I'm very excited to share with you a recent interview I did with Timmy Failure author, Stephan Pastis. Stephan kicks off our International Author Series.We'll be featuring more international authors and illustrators here on our blog.Enjoy!
Stephan Pastis is the creator of Pearls Before Swine, an acclaimed comic strip that appears in more than six hundred newspapers and boasts a devoted following.
In 2013, Pastis was inspired to break out of the comic-strip box, penning his first children's book, Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made, which became an instant New York Times bestseller. Mistakes Were Made was quickly followed by three other instalments in the popular middle-grade series starring a brilliantly bad detective with a sidekick polar bear. Critics have praised the author for appealing to young readers with his knack for comic timing and the interplay between cartoon, text, and elements of the absurd in his storytelling.
About Timmy Failure, Stephan says, "For me as a kid, I liked to laugh. And I'm hoping these books do that for both kids and their parents. I just really want to give them stories that have something humorous in every chapter."
"Timmy is a detective who can take any mystery and make it more mysterious."
– Stephan Pastis
1. What is the Stephan Pastis story?
Well I loved to draw since I was a kid. But then I became a lawyer for ten years, which I really didn't like. So then I pursued my dream of drawing a comic strip, and actually got it published in newspapers. Today it's in 800 papers! And then I started writing Timmy, which I love.
2. What five words best describe you?
Competitive. Unpredictable. Creative. Disciplined. Nuts.
3. What prompted you to sit down and write your first story?
The desire to have more space to tell a story. That's hard with a four-panel comic strip. Plus, I loved the idea of arrogant boy detective who was really not smart at all.
4. Is there any part of the creative process you don't like?
Drawing takes a lot of time for me. I prefer the writing. But I like it all.
5. Are you a plotter or a panster?
(Plotter =Plotting out your manuscript before you write it. / Panster = Putting pen to paper and plotting as you go along)
Oh, the latter. For sure. No fun the other way.
6. What excites you about the future of children's books?
Well for me, the sky is the limit imagination-wise. I love that. Doesn't have to be tethered too tightly to reality.
7. What's the funniest thing a child has ever said to you during a read aloud session?
How much money do you make a year?
I've gotten that a couple times. I tell them to talk to my accountant.
8. What's next from Stephan Pastis?
Timmy 6, which I just finished! Big surprise in it.