Posted by: nancyisanders | November 12, 2009

Author Interview: Bruce Hale

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Meet Author Bruce Hale!
Website: BruceHale.com

Bio:
Edgar-nominated author Bruce Hale is passionate about inspiring reluctant readers to open books (and read them). He has written or illustrated more than 25 seriously funny books for children, including the popular Chet Gecko Mysteries series and the comics-novel hybrid, Underwhere.

An actor and Fulbright Scholar in Storytelling, Bruce is in demand as a speaker, having presented at conferences, universities, and schools across North America – from the Maui Writers Conference to the Surrey International Writers Conference in British Columbia. His acting resume includes regional commercials, theater, and an independent film, The Ride. Bruce also sings with the VocalPoint jazz group of Santa Barbara.

Featured Book:

snoringbeautycover
Snoring Beauty
by Bruce Hale
Illustrated by Howard Fine

A furious fairy. A cruel curse.
A princess enchanted by a spell. 

Think you know the story of Sleeping Beauty? Better think again. This fractured fairy tale tells the real story of Sleeping Beauty — warts, scales, and all. 

And guess what? She snores. (A recommended read on Oprah Winfrey’s Kids Reading List)

Interview:
Q: Describe the journey you took to write and publish this book.
A:
This book was a long time coming. I wrote it in 2000 and sold it back in 2001, then revised it several times working with one editor. He wasn’t able to find a satisfactory illustrator, and the project passed to another editor when he left Harcourt. She asked for another couple rounds of revisions, then chose Howard Fine for the illustrations. An excellent choice! The book finally came out in 2008.

Q: What is your typical writing day like?
A:
Unending hilarity and dazzling inspiration. But seriously…

I usually exercise and handle e-mail in the mornings, then start writing after lunch. I write (or revise, as the case may be) until dinnertime. Sometimes the writing flows, sometimes it’s like wading through concrete. But I keep showing up each day, whether the Muse joins me or not.

Q: Describe at least one specific technique you use to incorporate humor into your writing.
A:
The Technique of Three is one of my favorites. You create a list, where the first two items are normal and the third is unexpected/bizarre — like “tall, dark, and full of zits.”

Q: Share tips you’d like to give to an author who wants to do Virtual School Visits.
A:
Think visually. Be sure to take advantage of the strengths of the medium. It’s not as immediate as an in-person visit, but you can hold nearly anything — sketches, toys, crafts, whatever — up to the camera, and kids can easily see it.


Responses

  1. Great interview, Bruce. I especially like your “Technique of Three.” And you said something really important — something that I keep trying to get my students to believe:
    We have to keep showing up each day, if we wade through enough concrete, something good is bound to happen.

    Marilyn Donahue

  2. Great interview, Bruce. It also shows that patience must be part of a children’s book writer’s life, doing all those revisions, changing editors, and finding just the right illustrator; that is diligence and faith in what you wrote…a good lesson for us all. Thanks for your valuable input…

    Kay Presto

  3. Yes, if I knew patience was such an important virtue for a writer, I would’ve been more patient about how long it took me to acquire a modicum of it.

  4. Wonderful interview.

    The power of three–I don’t think I’ll ever forget such acned advice.

    Rilla

  5. Bruce, you offer wonderful advice, seat of the pants in chair is the way to go. — Your picture book looks adorable. I’ll have to pick up a copy for my collection.

  6. Hey Bruce! It’s me! You read one of my stories and told me you loved it. You are really encouraging and nice, and every time I read your emails it makes my day. I had NO IDEA you had a picture book out!! That’s kind of funny….it’s familiar. Maybe I had heard of you before Chet and didn’t know it.

    Best (;D)

    Rachael


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