Steven and I met at an LA conference a couple of years ago during the gala. We talked about what we were writing about and I learned about his lovely family. At the time, Steven got nominated for an award for his picture “truck” book. I’m hoping I remembered that right. I missed him at last years conference and somehow reconnected with him through my stack of business cards. I’m so glad we reconnected.
Steven Short is a picture book author, SCBWI member and a 2013 Sue Alexander Award nominee. He found the main ingredient for his writing in an unlikely career change to Stay at Home Dad, the simple fact that children’s lives are as complicated as our own. Steven lives in Fayetteville, Ga. where he competes with his kids for their mother’s attention, on a professional level.
He also saved a group of puppies from an oncoming train. True story.
And now let’s learn more about the hidden secrets of Steven in our Tiny Talk.
ME: If you could spend a day with any book character who would it be and why?
STEVEN: If you could guarantee my safety I’d go with Frankenstein’s Monster. Forget the movies, the original character is just so innocent and childlike, but then completely rejected. How could you not want to just give him a hug and tell him everything’s going to be ok? Again, I’d need some assurance of safety.
ME: Finish this sentence. A perfect day would involve…
STEVEN: Exploring a place I’ve never been (bucket list thing). More thinking than writing. The whole family would eat whatever I make for dinner. Great horror movie before bed.
ME: If you could have dinner with an author who would it be and why?
STEVEN: I would say Stephen King but I heard he’s kind of mean, so Mac Barnett. He’s the best PB writer out there right now as far as I’m concerned and he owns a time travel store. It could only be fun.
ME: I heard him speak at the LA conference one year and he was a hoot.
ME: Are you a pantser or a plotter
STEVEN: I guess at the heart of it I’m a plotter. I haven’t written long enough for a well-structured plot to just reveal itself as I go. I need a direction when I sit down to write. That said, that direction frequently changes as I go.
ME: Do you have a special talent?
STEVEN: After staying at home with the kids for a while I figured I should at least learn something. So I learned how to juggle, nothing fancy just the basics, I’m not bad. And it turns out I’m pretty good at mimicking voices too. Muppets and movie characters mostly. But not on cue. Just has to happen.
Thanks so much Steven for spending a few minutes talking it up. I hope that someday I walk in a bookstore I can say, “I knew him when.” Take care and best of luck. Don’t be a stranger.