Q. What inspired you to write your children’s books?
Some little kids asked me if I had written any books for children and I had to say no because I hadn’t. However, the kids seemed so cute and children’s books are so short I thought I could whip off a children’s book easy. Not so easy. One year later I was still polishing the story. Telling a story in a very few words is harder than telling a story with lots of words. I wrote the story about ballet because I wanted a subject that had a connection to lots of kids and I like ballet and I put in the Omar character—a pig who wants to play football but is too clumsy—because I didn’t the story to just appeal to girls.
Q. What do you want readers to take away from your book?
Most of all I’d like readers to laugh and enjoy the story. But Gwendolyn and Omar are pigs who both pursue their dreams and I’d like kids to take that to heart.
Q. What did you learn from writing the book?
Writing a children’s book is a lot like writing a poem. It’s all about saying the most in the least amount of words. Also, you can let the pictures tell a lot of the story. You don’t need a lot of descriptions about what the character’s look like or what they’re wearing because the pictures show all that.
Q. What’s the best thing about writing a book?
All you need is paper and a pen to express what you want. OK. I do write with a computer but you don’t need a computer. Words also provide tremendous flexibility for a writer. Words can express anything the mind can imagine. As a writer, you might fail to express what you want but the lack is not in the words; the lack is in you.
Q. What’s the worst thing about writing?
Writing is a solitary process. Your success is your own and so is your failure. You have to push yourself to write every day and you have to push yourself to keep writing when the words are flowing slowly or the right words won’t come. You have to push yourself not to settle for almost there instead of there.Q.
Q. What’s your next book project?
I have a few book projects. A teen novel. Another children’s book—not a Gwendolyn book , another Gwendolyn book and a non-fiction book.