Recently, a fourth grade class wrote me a bunch of letters, asking me questions.
Now I've done a lot of interviews to date. But a lot of these questions were refreshingly new. Also they were easy to answer, which is always a treat. "What is your favorite color?" is way easier to deal with than, "What do you feel about the current state of the fantasy genre?"
So if you're curious, here they are.
How many books have you written?
I only have one book that you can buy in the store right now. But I have two other novels that are mostly written, and I'm working on fixing them up right now.
I also have a picture book that I've written. Right now I'm working with an artist who is drawing the pictures for it.
Is it hard to be an author?
Sometimes. It's fun having a book published. That's the easy part. People can buy it and read it. People ask you questions about it. That's nice.
But there's a lot of work that comes before your book gets into bookstores. I spent years working on my book before it was ready to get printed. My friends would call and ask I wanted to go to the movies, or play poker, or get dinner. I'd have to say, "No, I'm working on my book."
A lot of times they wouldn't want to take no for an answer. They'd say, "You can work on your book later." But if I kept putting it off, it never would have gotten done. It's a job, just like anything else. And that means that a lot of times I had to miss fun things to get my work done. That's when being an author is hard.
Where do you get your ideas?
Sometimes I get them from things I learned in school. I spent a lot of time in college and I learned a lot of cool things there. Mostly though, I just make things up in my head.
What is your favorite...
I really like sushi. But Mexican food is a close second place.
The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle.
Are you married?
Nope. But I have a girlfriend. Her name is Sarah.
Do you have a middle name?
Yup. It's James.
Do you have pets?
Nope. I used to have a dog when I was growing up though. He was a big shaggy yellow dog named Pup. I also had dwarf hamster when I was in college. His name was Crazy.
Will there be a movie of your book?
Maybe. Right now we're talking to movie people and trying to get them interested. It takes a lot of different people with a lot of different skills to make a movie. You need a director, screenwriters, actors, producers. Right now we're trying to put together a team of people who would like to make the movie, but it's pretty complicated.
How do I become an author and get a book published?
The best way to get started is to practice writing. Write some stories or start a book. If it isn't very good at first, don't get discouraged. Nobody is that good when they just start out.
It's like when you're learning to ride a bike or Rollerblade. Everybody falls down when they're just starting out. It's embarrassing, and it hurts, but it's the only way to learn. That's how you get better with writing, too. You keep working on it and get a lot of practice.
How old were you when you wrote your first book?
I was about 15 when I started working on my first book back in high school. It had some good bits in it, but I never finished it. I made a bunch of mistakes writing it.
But it was really helpful to me in the long run. Since I made those mistakes in that first book, I knew how to avoid them in my second book.
What is your favorite TV show?
Buffy the Vampire Slayer. My second favorite is Firefly.
That's all for now, folks.
posted by Pat at 8:01 PM