HENRYHERZ.COM → KidLit, Fantasy & Sci-Fi

By Henry, Josh & Harrison Herz


1 Comment

Day 1 of San Diego Comic-Con 2016

Here is a photo journal of my first day at San Diego Comic-Con 2016 #SDCC2016:

14Incredibles

Family cosplay of the terrific animated movie, The Incredibles.

02BradBird

Speaking of The Incredibles, director Brad Bird (who also did the amazing Iron Giant movie) was in the house.

03Trex

Inflatable T-rexes terrorize an unsuspecting convention-goer.

04HatkeRothfuss

The talented picture book author/illustrator Ben Hatke (JULIA’S HOUSE FOR LOST CREATURES, NOBODY LIKES A GOBLIN) was interviewed by the rockstar fantasy novelist Patrick Rothfuss (THE NAME OF THE WIND). They stare with distain at lesser mortals.

05LainiTaylor

And in the audience was fantasy novelist Laini Taylor (DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE series, DREAMDARK series).

06BenHatke

Yours truly with the blurry, but still talented Ben Hatke.

07KamiGarcia

Four goddesses of the YA fantasy pantheon: Alexandra Bracken (DARKEST MIND series), Kami Garcia (BEAUTIFUL CREATURES series and THE LEGION series), Mary E. Pearson (THE REMNANT CHRONICLES series), and Marissa Meyer (THE LUNAR CHRONICLES series).

08SeananMcGuire

The bright and snarky urban fantasy author Seanan McGuire (OCTOBER DAY series). She said the audience could ask her anything (if they dare).

09MaryRobinetteKoval

As luck would have it, author Mary Robinette Kowal was there to accept the challenge, and asked Seanan about the time she was a phone sex operator.

10Wookies

Apparently Star Wars wookies come in all kinds of girly colors.

11MsFrizzle

In the kind of ridiculous mashup you only see at Comic-Con, a mother and son cosplay as Ms. Frizzle (THE MAGIC SCHOOLBUS) and demon hunter Constantine.

12Viking

An incredibly accurate cosplay of the Floki character from the TV series Vikings.

13UrukHai

“What do you mean I can’t get into Hall H!?”

15Alien

“Your puny wall cannot keep us out, Donald Trump.”


Leave a comment

New Dog for Game of Thrones Fans – the Dire Dachshund!

From Mitch Boyer and the mad geniuses at Bored Panda. Game of Thrones fans are familiar with the huge Dire Wolves kept as pets by the Starks. Well, thanks to genetic engineering, you can now obtain your very own Dire Dachshund!

“A few months ago I started photoshopping images of my Dachshund, Vivian in her “true size.” She has a larger than life personality and I wanted to capture it in a picture.

I’ve known Vivian since she was a newborn puppy. My sister has a dog named Gogo, and she had a litter of puppies—Gogo, not my sister. The night they were born, my mom stayed up delivering the puppies. My dad likes to point out that he helped and was “the assistant midwife.” I rushed over to their home the next day and instantly fell in love with Vivian.

Since then, we’ve moved all over the US together. We’ve lived in four states, five cities, and 10 different apartments or houses. We’ve settled in Brooklyn and love it here. Vivian thinks she is just as big as the city we live in, which has inspired the children’s book we’re working on, “Vivian the Dog Moves to Brooklyn.”

This is Vivian

She always takes up the entire couch

Most dachshunds think they are big dogs, but Vivian is literally huge

She lives in New York

She’s always on the hunt for food

#selfie


Leave a comment

Interview with picture book author/illustrator Russ Cox

Russ Cox was born in the backwoods of Tennessee and raised by a pack of wild hillbillies. After spending many years in the South, he migrated North to attend art school. With a portfolio in hand, he set out into the world of graphic design where he worked for many years. During this time, he became an in-house illustrator, which rekindled his love of drawing. Having settled in the moose-juggling capital of the country, Maine, he became interested in creating children’s books, which he still does to this day. When he is not locked in studio, he enjoys spending time with his wife and 4 cats, playing the banjo, and running amok in the snow.

Henry: I had the pleasure of meeting Russ at a Los Angeles SCBWI national conference.

CoxRuss

For what age audience do you write?

As of now, I write picture books for the 3-8 year old range, at least that is what I am told. I do have ideas for some early readers and chapter books.

Henry: Me too. But, writing a chapter book after writing a picture book is like playing raquetball after playing tennis. You use different brain muscles.

Tell us about your latest book.

FARAWAY FRIENDS, my debut picture book as both author and illustrator, is about a friendship lost and found, usually under one’s nose. Wannabe astronaut Sheldon has a friend who moved away, in his mind, to Jupiter. With his his trusty dog, Jet, by his side, he goes in search of his friend through an imaginary space adventure.

Henry: In space, no one can hear you bark.

What do you hope readers will get from reading that book?

hope that readers will learn that people come and go in one’s life, and that new friendships can be exciting. I also want kids to get the idea that they can go outside and invent worlds to play in. Imagination is powerful thing. And that computers, TV’s, phones, etc. are not needed, just brains and the outdoors.

What aspect of writing do you find most challenging?

Since I am an illustrator and new to the writing side of books, the whole process of writing is challenging to me. It is not in my comfort zone, but I find that very exciting. I learn something with each word and sentence. Maybe you can teach an old dog a new trick.

Henry: As a writer only, I cannot imagine gaining the skill to become a published illustrator.

What is a powerful lesson you’ve learned from being a writer?

This is a lesson that I still need to work on: write every day. Good or bad, put words onto paper or a computer screen. You hear this from everyone in publishing.

What has been a memorable experience that you never would have had if you had not been an author/illustrator?

I would never have thought I had stories buried deep inside me. After creating my first book, all of these stories are starting to spill out. I should thank Debbie Ohi for pushing me towards writing my first story and starting this new chapter in my life.

Henry: Fun coincidence: Debbie was the first person I met at my first Los Angeles SCBWI conference.

What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

Do your homework by reading, especially picture books. Many people think they can write a picture book, but it is probably the hardest book to write. By sitting in the children’s section of a library or bookstore, and reading, you can learn how such a book is constructed. The words and pictures must dance in unison with our stepping on each others toes. It is a hard dance to learn and one I am still learning.

My second, and just as important, advice would be to find good critique partners. You need people who are willing to tell you when something is not working, but also cheer you on when you get things moving along. It also helps you to toughen up and become less sensitive to any criticism. You must be ready for any rejection, because it will happen. My critique group consist of about 18 very honest and supportive people. they make me so much better than if I just kept everything to myself.

Henry: And let me add that in once sense, being an author only is even more challenging, because we don’t get to live in the illustrator’s head. We have to write well, show rather than tell, but avoid excessive art notes so as to leave room for the illustrator to add their magic.

I completely agree on the benefit of being part of one or more critique groups.

Do you have any favorite quotes?

“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.” ― Stephen King

“Being a writer is a very peculiar sort of a job: it’s always you versus a blank sheet of paper (or a blank screen) and quite often the blank piece of paper wins.” ― Neil Gaiman

“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” ― Maya Angelou

“I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen.” ― Ernest Hemingway

“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” ― Walt Disney

“We are the facilitators of our own creative evolution.” ― Bill Hicks

Henry: “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” ― Ernest Hemingway

Do you have any strange rituals that you observe when you work?

When I am writing, I tend to go the library to find a quiet room, and to disconnect from the social world, meditate for a few minutes to cleanse my head, and then let the pencil go for a walk. I still write my first several drafts with pencil and paper. I need that connection of hearing the lead scribbling and seeing eraser shavings. I guess I am old school at times.

If you could have one superpower, what would it be?

I think being the Flash would be helpful. I could write and type my story ideas down much faster. Plus, I can get my storyboards, sketches, etc. done quicker. Of course the drawback could be the tons of typos and bad drawings created from moving so fast.

Henry: There are other drawbacks of moving very fast. See my mock interview with Edna Mode about the drawbacks of superpowers.

If you could have three authors over for dinner, who would it be?

Okay, it would Poe because of his mastery of the macabre, and he is my favorite writer; Mem Fox who can say so much with so few words, and I would want her to read to me all evening; and finally E.E. Cummings, because he uses words and sentences as instruments.

Henry: I’m sure Mem would be thrilled to learn she’s in such company.

What is your favorite creature that exists only in literature?

The cyclops. I think they are misunderstood and really have a good soul. From being so different, they are ostracized which makes them a tad angry. All they need is a friend.

Henry: We haven’t seen that pick before on this blog. But, I don’t see eye-to-eye with you on this one. If you eat people, you’re more than just misunderstood. “Hey, Russ, wanna’ come over for dinner.” “Errr, I think I’m busy.”

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

You can usually find me with either a banjo or a book in my hand. Maybe at the same time. I also love movies.

What would you like it to say on your tombstone?

Have sketchbook, will travel.

Where can readers find your work?

Many of the books I worked on can be found or ordered through your local book store.

You can find me at my website, on Facebook, the Red Fox Literary website, or Twitter.

Henry: Thanks for spending time with us, Russ. This interview is also posted on the San Diego Children’s Books Examiner.


Leave a comment

Keep a Bear as a Pet? What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

From Julija Televičiūtė and the mad geniuses at Bored Panda.

“Meet Stepan, a domesticated bear who lives with his humans Svetlana and Yuriy Panteleenko in Moscow, Russia. The Panteleenkos adopted Stepan when he was just a 3-month-old orphaned cub. He was found by hunters in a forest all alone and in a very bad condition, so Svetlana and Yuriy decided to give him a home.

23 years later, Stepan has grown into a loving bear who helps around the house by watering plants and loves watching TV with his humans. “He absolutely loves people and is a really sociable bear – despite what people might think, he is not aggressive at all,” said Mrs Panteleenko. “We have never been bitten by Stepan.”

Stepan eats 25 kg of fish, vegetables and eggs every day! But the goofball manages to stay in shape thanks to his love for football. He also keeps himself busy with acting in films and posing for photo shoots.”

This couple adopted Stepan when he was a 3-month-old orphaned cub

He was found by hunters in a forest very weak and lonely

But Svetlana and Yuriy nurtured him back to health

Now he’s a 23-year-old loving goofball!

“He absolutely loves people and is a really sociable bear”

“Despite what people might think, he is not aggressive at all”

“We have never been bitten by Stepan”

The bear eats 25kg of fish, vegetables and eggs every day!

He does enjoy his cup of tea, too

The gentle giant manages to stay in shape thanks to his love for games outdoors

But there’s nothing like snuggling with his humans on a couch…

And did we mention that gardening is his ultimate passion?


1 Comment

Interview with picture book author/illustrator Kelly Light

Kelly Light lives in New York, but grew up down the shore in New Jersey surrounded by giant pink dinosaurs, cotton candy colors, and Skee-Ball sounds. She was schooled on Saturday-morning cartoons and Sunday funny pages. She picked up a pencil, started drawing, and never stopped.

Kelly is the author / illustrator of LOUISE LOVES ART and LOUISE AND ANDIE: THE ART OF FRIENDSHIP. She has also illustrated ELVIS AND THE UNDERDOGS and ELVIS AND THE UNDERDOGS: SECRETS, SECRET SERVICE, AND ROOM SERVICE by Jenny Lee, and the QUIRKS series by Erin Soderberg.

She pinches herself daily that she gets to spend her life drawing.

Henry: I had the pleasure of meeting Kelly at a Los Angeles SCBWI national conference.

LightKelly

For what age audience do you write/illustrate?

I primarily make picture books. So ages 2-6? The middle grade chapter books that I have illustrated were for ages 7-11.  I like doing both. I love the broad humor I could really play with in the chapter books, and I love the cinematic feel of making picture books. A picture book is like an animated short in my mind that I get to write, direct, cast and shoot. It’s the closest I‘ll ever get to being Orson Welles or even better! Mel Brooks.

Henry: Picture book idea: LOUISE LOVES YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN. You’re welcome.

Tell us about your latest book.

Well, I am currently sitting working on a book that won’t come out for 2 years. So, I will talk about Louise and her first book, LOUISE LOVES ART and then her continuing series. In LOUISE LOVES ART, we meet Louise – seven year-old girl who is obsessed with drawing. She is consumed with the need to create. She says, “I love art. It’s my imagination on the outside.”  She’s so focused on making art that she doesn’t notice her admiring little brother, who just wants her attention. His name, just happens to be, Art. Art may just mess up some of Louise’s great works of art! Their cat sees it all happening, and tries to warn Louise. Louise realizes her little brother just wants to be like her, a great artist.

LOUISE AND ANDIE, came out Spring 2016. Louise and Art get a new neighbor moving in next door. Louise just knows the new kid will LOVE art too!  Andie, the new girl… does love art – a whole lot!! What Louise thinks will be the best day ever doesn’t go exactly as planned when she realizes she and Andie have artistic differences. Can they see past their differences to friendship?? We’ll have to see…

Louise also has a series of leveled readers coming out soon. I am a huge fan of books from Dr. Seuss and P.D. Eastman and Syd Hoff. I had trouble learning to read, so I spent a lot of time at this level as a kid. I am excited to make books like these!

Henry: We look forward to seeing them!

What do you hope readers will get from reading LOUISE?

I hope to connect directly with the creative spirit that thrives inside of all kids! I hope that Louise is relatable and can act as a muse and a mirror. By showing her in situations that are true to the artistic experience and also funny, I hope readers see themselves and get a glimpse into the universality of those feelings. Everyone experiences self doubt, criticism, rejection, pride, fear, jealousy, wanting to belong … whether it’s about art or life or school or friends. It’s human and real. I hope that’s what they get.

What aspect of writing or illustrating do you find most challenging?

Illustrating is easiest. I actually storyboard the whole book for weeks before I ever write a word. I have a whole moving , animated short in my head.. then I have to hit PAUSE! Choose just the right image…the fewest words from the ongoing dialogue ….. and start cutting! Oh, I do not recommend this process to anyone. Oh the pain!! I often say, drawing is like breathing…. writing is like punching myself in the face.

Henry: It always amazes me how much process variety there is by different author/illustrators. Some write first, and some illustrate first. I can only write, so it’s face-punching for me.

What is a powerful lesson you’ve learned from being an author/illustrator?

Creating and publishing a book is like a trip through the Fun House. Excited and happy, ticket in hand, you are now tall enough to ride this ride!! You make the book on a long and winding line. Waiting is hard as the release day draws near. You climb the metal steps behind all of the people with books coming out with you that publishing season…thinking, “Let the fun begin!!”. But, Fun Houses are designed to distort reality. The floors move, the mirrors make it hard to see yourself clearly. You try to climb a ladder that has steps that shift. With a lot of effort and determination, you make it almost all of the way through and then you reach a giant spinning barrel. You can kind of read the writing on the barrel..”Does it say Award season?” “ ….can’t concentrate… too much spinning…” You are DIZZY. Ahead….you can see daylight. You are a little worn out and discombobulated. Someone is taking your picture, yelling at you to SMILE! You have to hang on and get through the barrel. Then you slide…down… and out of this book’s release. People are all waiting for you outside of the Fun House anticipating the tale of your trip. You feel like you want to barf, so you force a smile and you squeak out, “That was great!!!” You have to remind yourself to laugh through all of this. You got to be at the Amusement Park when so many people didn’t get to come! Remind yourself that you wanted this. Approach it with the feeling that it is a wild ride, and being knocked off of your feet is part of it. There’s more rides to go on. Take some time and play skeeball. Win an unfortunate-looking stuffed animal at whack-a-mole. Celebrate the small victories. Have some cotton candy. Then you will think – “I had the best time…can’t wait to do it all over again.”

Henry: Beautifully said. You should write for a living.

What has been a memorable experience that you never would have had if you had not been in KidLit?

I used to work in animation. Then I worked in cartoon licensed merchandise as a character artist for companies like Disney, Warner Brothers, Hanna Barbera, Henson, Nickelodeon, etc. Cartoons are my life-long love, and I came to making books through my love of cartoons. My favorite cartoons are the Warner Bros. shorts. My favorite of all of the Warner Bros artists is Chuck Jones. I followed on the web, all of the Chuck stuff that I could for years as I pursued being published. When I was touring the U.S. last Fall for LOUISE LOVES ART, I thought I would make a stop at the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity in Costa Mesa, CA. Well – that little thought plus a few ounces of wishing and a pinch hope plus a smidge of believing anything is possible…and I found myself there. The Chuck Jones Center for Creativity was set up to inspire and encourage the creativity that flourishes naturally in kids. Free art classes, outreach to schools that have lost art funding, talks and workshops for kids and adults… all of these things keep the legacy of a great artist alive, Chuck Jones. A man, who in his lifetime, thoroughly enjoyed meeting and encouraging young artists. His family runs the center along with a wonderful staff and volunteers sharing that common goal. I gave a workshop on character design that had an unprecedented attendance for me and for the center. Since then, I have become a “International Creative Ambassador For The Chuck Jones Center for Creativity”, enjoying a continuing connection with that amazing place and helping to keep awareness of what they do and hope to do, along with the the work of Chuck Jones – thriving!

It was making a book and creating a character of my own that lead me to this opportunity. Life is nuts.

For more information on The Chuck Jones Center for Creativity- go to: http://www.chuckjonescenter.org/ And Henry? I know you live pretty close to it…so your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to go with your kids and check out a “Drop in and Draw” day!

Henry: Challenge accepted.

What advice would you give to aspiring authors/illustrators?

You have to really want this and treat the pursuit of being published as if you already have a career in publishing. It’s not a hobby, it’s not a dream, it’s not weekend trip to a conference. It is your life if you want it to be your life. Keep making new work and continuously show it at every opportunity you can find or make. You are your work as well, be your best self, make your best work. Everything else is beyond your control – but what you can control? Bust-a-move.

Henry: And be patient. Don’t give up your day job.

Do you have any favorite quotes?

The Gospel according to Laverne and Shirley…

“Give us any chance – we’ll take it
Read us any rule – we’ll break it
We’re gonna make our dreams come true….
Doin’ it our way

Nothin’s gonna turn us back now
Straight ahead and on the track now
We’re gonna make our dreams come true…
Doin’ it our way.”

Henry: “Na na na na, na na na na, Batman. Batman! Batman! Batman.”

Do you have any strange rituals that you observe when you work?

Music and loud singing …while doing final art. Podcasts about comedians and old movies… if I am in the studio doing general stuff. Total silence if I am writing (punching myself in the face).

Henry: I’d be happy to collaborate on a picture book with you to save you from self-punchitude.

If you could have one superpower, what would it be?

My superhero name would be “Deadline”. I would have the ability to freeze time, add time, procrastinate without any penalty, the more pressure I was under the stronger I would become and I would have “Storm”-like control over the world supplies of coffee and chocolate. I would always return after a battle to the fortress of Bubble bath.

Henry: Your nemesis would be “Thoughtless Reviewer”. The only drawback to Bubble Bath Fortress is when it rains.

If you could have three authors over for dinner, who would it be?

I’m bending the rules. These are all writers/creators.

Well- I want Chuck Jones to be there, and his pal, Ted Geisel. I am fascinated by their friendship… and let’s add Mel Brooks. Oh, that – would – be – fun.

Henry: “Look at me!
Look at me!
Look at me NOW!
It is fun to have fun
But you have
to know how.”

What is your favorite creature that exists only in literature?

The Cheshire Cat. He’s kind of helpful but also a little snarky… and he can disappear when things get out of hand. I dig that.

Henry: “Alice: Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?
The Cheshire Cat: That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.
Alice: I don’t much care where.
The Cheshire Cat: Then it doesn’t much matter which way you go.
Alice: …So long as I get somewhere.
The Cheshire Cat: Oh, you’re sure to do that, if only you walk long enough.”

What do you like to do when you’re not working?

I love to rummage through antique stores and I collect old photo albums (clue to upcoming book) and old radios.

What would you like it to say on your tombstone?

Why are you here? GO. Live!

Henry: I notice a similarity in your words and glasses to another famous lady…

edna

Where can readers find your work?

Well, I am truly fortunate to have books available at all major book outlets like Amazon and indies all around – check Indiebound.com… and to my ultimate happiness..in SO many libraries!!! My website.

Henry: Thanks for spending time with us, Kelly. This interview is also posted on the San Diego Children’s Books Examiner.


Leave a comment

Crocheted Superhero, Video Game & Comic Characters

A fun yarn from Geeky Hooker and the mad geniuses at Bored Panda.

“A not-so-long time ago (5 years ago), in a galaxy not-so-far away (Milky Way, Earth, Houston TX), I taught myself how to crochet. I tinkered around, starting out with lumpy generic little dolls, until I got bored and started making lumpy little superheroes instead.

From there things got a little out of control, and it got to a point where if it was geeky and fun, I’d try to make it out of yarn. Captain America? Done! Chewbacca? Got it. Frida Kahlo, for no reason other than the fact that I REALLY wanted an excuse to put a tiny little unibrow on her? Done and done. Five years later, I’ve amassed a collection of little characters ranging in categories from comic book characters to sci-fi monsters to stuff in the all-encompassing “I just freaking felt like making it” category.

Sometimes I keep the little guys for myself, but most of the time I give them away, and every year I make a bunch to scatter around San Diego Comic-Con for people to find. I tag them with my contact info, and then I cross my fingers and hope that they’ll be given good homes. So far I’ve had a good turnout of adoptions, and hopefully they’ll eventually take over the world, one goofy little sack of yarn at a time!”


Leave a comment

Interview with picture book author/illustrator Mary Ann Fraser

Mary Ann Fraser is the author/illustrator of over sixty books, fiction and non-fiction, for children of all ages, including TEN MILE DAY (Henry Holt), HEEBIE-JEEBIE JAMBOREE (Boyds Mills Press), and WHERE ARE THE NIGHT ANIMALS (HarperCollins). Her newest picture book just out with Peter Pauper Press is NO YETI YET. A Junior Library Guild Selection, SLJ Best Book of the Year, Book Links Book of the Year, IRA Young Readers Choice Award, and American Booksellers “Pick of the List” count among her honors. When she is not “Cooking Up” stories, she is visiting schools, volunteering for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, or painting a mural somewhere in or around Simi Valley.

I had the pleasure of sitting next to Mary Ann at a children’s book art exhibit book signing in Escondido, CA.

FraserMaryAnn

For what age audience do you write?

Tell us about your latest book. NO YETI YET is the story of two brothers who venture out into the snow in search of a yeti, unaware that one is following them.

Henry: It’s a great book. And I’m not biased, even though I too have written a picture book about yetis. They seem to be a thing now, like zombies.

What do you hope readers will get from reading that book?

Readers will enjoy being in on the joke, as roles reverse and a friendship is formed.

Henry: I enjoyed how the art shows the characters aren’t aware of everything going on. Reminded me of Klassen’s terrific THIS IS NOT MY HAT.

What aspect of writing do you find most challenging?

Perhaps the biggest challenge is that no two projects are the same. Each requires its own form of nurturing.

Henry: Not only is that the biggest challenge, it’s one of the best things about writing picture books!

What is a powerful lesson you’ve learned from being a writer?

You shouldn’t hold onto first ideas too tightly. They need freedom to grow and evolve, and to do that requires play.

Henry: Murder your darlings. I had trolls and vampires in my yeti story that I had to put a stake through.

What has been a memorable experience that you never would have had if you had not been a writer?

When researching, I often have the opportunity to go behind the scene, and see places and documents not generally available to the public. I also get to speak to people who are authorities in their areas of interest. For example, personnel at the Golden Spike Historic site took me for a ride along the remnants of the Central Pacific Railroad’s grade and shared documents seldom seen by the public.

Henry: Plus, writing NO YETI YET means your vacation, excuse me “research”, trip to the Himalayas is a tax deduction…

What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

Decide early on whether this is going to be a hobby or a career. If a career, then take the time to develop your craft. Writing (and illustrating) a picture book is like assembling a complicated puzzle where every piece must fit exactly right to form a satisfying story vision. It is not as easy as it appears. Take writing courses, join a critique group, be open to criticism, and accept that rejection is a vital part of the process.

Henry: All very good advice. Either way, don’t quit your day job. If you like to eat, that is.

What is your favorite creature that exists only in literature?

The yeti. I love the idea that there might be a creature out there that has somehow avoided capture. It begs the idea, what if? And isn’t that what writing is all about?

Henry: Gosh, I did NOT see that coming.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I do a lot of painting–on walls, on canvas, on crafts. Gardening is my therapy. There’s nothing like playing in the dirt to get myself regrounded in what’s important. Also, I used to play the hammered dulcimer. Recently I have picked it up again. I love that it requires muscle memory and forces me to get out of my head and just let the music happen. Strangely, I have found that when I have confidence and trust in my hands, the notes come. Hmmm, I think there’s a lesson there.

Henry: I trust these are YOUR walls that you paint on… The hammered dulcimer is a VERY cool instrument. Check out this video.

Where can readers learn more about you and your books?

My website

Henry: Thanks for spending time with us, Mary Ann. This interview is also posted on the San Diego Children’s Books Examiner.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 8,256 other followers