Eric Litwin is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of PETE THE CAT: I LOVE MY WHITE SHOES and three follow-up adventures. He is also the author of the new musical series THE NUTS. Eric performs all over the world and is a popular keynote speaker on interactive literacy. He is also cofounder of the Learning Groove. His website EricLitwin.com.
For what age audience do you write?
I am interested in beginning readers. However I try to write for children and adults at the same time.
Henry: A good book works for readers of all ages. Witness the timeless appeal of WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE.
Tell us about your latest book.
My latest book is called THE NUTS, BEDTIME AT THE NUT HOUSE. It is a nutty, fun, musical bedtime story. And, yes there are disco moves.
Henry: It seems only fitting that there would be disco moves in a nut house.
What do you hope readers will get from reading that book?
I hope they get the message that they are loved unconditionally.
Henry: And that it’s OK to be a little nuts?
What aspect of writing do you find most challenging?
The most challenging aspect of writing is finding time to sit down and write. I carry and little note pad with me and write ideas and edits on the fly. I also edit and test my stories in front of a live audience.
Henry: I use a note pad too. But trying out stories on a live audience? You are brave!
What is a powerful lesson you’ve learned from being a writer?
I have learned that books are loved and cherished.
What has been a memorable experience that you never would have had if you had not been a writer?
People tell me stories about how my books where the first words their child spoke. Or that their child is a reluctant- or non-reader, but they can read my books cover to cover.
What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
Write because you love to write.
Henry: Yes. Writing KidLit is not the path to fame and fortune.
If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
I would be “Sarcastic Man” with the power to make people laugh and feel lighthearted.
Henry: Ha! I have in my wallet a “Withering Sarcasm” card from Dungeon’s & Dragons. You never know when a little sarcasm will come in handy.
If you could have three authors over for dinner, who would it be?
Mark Twain so will all laugh. Neil Gaiman because he is so cool. And, Elmore Leonard so I can hear more about how he writes so well.
Henry: Wikipedia helpfully elaborates: “Elmore John Leonard, Jr. was an American novelist and screenwriter. His earliest novels, published in the 1950s, were Westerns, but Leonard went on to specialize in crime fiction and suspense thrillers, many of which have been adapted into motion pictures.
Among his best-known works are Get Shorty, Out of Sight, Hombre, Mr. Majestyk, and Rum Punch (adapted for the movie Jackie Brown). Leonard’s writings include short stories that became the films 3:10 to Yuma and The Tall T, as well as the FX television series Justified.”
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I perform around 200 shows a year and so travel a great deal. I also like to eat eggplant parmesan and drink decaf café Americanos.
Henry: 200 shows a year!? It’s amazing you have time to write anything. Or eat eggplant parmesan.
What would you like it to say on your tombstone?
It takes a silly man to sing a silly song.
Henry: It does indeed, which is why the world needs silly men.
Where can readers find your work?
My website http://www.ericlitwin.com
This interview is also posted at the San Diego Children’s Books Examiner.