imagination and learning more about the world, you can learn so much about the craft of writing by jumping into a wide variety of writing. So, read sci-fi comics! Read biographies! Read science books! Read YA novels! Read webcomics! Be as well-read as you can, even if you don’t plan to write that style of book yourself.

– If you could portal into any of your works, which would you portal into?

Oh man, The Cardboard Kingdom would be a very fun place to experience. But I would want to be a kid myself so I could join in on the fun.