I loved classics like Hansel & Gretel, THE WONDERFUL WIZARD OF OZ, and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland—which I still read from time to time. There were also some “lower profile” books that stuck with me, like Banner’s Ant & Bee series and Freeman’s SPACE WITCH.
When you went to college, were you already pursuing a writing career?
My first major was actually biology, but I soon realized that art was becoming more and more important to me—so I stayed an extra year at Wash U. (in St. Louis) and did both biology and illustration.
Where do you get your ideas?
For me, everything starts with an image… sometimes that is where it ends and other times it goes on to reveal an entire story. NED’S NEW HOME started as a simple painting for the home page of my web site—but a couple of years later, Ned’s story was born on an airplane ride to Montana.
Do you work on more than one book at a time?
I do. There are stories that I have been sporadically working on for years and then there are those that I start and “finish” within a month. There is no rhyme or reason to it, which is both interesting and a little frustrating at times.
What other jobs you had before you became a writer/illustrator?
Art related: illustrator/designer at a greeting card and giftware company, still doing graphic design and creating stationery product; Non-art related: tennis court washer (that was many, MANY years ago…)
What did you most like to do when you were a child?
Board games and LEGOs were at the very top of the list.
What audience did you have in mind for your career as a writer - adult
In college, my illustration style continually moved in the direction of a children’s picture book “look.” During that time, I had also tinkered with the idea of writing for children, but that did not really take form until several years later.
What really triggers your imagination?Quirky and whimsical moments in life, odd combinations of things, animals of all sorts, silly details that tend to be overlooked…