November is the month of giving and thanks. Please meet John R. Green:
Question 1- When and how did you start writing?
When I was in elementary school in St. Louis, Missouri I became fascinated with reading our local newspaper. At age 10 I began writing a family newspaper, “The Green Tribune”, on my mother’s typewriter. Without a copier in 1977, I posted the only copy of the newspaper on our refrigerator once a week! Later in college, I majored in English and French, writing a lot of short stories and essays in both languages. And then after getting a graduate degree in Communications, I got my first official writing job as a news writer for a local CBS TV station in Boston.
Question 2- What do you like to write about the most?
I like to write non-fiction mostly. Or in the case of these two new children’s books, fiction based on real events that took place.
Question 3- What do you find to be the easiest and hardest thing about writing?
The hardest part of writing is always how to begin. Once I have the first two lines down, the rest seems to flow out pretty easily. I’m very fortunate and grateful that I don’t get “writer’s block” once I get going.
Question 4- What writers do you most admire and why?
As a child, my love for literature started with Shel Silverstein and his classic, “The Giving Tree”. Talk about writing that stands the test of time! In college as a French major, I went through a period of intense obsession with existential writers like Jean-Paul Sartre, Eugene Ionesco and Albert Camus. I still consider “The Stranger” one of the greatest masterpieces of the 20th century. As an adult, I gravitate toward biographies and autobiographies. Whether these are stories about celebrities or individuals who have lived extraordinary lives, I credit these subjects for having the courage to put all their ups and downs out there in the public domain.
Question 5- How do you get your ideas for stories and what’s in the future for you in writing?
Since I mostly write as a journalist and documentarian, real events most often motivate what I write. But as for this new foray into children’s books, the ideas come from real moments I have shared with my own children 8-year-old twins Francesca and A.J. I plan to write more children’s books about bedtime rituals small kids and parents can engage in at night to help kids go to sleep feeling safe, secure, and happy.
Closing – Can you share a memorable experience you’ve had purely because you are a writer?
Most recently, I so appreciate the moment these two new books, “Dream Grabber” and “Dream Jumper” first arrived at our home from the publishing company. My kids, who inspired the books and the illustrations were overjoyed to see themselves on the cover of a book. That sense of pride they felt at that moment was worth every moment dedicated to creating the books.