Over at Feiwel and Friends, they are celebrating the publication of Mighty Casey like it’s 1999. They are even blogging about it. Please click the link because Matthew Cordell just interviewed . . . me! Their blog is pretty great even without us (imagine that!) because other F & F authors and illustrators contribute often, most recently John Coy and Maria von Lieshout.
Here’s two brief excerpts from that longer piece.
MC: I can assume that many writers, like many illustrators, are particular about how they work and where they work. Where do you like to do your writing? And what are your tools? The pen, the old-timey typewriter, word processor, or personal computer?
JP: Matt! Let me begin by saying — and since this is your first interview, no one would expect you to know this, but — you don’t actually have to sit on my lap during an interview. It’s not like a Santa thing.
MC: What do you see are the major differences in crafting picture books vs. novels? With the novel format, you generally have the space to open up and write more at length. Less confined, I’d imagine, than picture books, where you really have to choose words wisely. Do you prefer writing one over another?
JP: Well, there are two things at play here: picture books are dependent upon illustrations, so the writer is already in a strange position. With novels, you have more control over the finished product. Secondly, novels probably better suit my sensibilities. I find that I can’t force a picture book, which tends to be concept-driven and needs to perfectly distill an experience to its essence. With a novel, you have more opportunity to wander in and out of different rooms, and I think that better reflects how my mind natively operates.
Hey JP, An insight from Nan the children’s librarian – when I read to preschoolers I pause for a considered time after I turn each page so my listeners can look look look at the illustrations before I read the words and then we linger agsin after. I explain it this way when I start my sessions (and if I have new children that drop in):the picture book is made for listening and looking…
Great interview! And you can tell Matthew I said so.