FAQ

HOW OLD ARE YOU?

About 175 lbs.

FAVORITE COLOR?

It used to be blue, but now I think it’s red.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE FOOD?

I’m very carnivorous. I like steak and cheeseburgers. And dark chocolate!

WHAT ARE YOUR HOBBIES?

Fly fishing, guitar, softball, hiking, biking and pinball. I also like to read!

DO YOU HAVE ANY PETS?

Fergus, the dog in Good Boy, Fergus!, really is my dog. He’s a West Highland terrier and he’s 18 years old (that’s 126 in dog years). He’s somewhere in all my books – can you find him?

DO YOU HAVE ANY KIDS?

I have a daughter named Emma.

WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR IDEAS?

I never know where an idea will come from, so I write them all down in a special notebook. I even write down the ideas I think are dumb – sometimes they turn out to be the best ones!

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE BOOK THAT YOU WROTE?

I like them all for different reasons – Alice the Fairy is based on my daughter, Good boy, Fergus! is about my dog, and I like Jangles because it’s about fishing. But probably No, David! is my favorite because it reminds me of being a kid!

ABOUT NO, DAVID! - IS DAVID REALLY ME?

Sort of— David is based on me, but he’s not exactly me. I got the idea for No, David! from a book I made when I was little. I drew a bunch of pictures of me doing stuff I wasn’t supposed to do. The only words in the whole book were “No” and “David” because those were the only words I new how to spell! My mom saved it and showed it to me many years later. I thought it might be a good children’s book, so I added some more words and drew new pictures. That’s the No, David! you’ve seen.

WAS I REALLY THAT BAD/ DID I REALLY DO ALL THE THINGS DAVID DOES?

I did some of the things David does, but not all of them. I’m not telling which ones I did.

DID I REALLY RUN DOWN THE STREET WITHOUT ANY CLOTHES ON?

Like I said, I didn’t do all the things David does. Some of them were things my brother did or my friends did. As for running outside naked, that was something my nephew did – and he lived in Alaska! Brrr…. Now he lives in Florida

WHICH DO YOU LIKE BETTER - WRITING OR ILLUSTRATING?

I like both – they’re very different problems and solutions. Have you ever heard the saying, “A picture’s worth a thousand words”? Well, sometimes a word is worth a thousand pictures. Try drawing what something smells like – it’s really hard. But if I tell you something smells like an old shoe in a bowl of spoiled milk, you have a pretty good idea!

WHICH DO YOU LIKE ILLUSTRATING MORE - YOUR OWN STORIES OR SOMEONE ELSE’S?

I probably like illustrating my own stories better because I can keep changing the words while I draw the pictures. But the cool thing about illustrating someone else’s story is it takes me to places I wouldn’t go by myself.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO MAKE A BOOK?

It takes about a year. First I have to figure out what’s going to be on each page. I start by drawing lots of very scribbly “thumbnail” sketches. They’re called that because they’re about as big as a thumbnail. Sometimes I do hundreds of them!

Then I start making full-size pencil drawings of each picture. I make lots of mistakes, and I change lots of things, and I erase a lot. Sometimes I get really frustrated and I crumple up my drawing and throw it away!

When I’ve got the drawings just the way I want them, then I make full-color paintings of them. But I still change things as I paint. Sometimes I get a completely new idea so I start over!

When all the paintings are done I spread them out on the floor and look at all of them together. It feels really good to see the whole book finished!