Recently the Children’s Authors and Illustrators on Facebook published a short interview with me, having mailed their standard questions. I don’t do many interviews, but here is what appeared.
Children’s Authors and Illustrators on Facebook
An interview with Vincent Eaton.
Tell us about yourself.
I write. Fiction, humor, exaggerated memoir, kid’s stuff as well as flash fiction. Make videos. Act and direct plays (some of which have won international awards), and been in movies, TV, ads. Am a voice over professional. A publisher of books. Was born & raised in Southern California, and while in high school was a surfer, had a station wagon for my surfboard and a cheerleader for a girlfriend, broke a swim record on the swim team. I now live in Brussels. Some have asked, What went wrong?
What is your latest published work?
“The Boy in the Sandwich,” which gets described as “A story for readers of all ages, from 8 and up, up, up!” (exclamation thrown in for free, and the link: http://hidden-people.net/boy-in-the-Sandwich.html). It’s about a boy who is about to eat his peanut butter and grape jelly sandwich and a blue spider pushes up the top slice of bread and tells him there’s a party going on inside with a lot of other grape jelly spiders, so “don’t chomp, don’t chew!” He gets dragged into the sandwich where lots of blue spiders have their party hats on, but then his brother chops and chews the sandwich and swallows him, later he almost gets eaten by a Bath Monster, invaded by little men while in his bed, and taken away in his dreams. Books has some illustrations, too.
Where did you get your ideas from?
Imagine them. I imagine some writers follow the news, others eavesdrop, lots make lists, a few steal. I daydream. Letting the imagination grow, fester, bloom, be a constant. It takes years, decades, of training, or letting go. Till you get to where you can dream up ideas rather than “get” them. It’s what cannot be taught at schools or writing courses. Imagining in your own voice. The most important artistic trait is letting go in order to let in.
What are you working on?
A number of books. After being published by Viking Penguin, N.Y., I found, because my interests take me from psychological thrillers to purely artistic novels to kids’ book to satires on self-help (plus my theater work), I did not fit into a niche, and was, in the limiting language of the market, “not saleable.” So I’m a sidelined indie making his way in a narrowed world. Presently, after the “The Boy in the Sandwich,” I’ll be launching an early work of mine that takes place in the 1970s in Southern California called “The Nice Guy” about a radical reaction to domesticity. After that, before Christmas 2011, a story collection, “Intimate Dialogues.” There’s other books impatiently in line shouting, “Me next!” for 2012.
Do you have any tips or advice for aspiring authors?
You learn to walk by walking. You learn how to think by thinking. You learn about love by loving. Same goes for writing. There are no short cuts.
Do you have a crazy story about an aspect of writing life, perhaps from a school visit or event?
I once had a tapeworm. It was an impressive personal experience. Invited to dinners, I would sometimes share some of the details of this experience with my dining companions. I usually got groans of laughter. I embellished the story during other dinners. I then performed it at a Café Theater, and then later at some storytelling festivals. I was asked to write it up. It was published online, and then a guy wanted to do a podcast of it. And it has taken on a life of its own, all arising, initially, from some dinner conversation.
Read it: http://fray.com/drugs/worm/
Hear it: http://bit.ly/1hCk6d
Is there anything else you’d like to add, such as a web site or blog?
Facebook Fan Page hidden people: http://bit.ly/9xfpW2