Time to get back to some more Coffee and Conversation with some of our presenters for the upcoming SCBWI MD/DE/WV 25 and Still We R(ev)ise 25th Annual Conference! In the cyber chair today is author John Micklos, Jr. Need to catch up? Here’s links to previous #stillwerevise interviews:
- Author Laura Gehl
- Mary Barrows, Conference Logo Competition Winner
- Author Sue Macy
- Author Megan Wagner Lloyd
- Author-Illustrator Courtney Pippin-Mathur
- Closing Keynote Speaker, Hena Khan
- Author Meg Eden
- Author Maria Gianferrari
- Author Leah Henderson
John Micklos, Jr.
John is the author of 35 titles ranging from poetry and picture books for primary students to history and social studies books for upper elementary, middle school, and high school students. Titles include the bestseller 125 True Stories of Amazing Pets (National Geographic Kids, contributor), One Leaf, Two Leaves, Count with Me (Penguin), and more than a dozen books for Capstone, Enslow, and Cavendish Square. He is also an award-winning journalist with extensive experience writing and editing materials in the field of reading education.
Facts Can Be Fun: Writing and Selling Nonfiction, Saturday 11:40 AM – 12:30 PM
With standards calling for increased use of nonfiction texts in classrooms at all levels, the genre is gaining more and more attention. Learn how to find fun facts, cool quotes, and intriguing anecdotes to help bring nonfiction to life, and find out more about opportunities for writers in the commercial and education book and magazine markets. Nonfiction can indeed be fun–and professionally rewarding!
In the Trenches: From the Query to the Call, Saturday 10:40 AM – 11:30 AM
With Leah Henderson, Courtney Pippin-Mathur, Maria Gianferrari, John Micklos, Jr., moderated by Meera Trehan: You’ve polished your manuscript, you’ve researched agents, you’ve edited your query, and you’ve hit send. Now what? This panel of agented authors will tell you what to expect and what you can learn from the query process, and answer all those questions you might be scared to ask. Whether you’re getting requests, rejections, or radio silence, this panel will help you assess how best you can survive–and maybe even thrive–in the query trenches.
What was your favorite book as a child? As a teen? And now, as an adult?
As a child, I loved Winnie-the-Pooh. As a teen, I read and re-read The Godfather. As an adult, I go back to the Harry Potter books time and time again. (The Prisoner of Azkaban is my favorite.)
What is your favorite writing how-to book, technique, or website that has helped you improve your craft or provided inspiration?
Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott never fails to pick me up when my enthusiasm lags.
How were you inspired to write your current or upcoming release?
I got the idea for One Leaf, Two Leaves, Count with Me while watching the last two leaves hanging on a tree during a Highlights Foundation Unworkshop writers’ retreat in October 2014. A rhyme popped into my head: “One leaf, two leaves, on the tree. Three leaves, four leaves, count with me.” I ran back to my cabin, and by the end of the evening I had a rough draft of a manuscript combining the concepts of counting and seasons. The book came out last September from Nancy Paulsen Books/Penguin and has garnered excellent reviews.
If you followed the career path you chose for yourself in high school, what would you be doing for a living now?
Writing screenplays and acting in them
You’ve been locked in a bank vault Twilight Zone style, so you finally have time to read! Your glasses are fine, (whew,) so what’s the first book you crack open?
The Bible—it’s got drama, action, history, poetry, and some pretty good life advice. Plus, it’s meaty enough to keep me occupied for quite some time. And I’ve never been through it front to back in one continuous cycle; I’ve always bounced around.
For one day, time travel is a reality and you have the opportunity to visit any famous deceased author you want. Who do you pick?
Dr. Seuss. I’ve tried to capture the magic of his wordplay in my own rhyming work (but of course my verses are nowhere near matching his).
You magically find a $100 bill in your box of cereal. In what frivolous way would you spend it?
In an independent bookstore, of course!!
What is your favorite quote?
“It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” J.K. Rowling
What do you enjoy doing when not writing?
Reading, walking, listening to music, watching sports
If you could sum up your best advice for new writers in only four words, what would they be?
Keep following your dream!
And finally, what’s your favorite:
Time to work? In the evening.
Music to listen to while writing? Classic rock.
Trick to staying motivated? Have firm deadlines.
Pair of shoes? Sneakers.
Guiltiest pleasure? Ice cream.
Line from a movie? “Life is like a box of chocolates.”
Awesome, thanks so much for stopping by, John, and I’m looking forward to seeing you at the conference!
Happy writing and drawing, everyone!