Jim joined the Peace Corps in his late twenties and went to live in Cameroon in western Africa for almost four years. It was there he first realized he wanted to write for children. You can tell in his portfolio that he paid close attention to detail while living there. Ten years later he sold his first book.
Jim is the author of the Charlotte Zolotow Honor Book, In a Blue Room and the author and illustrator of except if, Oh No, Little Dragon and The Market Bowl. He studied writing and illustrating for children at UC Berkeley. He was the Regional Advisor for the San Francisco chapter of The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. He continues to create wonderful work in San Francisco, California.
I couldn’t be more pleased for Jim to say yes to my tiny talk interview. Enjoy!
ME: How do you want to be remembered?
JIM: I’d like to be remembered for writing stories with endings that are either surprising, emotionally satisfying, or both.
ME: Finish this sentence. A perfect day would involve . . .
JIM: A perfect day would involve peace of mind and a feeling of being grounded in the present moment.
ME: If you can spend a day with one of your book characters who would it be, and why?
JIM: Alfred Hitchcock is a character in my book A HITCH AT THE FAIRMONT. I would love to talk to him. I think he would have a lot to teach any writer about storytelling, and any artist about doing it visually.
ME: Definitely a fascinating man.
ME: Who influenced your writing/illustrating career?
JIM: There are so many people who influence us, but for this interview I am going to give a shout out to my high school art teacher, Mary Ann Meyer. Before she came along, art classes in school were all given at about kindergarten level. She was the first teacher to demand that you work hard at your art. She was even willing to fail you if you didn’t. Suddenly art wasn’t a joke. It was a discipline.
ME: Describe your writing style.
JIM: My greatest joy when writing is playing with language. So I’d say my style is simple and lyrical.
Thanks so much Jim for be part of my tiny talk. I really appreciate it and wish you all the best in your future successes.