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Original Essays | September 9, 2013 5 comments
Editor's note: Chris Bolton is not only a former Powell's employee, he was also once the primary writer for this blog. So we are particularly proud... Continue »
Jenny Offill and Nancy CarpenterDescribe your new project.
Jenny Offill: I'm still mulling over ideas. Just crossing my fingers that when I come up with a good one Nancy Carpenter can be persuaded to be my illustrator again.
Nancy Carpenter: I love to illustrate plucky characters and the nameless narrator of 17 Things I'm Not Allowed to do Anymore is no exception. She has a little Eloise and Junie B. Jones in her. When I first read the manuscript I said I would take it before I read past the first sentence... "I had an idea to staple my brother's hair to his pillow." It's virtually impossible to do such a thing but I loved the idea that this girl wanted to see if she could. When I was a kid I attached the tips of my blanket and sheets to a pulley system so I could make the bed with one strong tug. This character is so like that. The book combines my pen and ink drawing with photographic images. Most of the work was done on the computer. This was a new challenge for me. I wanted the finished illustrations to look as painterly and sketchy as if I had done it all with paint on paper.
Jenny: George and Martha by James Marshall.
Nancy: D.B. Johnson's Henry Builds a Cabin and Henry Hikes to Fitchburg are two of the most beautifully illustrated and beautifully written books I know. I'm guessing most people do know him and his books but for those who don't, they are a must.
Offer a favorite sentence or passage from another writer.
I had to do an errand
What is your favorite family story?
What was your favorite story as a child?
Nancy: I was very into Cinderella and Snow White and any fairy tales I could get my hands on.
What is your idea of bliss?
Nancy: Walking into a fabric store with an unlimited budget.
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Why do you write books for kids? Jenny: I wanted to write a book that captured the mischievous side of childhood. So many seem to be about teaching kids lessons, eat your spinach, don't talk back to your mother, go to bed, and they feel like rulebooks to me. I wanted a book that reflected kids as they really are, not as parents might wish them to be.
Describe your most memorable teacher.
Share an interesting experience you've had with one of your readers.
What's your favorite holiday and why?
What do you do for relaxation?
Who are your favorite characters in history?
If you could pick anyone to illustrate one of your books, who would it be and why? Conversely, if you're an illustrator, for what author would you like to illustrate?
If you could be someone else, who would that be, and why?