John has yet to be frequently asked the type of questions that would belong on this page. Until the day he is, you will have to make do with the below questions, which he asked himself…
Q. John, why did you decide to write picture books?
Good question, John. Originally, I intended to write only one, as a unique gift for investors in a short film I was planning to make. The process of adapting that screenplay into a picture book story was eye opening but hugely rewarding. In fact, I enjoyed it so much that I transferred all of my writing energy to picture books from that point on and never looked back. Well, except for just now, because I needed to in order to answer this question.
Q. Where can I watch some of those legendary films that you used to make?
Another great question. You can find a couple of them here, in the Related Videos section.
Q. Did you need an agent in order to be published?
I do have an agent, and she is magnificent, but for several years I was on my own out there, so I had to find my own opportunities. I was lucky enough to get the chance to show three of my stories to commissioning editors at two publishing houses and both liked them enough to each want to publish one. So, no I didn’t need an agent to get published but I am very glad I have one now.
Q. Where do you get your story ideas from?
Ideas can come from absolutely anywhere. I don’t really have a go-to place (literally or figuratively). Instead, I just try to remain open to them, which means they come to me. That’s much less tiring than sitting in front of a blank screen racking my brain.
Q. Approximately how many ideas have you got?
At last count, I have exactly 730.
Q. In the About Section, didn’t you say you had 700?
Yes, but I wrote that section hours ago, and I’ve come up with more ideas since then.
Q. I see. Well, with that many ideas you must have hundreds of finished stories, right?
Is that a tinge of sarcasm, John? As you well know, I don’t have hundreds of finished stories because I am very fussy about which ideas I choose to develop and even fussier about who gets to see the resulting stories when they are finished. If they aren’t good enough for me, they won’t be good enough for editors, agents, and most importantly, the readers.
Q. So, how many stories do you have?
I have very high standards, you know.
Yes, you mentioned that already.
Well, stop asking then.
I only asked once!
Okay, but I can’t give you an exact number.
You gave a very exact number for how many ideas you had. Twice!
Alright, alright, about 17.
Oh! I was expecting more.
Right, this interview is over. I’ve had enough of your cheek.
What do you mean my cheek? It’s your cheek; you wrote the questions.
Whatever! Get out.
I can’t, I live here.
Well, then I’m leaving. I’m going to go for one of my walks on the beach to cool off.
But you don’t actually go for walks on the beach, you said so in the About section, in the third person.
Sigh! I’m going to make a cup of tea then.
Ooh, lovely. Milk and no sugar in mine.
Yes, I know.
Oh yeah. You gotta laugh, eh?
And now he’s asking rhetorical questions!
Q. Got any biscuits?