1.) What do you like best about being an author/illustrator?
It’s a job that doesn’t require a lot of the things that other grown up jobs require: long meetings, commutes, phone conferences. I get to draw pictures all day and write stories. How cool is that?!!
2.) When did you know that you wanted to write/illustrate children's books?
I started writing books when I was about eight years old, so it’s something I’ve always done. But Journey wasn’t published until I was about 38 years old. So it took me 30 years!!!
3.) What inspired you to write this trilogy?
The architecture and places I wanted the girl to journey to. I drew a big picture of a castle one day and that’s where it all began.
4.) When you started writing Journey, did you already know that it would be the first story in a trilogy?
Not at all, but once I was done, I realized I had created this whole world with lots of other things going on that never made it into the final book. I wrote out the general stories for the 2nd and 3rd books at the same time, so the trilogy was planned from that point forward. There’s lots of cool stuff still to come!
5.) How did the girl and boy get the red and purple markers at the beginning of Journey?
Great question! And there is an answer! There’s a long back story about where the six colored markers come from and it involves an elder king and his three sons and the purple bird. And a black marker. And a white marker. Some of this will be hidden as backstory in Return but you really have to dig for it! But the markers make their way into our world so that someone in the fantasy realm won’t find them and use them for evil. It’s a much longer story as to how the girl and boy actually end up with them!
6.) Can you give us a hint: What will the setting be of Return? Will there be any new characters?
The story still takes place in Pallonezia near the castle, but there’s some new underwater stuff and a cave. There are no brand new characters, but let’s just say that a character we met in Journey (briefly) comes back to play a much larger roll.
7.) What are your writing plans after Return?
I have no idea! I’m thinking of working on a book with words in it. Maybe something with all of the backstory I’ve developed for the Journey Trilogy but in a middle-reader format, like a lost journal with pictures. But I also have some non-Journey related ideas too!
8.) What was your favorite book when you were a child?
The Art of Star Wars by Carol Titelman. My copy is completely demolished from so many readings.
Thank you so much for taking the time to answer theses questions. We appreciate you and your books very much!!!!