Want to Know Everything About Me? I Knew It!
When I was 4 years-old I made my dad read the book Go Dog Go everyday for about 100 days. One of the dogs had great hats. I also liked the surprise ending. Do you know the ending? I’ll tell you. Just kidding! Read it. When my dad got sick and tired of reading to me, I read to myself. I read lots and lots of books. I even spent my allowance on, you guessed it, more books. I wear glasses now, probably because of all the books. When I went to college, I was too scared to try to write my own stories for other people to read. What if someone laughed at them? Finally, I met lots of people who loved reading and writing as much as me at the Loft Literary Center, a place where writer’s can learn from each other. The people I met in classes and conferences were a big help. When they read my stories, they told me what they liked and didn’t like so my writing got better. They never laughed at me, not ever.
Do you want to learn more about why I wrote this book and what it’s like to write for children? Check out this interview on the Arts Alive in River Falls program. The show features artists from my hometown, River Falls Wisconsin. I can’t believe I got to be on television. What a blast!
Being a writer can still be a little scary sometimes. Luckily, people have gone out of their way to help me grow humungous creative muscles. One of those people was a little lady named June. Me and the other kids called her Big E. I met Big E when I didn't feel very good about myself. I was very shy when I was younger. I’m still pretty shy. When I was 12 I had to move from my Powderhorn neighborhood in Minneapolis to Wisconsin. It was really hard and scary. I didn’t have any friends and I felt like everyone was always staring at me. I also felt invisible. Isn’t that strange? My mom forced me to try out for a play and I absolutely didn’t want to do it. I don’t like talking in front of people. I get nervous! I turn red! I get sweaty! It’s terrible. My mom wouldn’t take no for an answer. She made me audition. The director, June Erdman (Big E) cast me as a background character. I learned to talk in a loud voice to a crowd. I pretended I was in another world. All the other actors were fun and funny and I finally had friends! Big E put me in every play and I thought I was the best actor ever. It turns out I’m a terrible actor, but Big E helped bring out the best in me. She made me believe in myself and gave me something exciting to work on with other people. Being shy doesn’t get in your way when you care about what you’re doing and who you’re doing it with.