Last weekend was the Southern Festival of Books in Nashville. Saturday morning I listened to Jon Scieszka (rhymes with Fresca) tell about his journey to become a writer. I didn't know anything about him. He was hilarious.
He grew up with 5 brothers and no sisters. At one point he was studying to become a doctor, but realized that although he liked the science part of medicine, he found that sick people "weirded" him out.
He got a masters degree in fiction writing which, he said, qualified him to paint apartments in New York. After a few years of painting apartments he decided that there had to be something better.
He found a teaching job in an elementary school in NYC and taught second grade along with some other grades for eight years. He decided to write for children and The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs was the first book he got published. After many publishers told him it was "too dark, too sophisticated, and don't come back" he finally found a publisher that liked it. It has now sold over 13 million copies.
Jon was so entertaining and fun to listen to. He is the kind of guy you want to have as a buddy and hang out with. I really enjoyed him.
Right after Jon was a talk by Mo Willems. Mo read/performed his new Knuffle Bunny book. He is another crazy person. He and Jon were neighbors in Brooklyn for a few years.
I think that is the problem with my career. I have never lived in Brooklyn. It seems everyone I like has lived there.
I also got to watch a screening of the new documentary "Library of the Early Mind" Click on the link above to see the trailer.